Do you buy the potential LeBron James retirement talk?
In a sign of the times, the coverage of the NBA conference finals has been more about what's wrong with the Lakers and Celtics, instead of what Nikola Jokic's Nuggets and Jimmy Butler's Heat are accomplishing. After the Nuggets booked their first trip ever to the NBA Finals, the video quickly panned to LeBron James. Then in his postgame presser, James hinted at retirement.
Are you buying the talk? Personally I think after another gruelling season he does want to take some time to think about things, but I don't think for a second he will retire. This is also a solid posturing move to make the Lakers break the luxury tax bank to bring back a better supporting product around him. I don't think LeBron is the G.O.A.T, but it is impressive what he's done at his advanced NBA age. He really needed Anthony Davis to play like MVP ball and AD just doesn't have that in him.
I think the most likely scenario is that LeBron returns to the Lakers, but if he doesn't I believe a more realistic outcome is he's traded to a contending team of his choice. James then has a better shot at winning a 5th or 6th title and the Lakers get assets for James. They could then trade AD, clear the books, restock the team with young prospects and then make a run at top free agents in the coming years, as they always do.
LeBron James is unsure if he’ll be with the Lakers when the 2023-24 season starts in the fall and retirement is under consideration, per @ChrisBHaynes pic.twitter.com/fVFFWTztPz— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 23, 2023