Lakers rumors suggest LeBron may seek unprecedented leverage

Recent reports hint at LeBron desiring more control with the Lakers.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

Since LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2018, he has always had a say in the team's major decisions and his influence has guided the direction of the franchise in the almost six years he has spent in the City of Angels. LA never lands Anthony Davis and never wins the 2020 championship without LeBron's input to management and the front office.

So it is no surprise that the latest news indicates James is looking to gain even more control over his future with the Lakers. According to Brian Windhorst, LeBron may opt out of his current contract in an effort to secure a no-trade clause.

For those unaware, a no-trade clause in the NBA refers to a specific agreement within a player's contract that prevents them from being traded without their specific consent, either to specific teams or altogether. With likely just a season or two left in his career, LeBron may want to make sure he is not sent packing from Los Angeles unless he directly desires it.

LeBron is reportedly seeking a no-trade clause in his next contract

Getting this clause in his contract would essentially ensure LeBron ends his career on his terms, which is a smart move on his part. We all know that the NBA is a business, and the Lakers have to do what makes the most sense for them. They may see an opportunity to move James in the coming months, but the future Hall-of-Famer wisely wants to make sure he does not lose his grip on the reigns.

Right now, LeBron is heading into the 2024-25 NBA season with a $51 million player option on his contract. Opting out would mean he is not guaranteed to get all of that money next season, but it is still a risk worth taking in his eyes. The last thing LeBron wants to do is end up on the Washington Wizards or Portland Trail Blazers to finish his career if it means that was not his desired landing spot.

As we know, James has spoken multiple times about his desire to play with his son Bronny before his NBA career is over. Securing a no-trade clause would give him the ability to remain with the Lakers if the team is able to acquire his son either through the draft or as an undrafted free agent. On the flip side, it would allow him to approve a trade to any other team in the association if he desires to go wherever Bronny is to finish his playing career.

As of right now, LeBron's son has made it known that he will be at least testing the waters when it comes to the NBA draft process. But whether he ends up getting drafted or not, there is a chance an NBA team will make a play to sign Bronny to their roster just for the possibility that LeBron would want to come play for them. With that in mind, James getting this no-trade clause would ensure he is able to land wherever he wants, and end his career on his terms.