LeBron James Predicted to Leave Lakers & Join 3 Stars to Form New Superteam

LeBron James, Boston Celtics

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during a recent NBA game.

LeBron James signed a contract extension last offseason but that is not stopping speculation about his future with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Ringer’s Bill Simmons was joined by Fox Sports’ Kevin Wildes on his March 29, 2023 podcast to discuss some “half-baked” ideas for the sports world. Simmons offered a wild theory that Draymond Green signs with the Mavericks this offseason and James joins Dallas “eventually” to form a new big four alongside Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in big D.

“I have my half-baked idea/prediction for Draymond’s next season. … I think he ends up in Dallas with Kyrie and with Luka and then LeBron tries to figure out a way to get there eventually,” Simmons noted. “…Yeah, that’s my prediction … Put this in my file of predictions to be unleashed like 18 months from now.”

For context, James is still under contract with the Lakers through the 2024-25 season. James has indeed expressed a desire to play with Doncic and Irving in recent years, but the Mavericks would find it more than challenging to fit all four stars within the salary cap.

Will Bronny James’ College Decision Impact LeBron’s Future?

One interesting tidbit Simmons pointed out is that it will be worth watching to see if Bronny James’ college decision will impact the superstar’s own future. Los Angeles Times’ Luca Evans reported that Bronny’s final three schools are USC, Ohio State and Oregon. If James’ son attends USC, it would be business as usual but would the star consider playing elsewhere to be able to watch Bronny play if he goes to a non-LA school.

“I also think Bronny hasn’t picked a college yet, and I think that’s gonna factor into the LeBron possibilities, too,” Simmons added. “Because if he goes to USC, you go, ‘Oh yeah, he’ll be a Laker next year. He’ll want to go to the USC games.’ But if it’s somewhere outside LA, that’s gonna make me think, ‘Hmm, I wonder if he maybe will [leave].’ Because LeBron’s gonna want to ring chase at some point soon, right?

“He’s not gonna end at four [championships]. He knows he needs at least five. And if he feels like this Lakers thing isn’t gonna work, he’s gonna start ring chasing. If you’re ring chasing, you’re making a list of the best five guys in the league and you’re glomming on to one of those five, and Luka seems kind of the most ripe to be glommed on to.”

LeBron James Has an ‘Obligation’ to Stay With Lakers Because of Anthony Davis, Says NBA Exec

James has created some of this chatter himself by being open about his desire to play alongside his son once Bronny reaches the NBA. Smart money is still on James wearing purple and gold for the foreseeable future. During an exclusive conversation with Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney, one Western Conference executive pointed to Anthony Davis as one of the major reasons James is likely to remain with the Lakers.

“He has an obligation to Anthony Davis and the only way he gets dealt is if Davis gets dealt, too,” the exec told Heavy Sports. “They do not necessarily have to go to the same place, but LeBron is largely responsible for AD being in Los Angeles and is not going to abandon him there.

“So if Davis can go to Chicago or Milwaukee or somewhere like that, where he would be happy, then LeBron could look to go elsewhere, too. It is hard to imagine him going anywhere except Cleveland, if the Cavs could make that happen without giving up too many assets. Miami would have to be in the mix, too, and maybe a darkhorse— the Knicks and Mavericks. He has always wanted to play with those teams, with those players. He has an interest in Luka for sure.”