Lakers News: East Contender Reportedly Aiming to Steal LeBron James From LA

Could James actually leave the Lakers?
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One of the biggest storylines from the Los Angeles Lakers offseason is what superstar LeBron James will do with his player option. He is eligible to opt out of the final year of his deal with Los Angeles to become a free agent.

Many believe that he will ultimately do so but will return to the Lakers on a new contract. James likely only has a few seasons left to go before he ultimately retires and Los Angeles would love nothing more than to have him retire in the purple and gold.

However, whenever someone becomes a free agent, other teams can make things interesting. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia 76ers are looking to possibly steal James away from the Lakers.

"The Sixers do have their eyes on other lucrative-salary impact players just in case they don’t get George. That’s why they also are looking at potential free agents like the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby. If not in free agency, the Sixers believe they can use their draft assets and available cap space to acquire a difference-maker via a trade. That has led to Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, and New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram being among trade interests."

While most don't believe that James will leave the Lakers, he did have a slight interest in the 76ers before signing with Los Angeles in 2018. Philadelphia would give James a big three to work with, alongside Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid.

He would also get a chance to play in the Eastern Conference once again, which is generally seen as a much weaker conference compared to the West. Philadelphia could offer James a real chance to compete for a title in his final years so the threat is there. If the Lakers don't prove to him that they are serious about winning, he could just simply walk away this offseason.

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Matt Levine


Matt earned a Master of Science degree in Sport Management from Louisiana State University in 2021. He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, covering all Southern California sports in his career.