4 Lakers Who Won't Return Next Season

The Lakers' season is over. Who just played their final game for Los Angeles?
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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LeBron James

No Lakers fan wants to hear this but the reality can not be ignored. Not only does LeBron James have a player option for next season, but he was also non-committal to the Lakers in his post-game statements on Monday night.

At this stage of his career, the money is likely not the primary driving force for James' decision. He can get a maximum contract wherever he goes and any team around the league would make that happen if James were to decide he wanted to play there.

For the past few years, LeBron seemed content playing in Los Angeles. He loved playing there and showed no desire to leave. This season, however, there have been more rumors and reports about him potentially moving on.

Plus, there is the Bronny James angle. LeBron has long expressed a desire to play on the same team as his son, who is entering the 2024 NBA Draft. If that is still a priority for LeBron, any team willing to draft Bronny will have a shot at landing the King as well.

Or maybe James just wants to win another title. He showed that he is good enough to be one of the best playoff players in the league, even at age-39. If he wants to further cement his legacy and end the GOAT debates in his favor once and for all, perhaps he will want to go to a team that increases his chance at another ring. It's hard to argue that the Lakers give him the best chance to do so barring a major trade this offseason.

LeBron leaving would certainly hurt but Lakers fans need to prepare for that very real possibility.

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