Insider Predicts LeBron James’ Offseason Move That Impacts Lakers’ Future

Lakers star LeBron James dunks

Getty LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers slam dunks the ball ahead of Royce O'Neale #00 of the Phoenix Suns.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James continues to keep his offseason move close to his chest but ESPN’s Briand Windhorst, who has been covering him since his high school days in Akron, Ohio has a bold prediction.

The 39-year-old superstar will opt out of his $51.4 million player option for next season and re-sign with the Lakers on a new multi-year deal.

“LeBron can opt out of his contract this summer which I think he will do for two reasons: one, he can get a multi-year contract that averages 50-plus million a year regardless of how long
he wants to play,” Windhorst said on “Get Up” on ESPN on February 27. “I think he’s going to want to do that. And this is important, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause right now which is why all of a sudden there was this chatter about him at the trade deadline.

If he opts out of his contract and signs a new one, even if it’s just for two years, he can install a no-trade clause to get that out of the way. So, I expect regardless of Bronny [NBA draft decision], regardless of the Lakers’ finish, it’s probable he’ll opt out of that contract even if it’s just to re-sign with the Lakers.”

James’ looming decision hangs over the Lakers’ organization who will have 3 first-round picks to use for star hunting in the offseason.

Turning 40 next season, James has yet to show a significant decline in his game. In his first 51 games with the Lakers this season, the four-time NBA MVP is still averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 assists and 7.2 rebounds.

LeBron James Upset Over Bronny James’ Narrative

In a deleted tweet on X, James vented out his frustration over the coverage of his oldest son, Bronny’s basketball career following the removal of his name on the 2024 ESPN NBA Mock Draft.

“Can you all please just let the kid be a kid and enjoy college basketball. The work and results will ultimately do the talking no matter what he decides to do. If y’all don’t know he doesn’t care what a mock draft says, he just WORKS! Earned Not Given!” James said on X, formerly Twitter, in a now-deleted post.

He added: “And to all the other kids out there striving to be great just keep your head down, blinders on and keep grinding. These Mock Drafts don’t matter one bit! I promise you! Only the WORK MATTERS!! Let’s talk REAL BASKETBALL PEOPLE!”

ESPN’s draft analyst Jonathan Givony now projects Bronny to be a second-round pick in his 2025 NBA Mock Draft when LeBron will be turning 41 years old.

Kendrick Perkins Urges Bronny to Stay in School

Kendrick Perkins, James’ former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, advised Bronny to delay his entry to the NBA, suggesting that his transition to the pros should happen organically.

“Do I think he needs to go back to school? Yes, I do,” Perkins said on the February 26 episode of “NBA Today” on ESPN. “And when the time is right [to enter the NBA], let it happen naturally. We don’t want to force anything. We don’t want to force this young man’s livelihood or development so he can go pair up with LeBron… or whatever narrative we’re trying to push. Let the young man breathe.

I think ‘Bron has to be patient and that means he’s going to have to sacrifice. If that means he’s going to have to extend his NBA career, so be it. I think Bronny is going to make it to the NBA and he’s gonna have a hell of a career. But he’s not going to be his dad, and that’s okay. Let Bronny be Bronny.”

The 19-year-old son of the Lakers superstar is only averaging 5.5 points on a horrible 37/28/6 shooting split, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his freshman year at USC, who owns the second-worst record in PAC-10.