Jalen Rose on LeBron James: Lakers 'Know He Ain't Leaving Now' amid Contract Rumors

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 4, 2022

LeBron James (Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former NBA forward Jalen Rose is confident LeBron James will sign a contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers for reasons beyond basketball.

Rose explained his view of James' situation Wednesday on ESPN's NBA Today (3:15 mark of video).

"They know he ain't leaving now. So it don't even matter what happens with the contract. They know they got the house out here, the wife out here, they know the kids out here," Rose said. "We always think about it as LeBron James the superstar, not always LeBron James the father, the dad, the human being. I don't think he's gonna necessarily wanna uproot his family to go play somewhere else."

LeBron is entering the final season of his current contract, and he's now eligible to sign a two-year extension worth around $97 million, per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.

While James and his family have established roots in L.A. since he signed with the Lakers in 2018, and he's made inroads in Hollywood along the way, the 37-year-old four-time NBA MVP hasn't talked like the franchise is a lock as his final basketball destination.

In February, the 18-time All-Star told Jason Lloyd of The Athletic he was open to a third stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"The door's not closed on that," James said. "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 confirmed to Lloyd an expectation he'll finish his NBA career alongside his oldest son, Bronny James, who's first eligible for the NBA draft in 2024.

"My last year will be played with my son," James said. "Wherever Bronny is at, that's where I'll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It's not about the money at that point."

Meanwhile, the four-time NBA champion named the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry as the active player he'd most like to team up with when asked on HBO's The Shop in April.

The Lakers' offseason has also been a bit underwhelming as they've been unable to complete any blockbuster moves coming off a playoff-less 33-49 campaign.

An inability to find a trade partner for point guard Russell Westbrook has hampered the front office's efforts to reshape the roster around James and Anthony Davis.

None of that is to say LeBron won't re-sign with the Lakers for two more years. That would give him time to receive more clarity on Bronny's NBA outlook without having to move the family next summer.

Whether he'll re-sign quickly or wait to see how the rest of L.A.'s offseason goes before making a decision is the key question at this stage.

So far, there's been no indication an agreement is imminent.


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