The Lakers may have an ace up their sleeve to keep LeBron this summer

LeBron James
LeBron James / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The second half of the season is soon set to start, and the Los Angeles Lakers have a lot riding on the final 27 games of the season. They entered the all-star break with some momentum, winning seven out of their last 10 games. Better still for the Lakers, they have one of the easier remaining schedules among playoff teams, giving them the chance to climb in the standings.

They will need to if they hope to make a deep playoff run, which would also help them keep superstar LeBron James. James can become an unrestricted free agent after this season and he has previously hinted that he might leave the Lakers to play with his son, Bronny James.

Do the Lakers have a trick up their sleeve to keep LeBron James?

At the moment, Bronny doesn't appear to have high draft stock after being projected to be a top-10 pick prior to this college basketball season. That isn't his fault since he went into cardiac arrest, which forced him to miss the start of the season and he is averaging only 21 minutes and 5.7 points per game.

If his play doesn't dramatically improve, it is possible that he will be a second-round pick. If so, a team may take a chance on him, given his pedigree and the hope that it might entice LeBron to join their team.

The Lakers may seek to do the same, though they only have a second-round pick via the Clippers this year, which is projected to be in the mid- to late-50s. Since they aren't a second-apron team, they can also buy a second-round pick by using cash.

However, that would require Bronny to decide to stay in the 2024 NBA Draft, with his draft stock low. Fortunately, for Los Angeles, it may not be hard to convince him to do so with LeBron already playing for the Lakers. In fact, Bronny can help ensure that he doesn't rise to the first round by limiting team workouts, helping steer him to Los Angeles.

Adding Bronny in the offseason would help them in their free agency plans, which are sure to include trying to add a third star. Adding a third star via trade is contingent on them keeping LeBron, however, and the best way to do that is to try to land Bronny.