NBA Rumors: The Lakers have a trick up their sleeve to keep LeBron in LA

NBA Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
NBA Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is now officially a 21-year NBA veteran. This comes after playing his first game of the season against the defending champion Denver Nuggets. While this could be his final season in the NBA, LeBron has previously stated that he wants to play with his son, Bronny James, in the NBA. It was assumed that he would have to leave the Lakers to do so. However, rumors state that that may not be the case if the Lakers get their way.

"“Most observers believe the Lakers will find a way to make sure that happens in Los Angeles,” according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic."

Considering that Bronny is expected to be a lottery pick, possibly even a top-10 pick, it would be hard to envision a scenario where the Lakers are able to draft him. After all, they have traded virtually all of their assets to build around LeBron.

NBA Rumors: Do the Lakers have a plan to land Bronny James?

The new collective bargaining agreement makes it impossible for teams over the second luxury tax apron to trade picks more than seven years out. That means that the Lakers can’t trade a far-out pick to land Bronny, though they could technically use pick swaps to try and entice teams. Would they be willing to trade or swap their 2029 first-round pick around the draft in a deal with a team with multiple lottery picks?

Maybe, though their best bet would be for them to try and trade up using their 2024 first-round pick, assuming they are able to keep their pick. That may be easier said than done since the New Orleans Pelicans have the right to claim that pick this season or next.

However, if the Lakers are good this year, say one of the ten best teams in the NBA, then the Pelicans would likely defer that selection until 2025. By then, even if the Lakers acquire Bronny, LeBron will be 40, in year 22, and would be due for a dropoff.

Ultimately, it would take some incredible maneuvering for the Lakers to be able to land Bronny but it’s technically not impossible. Though, at the moment, it does seem highly unlikely.