Ranking Lakers free agents by likelihood to return next season

The Los Angeles Lakers have 10 players entering free agency in 2024. Who is most likely to be re-signed and who might be on their way out this summer?
Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans - Play-In Tournament
Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans - Play-In Tournament / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
9 of 9

1. LeBron James, Player Option

The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to make a run at signing longtime Daryl Morey target LeBron James. The move would pair James with two of the best players in the NBA, Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, which would certainly aid in his pursuit of a fifth career championship.

For as intriguing as that may be, it's fair to believe that James will return to the Los Angeles Lakers and continue to star alongside Anthony Davis.

James has built a legacy in Los Angeles after delivering the franchise's 17th championship alongside Davis in 2020. The team also reached the Western Conference Finals in 2022-23 and is expected to be aggressive in potentially pursuing a trade for another All-Star in 2024.

As such, signs point to James returning to the Lakers in 2024-25, even if he ultimately declines his player option in favor of a long-term deal.

It's also worth noting that the Lakers' first-round loss to the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets was wildly competitive. Two of the four losses were by just two points, with the others coming by a combined 18 points.

As James looks to add another championship to his already iconic résumé, the Lakers are not quite as poorly equipped to help him do so as some have suggested.