3 Lakers on Thin Ice if LeBron James Leaves

These three names would also likely depart if LeBron James were to leave Los Angeles this summer.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

The Los Angeles Lakers are entering a pivotal offseason. They are facing massive questions about their stars, coaching staff, and the rest of the roster.

The most obvious question is the future of LeBron James. The 39-year-old superstar refused to commit to Los Angeles after the loss to the Denver Nuggets and he has a player option for the 2024-25 season. There is a chance he will opt out and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

This would be a major blow for the Lakers. It would signal the end of an era and would likely require rebuilding. Since this is a top-heavy team led by Anthony Davis and LeBron James, removing one from the equation means that the team is no longer viable as a competitive group.

Therefore, if James were to leave, there would be more dominoes to fall. Here are three names who would likely follow him out the door.

1. Anthony Davis

AD and LeBron's fates have been connected at the hip for the past five seasons. James wanted Davis to join him in Los Angeles the moment he signed there in 2018. Once Davis got there, the Lakers won a championship in his first season but failed to repeat the same success in consequent years, with Davis' injuries being a large part of it.

Davis turned 31 recently and constant injuries have sapped his athleticism and mobility. He is still an excellent defensive player and was surprisingly healthy last season, but he is not the dominant two-way force he has been in previous years. His shot has abandoned him and his offensive game has taken a step back.

If LeBron were to leave this summer, it doesn't make much sense for the Lakers to keep Davis around. They can still get a lot of value in return for AD in a potential trade, so they should look to get younger players and draft picks for him instead.

Davis is under contract for four more seasons and is due over $70 million in the 2027-28 season. LeBron's departure will trigger a rebuild and you don't want to pay Anthony Davis in his mid-30s that kind of money in that situation.