Report: Source close to LeBron James believes he will be back with Lakers next season

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

A source close to Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James believes that he will be back with the team in the 2023-24 season, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

James hinted at potential retirement after the Lakers were swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.

“Beyond James’ retirement decision — which could be a nonissue, with a source close to James telling ESPN on Thursday that he believes the Lakers star will indeed be back for season No. 21 and fulfill his contract — the biggest question facing the Lakers this offseason is figuring out what to do at point guard,” McMenamin wrote.

James is under contract with the Lakers for the 2023-24 season and has a player option for the 2024-25 campaign. The four-time champion has expressed a desire to play in the NBA with his eldest son, who isn’t eligible for the NBA draft until 2024.

This is great news for Lakers fans, as the team was extremely close to getting back to the NBA Finals with James leading the way this season.

James played through a torn tendon in his foot for a good chunk of the 2022-23 season, and according to NBA insider Shams Charania, the Lakers star may need offseason surgery on the foot that would sideline him for two months.

Still, James would be on track to return for the 2023-24 season.

Even though he was dealing with a foot injury, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer was magnificent in the 2022-23 season. The 38-year-old averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc in the regular season.

He continued that solid play in the playoffs, averaging 24.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game while the Lakers went from the No. 7 seed all the way to the Western Conference Finals.

If James decides to fulfill his contract, he’d at least be in Los Angeles for one more season. He has won a title with the Lakers, but it’s clear that the veteran is starting to see his body decline. Since coming to Los Angeles, James has played more than 56 games in a regular season just one time.

The Lakers and their fans are certainly hoping that James decides to come back to Los Angeles for the 2023-24 campaign, especially since the team was so close to making the NBA Finals this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.