Los Angeles Lakers receive massive free agency update about LeBron James

The Los Angeles Lakers have been waiting to hear what LeBron James intends to do in free agency. A massive update has finally arrived.
Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Three
Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Three / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

LeBron James has been the face of the Los Angeles Lakers since he joined the franchise in 2018. For that matter, the four-time NBA champion has been the face of the Association for what some would argue has been the entirety of his 21-year career.

On Saturday, June 29, James finally made it clear what he plans to do entering what could be the final period of free agency in his Hall of Fame career.

James, 39, has a player option worth $51,415,938 for the 2024-25 season. Following the Lakers' choice to select his son, Bronny James, in the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft, all eyes shifted to the four-time Finals MVP's latest decision.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, James intends to decline his player option, but is expected to re-sign with the Lakers in free agency.

Per Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, a strategy that James is considering with his free agency status is helping the Lakers create the space to use the full mid-level exception to sign a quality target.

The full mid-level exception would enable the Lakers to sign a player at a salary of $12,951,000—while the taxpayer mid-level exception opens just $5,220,000 of space.

James is coming off of a season in which he earned All-NBA Third Team honors. He averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 2.1 three-point field goals made per game while shooting a career-best 41.0 percent from beyond the arc.

James also played and started 71 games, marking the first time since 2017-18, the season before he joined the Lakers, that he appeared in at least 70 regular season outings.

James' unprecedented defiance of Father Time has understandably resulted in Los Angeles placing a heavy emphasis on re-signing him for the JJ Redick tenure as head coach. It's also worth noting that the two have an existing relationship, with their co-hosting duties on the Mind the Game podcast setting the stage for a new kind of working relationship in Los Angeles.

James will inevitably have the interest of all 30 franchises in free agency, but per Charania's information, a return to the Lakers is the most likely outcome.

In the event that James plays at least one more season in Los Angeles, he and Bronny James would make history as the first father-son duo to play together in the NBA. James would also be reuniting with Anthony Davis in an effort to bring a second championship to the Lakers.

There's still a chance that James could walk in free agency and sign with a different contender, but Charania reporting that he's expected to return to Los Angeles is a promising sign.