The biggest question surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason remains the future of superstar LeBron James. The future Hall of Famer hinted at the possibility of retirement following the Lakers’ loss in the Western Conference Finals and it seems eve his agent and long-time close friend Rich Paul is in the dark on what he will decide.
Paul has long been a close confidant of James and if anyone were to know what the Lakers’ star is thinking, it would be him. But in this instance, Paul is seemingly just like the rest of us.
According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, when Paul was asked whether he expects LeBron to suit up for the Lakers next season, he didn’t have a concrete answer:
“I have an expectation just as you do,” Paul said. “We’ll see.”
Whether Paul’s expectation is the same as most others remains unclear, but the overwhelming sentiment among most is that LeBron James will return to the Lakers next season. His level of play certainly suggests that he can still hang with the NBA’s best especially prior to suffering the foot injury late in the season that could force him to undergo surgery this offseason.
LeBron would hold off on surgery and return to help the Lakers make a postseason run all the way to the Western Conference Finals. In Game 4, James nearly dropped a 40-point triple-double, but it simply wasn’t enough to overcome the Denver Nuggets. Many believed it was simply frustration and exhaustion from a long season that caused LeBron to talk about hanging it up, but he has yet to announce anything in the two weeks since the season ended.
Even though James clearly has plenty left in the tank, perhaps he has reached a point where he is mentally exhausted and doesn’t want to go through the grind of an NBA season anymore. The Lakers and his fans hope he is back next year, but until something is said everyone, Rich Paul included, remain in the dark.
Lakers’ front office approaching offseason as if LeBron James will be back
The Lakers themselves still have plenty of decisions to make regarding the team whether or not LeBron James is back in purple and gold next year. But they apparently are operating as if he will be back with the team when the 2023-24 season begins.
Recent reports suggest that there is an overwhelming feeling within the franchise that LeBron will be back with the team next year and they are operating as such. With NBA Draft upcoming and free agency not long after, it would be ideal if the Lakers knew for certain that James will be back so they can operate with complete certainty in this extremely important offseason.
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