When LeBron James made the decision in 2018 to sign with the Lakers, there was an expectation that he’d spent the rest of his career in Los Angeles. That plan hasn’t changed, according to Jared Greenspan of The New York Post, who writes that James recently reiterated his desire to play out his career in L.A.
“I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers,” LeBron said during an appearance on the SmartLess podcast. “However many years that is, if it’s four, five, six, whatever, seven. I hope I can continue to play the game. I love being in L.A. My family loves being in L.A. Being with a historical franchise like the Lakers is something.”
James will turn 37 in December, so the idea of him playing six or seven more seasons seems like a long shot. Still, there have been no indications so far that his on-court production is about to fall off a cliff. The Lakers star averaged 25.0 PPG, 7.8 APG, and 7.7 RPG on .513/.365/.698 shooting in 45 games (33.4 MPG) in 2020/21.
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- Veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein has heard that – in addition to seeking more shooting this offseason – the Lakers want to acquire a “difference-making play-maker” who would allow James and Anthony Davis to spend more time at power forward and center. Stein notes that financial obstacles will likely prevent L.A. from adding such a player in free agency, but he says he wouldn’t be surprised if there are rumors this summer about the Lakers exploring ways to reacquire Lonzo Ball.
- Within a story exploring which teams could put together the best packages for Damian Lillard, Anthony Slater of The Athletic says the Warriors have had internal discussions about pursuing the Trail Blazers guard. While it’s fun to imagine a Lillard/Stephen Curry backcourt, it’s worth taking the news with a grain of salt, since most teams have likely conducted similar talks internally — it doesn’t mean Portland will make Lillard available.
- Baylor guard Jared Butler had dinner with Kings executives on Monday night and is visiting the team facility on Tuesday, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Due to a heart condition, Butler has been ruled ineligible – at least for now – to participate in on-court workouts, creating uncertainty about his draft status. He had been viewed as a potential mid first-round pick.