Home » Lakers News: Olympics Could Impact LeBron James’ Plans for Next Season

Lakers News: Olympics Could Impact LeBron James’ Plans for Next Season

All-Star Los Angeles Lakers combo forward LeBron James has a big summer coming up. Beyond just having the opportunity to enter unrestricted free agency for the first time in six years, the 20-time All-Star and four-time league MVP will be returning to international competition for the first time in 12 years, when the 39-year-old suits up for a star-studded Team USA roster at the Paris Olympics.

Appearing on “Pardon The Interruption” earlier this month, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explained how James’ tenure abroad could impact his team-building future.

“One variable [in James’ free agency] is that this summer is an Olympic summer,” Windhorst said, while also discussing the possibility that James’ impending Olympic teammate Kevin Durant could do some critical networking in the event, too. “Team USA is gathering, and this is the biggest gathering of star players on Team USA since the Beijing Olympics in 2008. We have never seen this collection of stars who have committed over basically the last decade-and-a-half.”

“Typically, we see everything done in the NBA in terms of NBA business by about July 4, July 5. This year, the Olympics and Team USA are at the end of July and early August,” Windhorst continued. “Let’s see where everybody’s mood is after the Olympics experience is, because you know that Team USA always opens up doors for big things to happen with star players.”

James isn’t the dominant two-way force and unquestionable best player in the NBA anymore, but he’s stil easily a top-20 talent, and an especially adept offensive player, even if he’s lost a step. Across 71 healthy contests this year, the four-time champion averaged 25.7 points on .540/.410/.750 shooting splits, 8.3 dimes and 7.3 boards a night. Not too shabby for the league’s oldest player.

Will he stick around on a Lakers team that, frankly, seems to be a tier below the younger, more athletic, better-shooting clubs still standing in the Western Conference? Will he return to a sentimental spot like the Miami Heat or Cleveland Cavaliers, the latter of whom he was seen watching during that club’s ongoing second round playoff series matchup against the Boston Celtics in a Game 4 tonight?

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