After winning a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, it looked like a strong possibility he would finish his career with the team. However, he’s been open about the fact that he wants to play with his son Bronny when he joins the NBA. Considering he’s still in high school, it’s difficult to know right now how teams will evaluate him and where he’ll end up in the draft. 247Sports has Bronny as the 34th ranked prospect in his high school class, which means that the young basketball player isn’t a lock to go early in the draft.
LeBron will certainly help his son’s draft status with some recent comments. As of right now, it doesn’t look like the superstar is nearing the end. Despite being 37-years-old, LeBron is still playing elite basketball and is third in the NBA with a scoring average of 29.1 a game. It looks like the four-time champion could play for a long time if he really wants to, but the end could come sooner than expected. During All-Star Weekend, LeBron made it clear when he plans to retire and what his future NBA plans are.
“My last year will be played with my son,” LeBron said, per Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. “Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.”
With the current one-and-done rules in the NBA, Bronny will not be eligible to join until the 2024 NBA Draft. LeBron will only be 39 and could likely still be a difference-maker for any team across the league.
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What Does This Mean for Lakers?
If what LeBron is saying is true, he will be retiring after the 2024-2025 season. That’s not that far away, which means the Lakers need to prepare. Now, Bronny isn’t necessarily a top prospect quite yet. If he gets picked early in the draft, it will likely be due to the fact that a team knows that his dad is coming with him. If Bronny slips to the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft, the Lakers could try to draft him so that they can keep LeBron.
Regardless, reality has to start setting in for the team. If what LeBron is saying is true, he only has three more seasons left in the NBA. The Lakers have mortgaged their future to try and win now but it looks like this season is lost. Also, barring an extension, LeBron will be a free agent after next season. It’s possible that next season will be his last in Los Angeles, but odds are that he’ll stick with the Lakers until he knows where Bronny ends up. Regardless, the purple and gold need to start thinking of contingency plans.
LeBron Could Be Souring on Lakers
LeBron has decided to use All-Star Weekend to drop a ton of interesting information. After the trade deadline, the Lakers’ inaction raised a lot of eyebrows. The team has serious flaws but they decided to stand pat. LeBron made it pretty clear that the current Lakers teams couldn’t compete for a championship but they still decided to do nothing. He could be souring on the team and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka. During All-Star Weekend, LeBron went out of his way to praise Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti.
“But the MVP over there is Sam Presti. He’s the MVP,” LeBron said. “I mean, Josh Giddey is great. But Sam Presti, I don’t understand this guy’s eye for talent. He drafted KD [Kevin Durant], Russ [Russell Westbrook], Jeff Green, Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, Josh Giddey and the list goes on and on and on.
“This guy is pretty damn good.”
It’s safe to say that he wouldn’t say the same things about Pelinka right now.