Lakers virtually guarantee LeBron James' fate next season with trade balk

The latest news could have major bearing on LeBron's next move.

LeBron James, Los Angeles  Lakers
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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There have been a multitude of questions surrounding LeBron James' future with the Los Angeles Lakers in recent months. With the Purple and Gold lagging behind their preseason expectations, many are speculating that LeBron could already have a foot out the door.

James has been vocal about his desire to play basketball with his son Bronny, and LeBron's eldest child is draft eligible this coming June. When James signed his two year, $97 million extension with the Lakers in September 2022, he made sure to include a player option for the 2024-25 season.

Now, fans and analysts are connecting the dots and beginning to believe he could decline picking up his player option to head elsewhere this summer. However, information stemming from the newest report serves to contradict those claims. Adrian Wojnarowski reported that when the Golden State Warriors called the Lakers to inquire about James, they were promptly told he was not available.

Neither LeBron nor the Lakers had any interest in a trade at the deadline

As reported by Woj, Warriors owner Joe Lacob called Lakers owner Jeanie Buss to ask about LeBron's availability leading up to the trade deadline and was told that the Lakers had no interest in trading James. A follow-up call to LeBron's agent Rich Paul confirmed that James also would not consider a trade.

This news has potentially big implications for LeBron's future with the Lakers. It would have made sense for the team to listen to trade offers if they were afraid of losing James in the offseason. Getting a return back for him now would obviously have been preferential to letting him walk for nothing this summer.

The fact that the Lakers were content holding on to him and LeBron essentially re-affirmed his commitment to the organization as well has to bode well for their relationship going forward. This report could all but assure James returns to the Lakers for a seventh consecutive season next year.

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