LeBron James is in line for help in LA as a star free agent-to-be ponders joining the Lakers

    Few teams in the NBA will be as heavily scrutinized this offseason as the Los Angeles Lakers. Following a first-round playoff exit to the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers fired head coach Darvin Ham after two seasons in charge, and the franchise is sweating LeBron James‘ decision as to whether he wants to stay in Los Angeles for 2024/25.

    James can dictate his future thanks to the player option he holds for next season, and he is expected to decline that option and hit free agency at 39 years old. While some expect the NBA‘s all-time top scorer to re-sign with the Lakers eventually, LeBron is too smart to return to a team that has disappointed him in recent years without some assurances that it can compete at a championship level in 2025.

    Parker Johnson

    DeMar DeRozan ponders “heading home”

    One player that might help LeBron in his quest for a fourth (and potentially final) championship ring is DeMar DeRozan, the Chicago Bulls swingman who is slated to hit free agency this summer as well. DeRozan averaged 24 points per game this season while averaging a career-high 38 minutes per night on a Chicago team that missed out on the playoffs after losing to the Miami Heat in the Play-In Tournament.

    DeRozan turns 35 years old in August, but the former Toronto Raptors star continues to perform at a high level and has shown few signs of slowing down. And more importantly to the Lakers, DeRozan has told the “Run It Back” podcast that he would be open to returning to Los Angeles — where he was born, raised, and played college basketball for the USC Trojans.

    However, DeRozan seems to be giving priority to the Bulls if they wish to re-sign him. DeRozan has spent the past three seasons in Chicago and has been selected to two All-Star teams. He has twice been a finalist for the NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year award, and if he were to leave Chicago, there’s little doubt that LeBron would welcome his 21.2 career points per game average playing in purple and gold.

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