LeBron James ‘Finalizing’ Major Move for Lakers: Report

Lakers star LeBron James

Getty Lakers star LeBron James

LeBron James is reportedly “finalizing” a major move for the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to an August 9 report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, James is finalizing a destination to host the team’s annual minicamp prior to training camp. The four-time MVP wants to build a better rapport with his teammates before the start of next season.

“James is finalizing a destination to host the team’s annual minicamp prior to training camp, with San Diego being the likely landing space over Las Vegas, sources said,” Haynes reported. “He’s hoping to build a better rapport with teammates before entering the 2022-23 season.”

Unless the Lakers make a trade, their roster heading into training camp will consist of James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, Lonnie Walker IV, Kendrick Nunn, Stanley Johnson, Damian Jones, Wenyen Gabriel, Thomas Bryant, Troy Brown Jr., Juan Toscano-Anderson, Austin Reaves and Max Christie.

James Had ‘Productive’ & ‘Informative’ Meeting with Lakers

According to Haynes, James had a “productive and informative” meeting with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Darvin Ham last week. The four-time Finals MVP is eligible to sign a two-year, $97.1 million extension. The final day James can sign his extension is June 30, 2023.

“And while contract dialogue was broached, the majority of the hour-long meeting was about expressing concerns, and hearing out strategies and opinions to assure there wouldn’t be a repeat of last season’s epic failure, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” Haynes reported. “James, sources said, drilled home the importance of consistent competitiveness and cohesion, noting that last season’s team didn’t give themselves a chance on many nights. The focus for the future Hall of Famer is competing every night in order to give themselves a chance to compete for a championship.

“Ham agreed with James and reiterated that his main objectives are to hold everyone accountable and foster an atmosphere of selflessness, sources said. He voiced that defensive tenacity needs to be picked up all across the roster and also forewarned that players would have to play new roles and if he sensed reluctance, he wouldn’t hesitate to remove them from the game, sources said.”

James averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting 52.4% from the field, 35.9% from beyond the arc and 75.6% from the free-throw line last season. However, the Lakers went only 33-49 and didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament despite having James, Davis and Westbrook.

James Is Extremely Happy in Los Angeles

Despite the Lakers’ catastrophic 2021-22 season, James is “extremely happy” in Los Angeles, according to a July 29 report from NBA insider Marc Stein. Both of James’ sons play basketball at Sierra Canyon School and his wife and daughter enjoy living in LA.

“Sources briefed on the matter stress that James is extremely happy in Los Angeles despite the Lakers’ back-to-back rocky seasons,” Stein reported. “He and his family, by all accounts, have grown increasingly entrenched in Southern California since James signed with the Lakers in the summer of 2018.”

James has three options with the Lakers’ extension offer. He can decline it and become an unrestricted free agent in 2023, sign a two-year extension or agree to a 1+1 deal. James, who will turn 38 in December, will make $44.5 million next season.

According to an August 4 report from Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, James is expected to sign a 1+1 deal with the Lakers.

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