Lakers Eliminated: Will LeBron James Return Next Season?

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets

Will LeBron James return to the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2024–2025 NBA season? That’s the biggest question heading into the offseason for the Lakers.

Lakers Eliminated From Playoffs By Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Lakes in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series on Monday night by a score of 108-106.

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray hit the go-ahead shot with less than four seconds left to secure the two-point victory.

With the win, the Nuggets clinched a 4-1 series victory over the Lakers. The loss eliminated James and the Lakers from the playoffs.

James, 39, is still playing at an elite level, finishing Game 5 with 30 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals.

The Lakers star has a major decision to make this offseason. James can opt into the final year of his contract with the Lakers for $51.4 million or become an unrestricted free agent for the first time since 2018.

After Monday night’s loss, James was asked about his future with the Lakers. However, James declined and said, “I’m not going to answer that.” (Video via Ben Golliver)

LeBron James Free Agency Decision

Is this the end of the King’s tenure in Los Angeles?

On Tuesday’s edition of Get Up, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said he believes James will opt out of his deal and become a free agent.

That doesn’t necessarily mean James will leave Los Angeles. However, it does mean James is seeking a new deal and wants to see what changes the Lakers will make this offseason.

One of those changes involves head coach Darvin Ham, who could be fired after two seasons in Los Angeles.

The Lakers will also try to improve their roster this offseason by bringing in another star. Atlanta’s Trae Young could be a potential trade target for the Lakers.

If James decides to leave Los Angeles, the Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, and Cleveland Cavaliers could be the next destinations for King James.

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