LeBron James is in the final year of his deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and a contract extension is likely to be dangled. Although that has yet to happen, there is the growing belief that the purple and gold may consider trading the four-time NBA champion if contract extension talks don’t end fruitfully.

James has proven he can still play at a high level despite his age. Although his NBA career is forecasted to be winding down, there is no question that the 18-time All-Star has shown no indication of calling it quits.

But James is in a curious situation with the Lakers. After winning the NBA title in 2019, the Lakers have fared miserably in the past two NBA seasons. This was despite the team taking in big names such as Russell Westbrook to aid James and All-Star center Anthony Davis.

There are speculations that James may not sign a contract extension with the Lakers once one is offered. If the four-time NBA MVP thumbs down the contract, pundits believe the purple and gold may end up trading LeBron James.

While that could make sense given the failures and James’ age, Lakers’ owner Jeanie Buss has no plans of trading the top pick of the 2013 NBA Draft according to sources cited by Sam Amick of The Atheltic.

“If LeBron James ultimately decides against signing an extension with the Lakers in August, sources say Buss wouldn’t see his desire to play out the final season of his contract as a reason to consider trading him,” the scribe wrote.

Unless the Lakers have other plans in mind such as shifting to another superstar to lead the franchise, it appears Buss and company will cling on to James until his current deal is up. That could buy Los Angeles some time to figure out who would eventually succeed the future NBA Hall of Famer.

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images | Ronald Martinez

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