Shams: LeBron James Plans on Staying with Lakers for 'Foreseeable Future'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 23, 2022

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 20: LeBron James #6 of Team LeBron looks on against Team Durant during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 20, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
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There was plenty of discussion over All-Star Weekend about whether LeBron James will eventually return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he reportedly is in no hurry to leave the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium appeared on Wednesday's episode of the Pat McAfee Show and reported, "I personally don't see a scenario where LeBron James is bolting from the Lakers to the Cavs. ... From everything I've been told his plan is to be a Laker for the foreseeable future."

While James is under contract with the Lakers through the 2022-23 campaign, his future with the team remains a headline topic as the Purple and Gold struggle this season.

"The door's not closed on that," James told Jason Lloyd of The Athletic when talking about a potential return to Cleveland. "I'm not saying I'm coming back and playing, I don't know. I don't know what my future holds. I don't even know when I'm free."

He also stressed how important it is to eventually play with his son, Bronny, who will be eligible for the 2024 NBA draft.

The King will forever be a legend in Cleveland after leading the Cavaliers to five different NBA Finals over his two different stints with the team that drafted him, including when they won the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

However, Cleveland has built a young contender in the Eastern Conference, and insider Marc Stein reported the team might not "jump" at the opportunity to bring him back at this stage.

Then there is James' relationship with the Lakers, which has reportedly soured since they won the 2019-20 title inside the Walt Disney World Resort bubble. Bill Oram of The Athletic reported James' camp is not happy that general manager Rob Pelinka remained idle at the trade deadline even among the team's struggles.

"The situation is tense enough that one source close to the Lakers likened it to the early days of a war," Oram reported. 

Yet the report also cites sources who said LeBron has held more power within the organization than even Kobe Bryant did and was a driving factor in the acquisition of Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

The Davis trade helped Los Angeles win the championship in 2020, but the Westbrook acquisition has largely been a failure to this point. The Lakers are 27-31 this season and sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference standings.

They could be well on their way to a play-in tournament spot and perhaps an early postseason exit, so James' future figures to remain a major talking point.