The Los Angeles Lakers offseason has been a rough one — at least in terms of how owner Jeanie Buss and company look from the outside.
Turmoil and dysfunction within the front office has been the overwhelming story for the Lakers at a time when they are looking to build around LeBron James.
It has gotten to the point that some have speculated that James should demand a trade away from Los Angeles. The 34-year-old doesn’t have a no-trade clause and the Lakers would likely get a massive return if they were to do so, but the chances of that happening are slim to none. Furthermore, James himself reportedly wants to go nowhere.
According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, James wants to remain with the Lakers and win in Los Angeles:
Still, it’s worth pointing out that LeBron wants to be with the Lakers and wants to win with them.
James’ desire is the most important thing to him remaining in Los Angeles. As long as he wants to be a Laker, the organization won’t be sending him anywhere as they have been trying to get a superstar in purple and gold since Kobe Bryant retired.
Despite the issues during the 2018-19 NBA season and all of the drama surrounding the Lakers right now, James still has plenty of reasons to want to remain in Los Angeles — including the most important one:
If LeBron has ever had as little power over an organization as he has now with the Lakers, it’s been a long, long time. LeBron does not have a “no-trade” clause in his contract, and he’s signed for two more seasons. He did not ask the Lakers to do anything to their roster or coaching staff before he signed with them last July; he just handed them the keys to their kingdom. He and his family love living in Los Angeles, and his eldest son is just reaching high school. In other words, southern California is where he wants to be.
Family ultimately trumps everything and with James’ children getting older, he would undoubtedly prefer stability and staying in the same place. As long as James’ family wants to be in Los Angeles, he will be here for the remainder of his four-year, $154 million deal.
Now the pressure will be on the Lakers to build around James. Armed with a young core, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and plenty of salary cap space, the Lakers will have any number of ways to improve the team and the front office must figure out how to best build their roster.