Billionaire athletes who happen to be among the biggest figures in sports history can afford to take a discount now and again, especially if it means fulfilling a personal dream. LeBron James could maybe be persuaded to walk away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and join a team that gives him an opportunity to create a lasting memory.
“I know of at least two teams on the NBA map that believe LeBron James would consider signing with them at far less than $51.4 million if Bronny James is on the roster,” Marc Stein reported. “There might be more.”
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has a $51.4 million player option at the end of the season, which if exercised, can be used to leverage a possible father-son union. There are questions that have to be answered first, though, and many of them concern Bronny’s current progression.
Bronny James could use more polishing at USC
The USC guard has struggled in his freshman season, averaging 5.8 points while shooting only 35.6 percent from the field in 20.8 minutes per game. His deficiencies and limitations could be at least partially influenced by his harrowing cardiac arrest incident from last July. Even so, it seems unlikely that he can become NBA-ready by the 2024 draft.
If teams are impressed enough by Bronny James’ defense and raw talent, however, then that could be all the reasons they need to attempt this gamble. The potential to acquire an icon like LeBron might be worth the risk for some owners.
This potential development should make LA general manager Rob Pelinka tremendously grateful for holding onto all of the franchise’s future assets at this past trade deadline. They might be essential for a possible contingency plan.
“Should the Lakers be ultimately faced with that turn of events, they will be doubly glad that they kept their only available first-round pick that could have been traded in-season (will have three total by this offseason),” Marc Stein writes. “The increased optionality they’ll now have in June will certainly come in handy if they suddenly have a LeBron-sized hole to fill.”
The future is uncertain for the James family and the Lakers (28-26). Making the most out of this NBA campaign is therefore more important than ever.