REPORT: LeBron James To Leave The Lakers If He Doesn’t Extend His Contract

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 21: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on against the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter of the game at Little Caesars Arena on November 21, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

. LeBron James’ threat to Lakers during All-Star Weekend, is he leaving LA?
. The King is at odds with Rob Pelinka’s management

The paths of LeBron James and the LA Lakers could be drifting apart to the point of a total breakup next summer, after The King dropped a bombshell, for many expected, during the past All-Star Weekend.

James, who so far has been involved in some of the Lakers’ management decisions, said he could live a third and final stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers before retiring, during an interview with The Athletic.

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Why would LeBron leave the Lakers for Cleveland?
James is upset with the Lake Show, specifically general manager Rob Pelinka, after his decisions and statements in recent weeks.

After Pelinka and Lakers management decided not to make deals before the trade deadline, despite James’ expressed desire to make roster changes, that was a first rift between the NBA star and the team.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep James unhappy, Pelinka said LeBron agreed with the franchise’s decisions, rather than a conciliatory message it was an open challenge against the player.

What can the Lakers do to prevent James’ departure?

James is one of the most cerebral players in the league, if not the most, and every move on and off the court has a purpose. After the Lakers’ lack of turnovers leading up to last deadline, LeBron said his knee injury could continue to bother him the rest of the season.

That move by The King would actually indicate a backup plan for the star should the Lakers fail to improve their current record below .500 (27-31) at the end of the regular season, something he has done in the past, such as when he left the Cavaliers.

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Decisions made by Cleveland in the winter of 2018, despite going against James’ wishes, showed that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was willing to take the risk of losing him, and he did.

Now, the Lakers have reached a point of no return where they either make major changes in the summer to bolster the roster or LeBron James will end his time in Los Angeles, even though that would not be the future Hall of Famer’s primary desire.

Additionally, let’s peruse the several signs of LeBron James possibly leaving Los Angeles Lakers at some point during the All-Star Weekend. Earlier on Tuesday, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer picked up the most accurate scoop on the current situation and pretty much predicted the outcome that all Lakers fans dread. He stated that if LeBron James doesn’t sign a contract extension by the summer of 2022, the ‘King’ is as good as gone by the time his contract expires in 2023. That’s right, James is still bound to a contract that will keep him in the Lakers until the end of the 2022-23 season. Amid all the statements about his future during All-Star Weekend, there is little hope for him to stay past that final year in his contract.

Currently, Lakers are the 9th seed in the Western Conference and are in real danger of having to perform in the Play-In by the time the regular season is over. After winning the 2020 title, Lakers haven’t been able to return to their winning ways with LeBron James still performing at the highest level. This obviously frustrates the star as he’s been delivering unreal numbers despite just turning 37 years of age. Plus, he already stated that the team lucky enough to draft his son ‘Bronny’ James is the one that will be fortunate enough to enjoy LeBron’s final season as an NBA professional. Now that the end as a purple and gold player seems more real than ever, many teams will scramble to see who gets LeBron on his final year.

Can LeBron James maintain the same level until the end?
As of right now, LeBron James ranks fourth in the NBA’s top scorers for the 2021-22 season with 29.1 PPG average. All four top spots in this category are between 29 and 30 PPG and everything could change with a little less than 30 games left in the regular season. We all wonder if James can continue playing at this level for the final years of his career, nobody doubts he will as he’s proven every year what an incredible athlete he is. Watching him and his son ‘Bronny’ perform at the highest level together will be a dream come true for the ‘King’ but we still have no clue which team will be the one that takes both of them. For now, it appears LeBron’s days in the Lakers are numbered.

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