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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Report reveals whether LeBron James will opt out of Lakers contract

LeBron James in a Lakers jersey

Apr 4, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts to being called for a foul against the Utah Jazz in the last minute of the fourth quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James will soon have to make a decision about the player option on his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, and all signs point to the four-time NBA MVP becoming a free agent — at least very briefly.

James has a $51.4 million player option on his contract for the 2024-25 season. According to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, James is expected to decline the option. While Woike notes that there is a sense LeBron will re-sign with the Lakers, rival teams would be free to pursue the 39-year-old if he does not opt in.

LeBron has until June 29 to make a decision on his player option.

At this point, it seems like a given that James will return to L.A. However, the NBA Draft could make things interesting. The draft will be held on June 26 and 27, so LeBron can wait to see how that goes before deciding whether to exercise his player option. If a team other than the Lakers drafts LeBron’s son Bronny James, there is a chance that team could make a strong push to sign LeBron.

We know of at least one Eastern Conference contender that is open to the idea of drafting Bronny and trying to sign LeBron. Many expect the Lakers to use their second-round pick (No. 55 overall) on the younger James, but a rival could potentially complicate things for them by drafting Bronny before that.

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