LeBron James very well could retire as a Laker when it's all send and done. He could join the long list of NBA superstars to hang it up in purple and gold. James could also head to another team in order to fulfill his well-stated goal of playing alongside his oldest son, Bronny James, once he's NBA draft eligible in 2024.
How James handles his current contract extension situation will help shape what his future, and the Lakers future, will look like.
LeBron not signing a new deal before the start of the coming season will hang over the Lakers season like an Akron raincloud.
Although Lakers owner Jeanie Buss previously stated back in May that the team will not pursue trading their franchise cornerstone if he doesn't extend with the team. But if his displeasure with the Lakers front office grows throughout the season, LeBron, the poster child of the player empowerment era, asking for a trade isn't completely out of the question.
Even if he is truly happy in Los Angeles as has been reported time and time again.
The Ringer Kevin O'Connor put together a list of hypothetical trade destinations for James in the event that he asked for a trade from the Lakers.
O'Connor is one of most intelligent NBA insiders in the game and unsurprisingly, he put together some intriguing potential trades - including a Warriors trade package.
"Imagine if Golden State flipped Klay Thompson, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and future picks for LeBron, then elevated Jordan Poole and Moses Moody into Klay’s old role. They might win the next three championships. Would a collaboration between LeBron and Steph Curry plus Draymond Green end up representing one of the best teams in league history? This would be less an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” decision like it seemed to be for Durant and more of a partnership between two of the greatest living artists."
Before anyone flies off the handle, the Warriors trade idea was purely hypothetical and not a report of Golden State's interest in acquiring James.
The idea of LeBron joining Steph, who battled it out in four-straight NBA Finals, and trading beloved star Klay Thompson in the process, is infinitely intriguing.
More than likely, LeBron and the Lakers will work out some sort of deal, but if they don't, and things could sideways for a third-straight season in LA, James asking out of the mess that he helped create isn't too far afield.