NBA insider Marc Stein reports that LeBron James is "extremely happy" in Los Angeles even after the Lakers' very disappointing 2021/22 season. The Lakers, who were considered among top favorites for the title before the start of last season, finished with a 33-49 record and didn't even make the playoffs.
After the season ended, James gave no indication that his desire was to leave Los Angeles. “Sources briefed on the matter stress that James is extremely happy in Los Angeles despite the Lakers’ back-to-back rocky seasons,” NBA insider Stein wrote.
“He and his family, by all accounts, have grown increasingly entrenched in Southern California since James signed with the Lakers in the summer of 2018”. James has one year remaining on his current contract with the Lakers.
If the Lakers and James don't reach an agreement on an extension in the next couple of months, James could become a free agent next summer. Brian Windhorst, an NBA insider who works for ESPN, also reported that James is giving no indication that he wants to leave Los Angeles.
NBA insiders feels James wants to stay in Los Angeles
“I don’t sense that LeBron wants to leave the Lakers,” Windhorst said on ESPN Daily. “But I would be remiss to not point out that the Cavs have positioned themselves to have huge salary cap space next summer when LeBron could potentially be a free agent and they have this growing young team.
In fact, the team that they have right now is more potent than the team that they had that he returned to in 2014”. James badly wanted the Lakers to acquire Russell Westbrook and the team granted him his wish. But no one could have predicted that the Lakers would look so bad with James, Westbrook and Anthony Davis.
This offseason, some of the reports that surfaced suggested that there was certain level of anymosity between James and Westbrook. James reportedly wants the Lakers to trade for Kyrie Irving and Westbrook is not happy about James pushing for the Lakers to replace him.
Addressing those reports, another NBA insider Chris Haynes revealed that the Lakers set up a phone conversation between James, Westbrook and Davis. The three stars reportedly expressed commitment to one another, promising they would do their best to make it work. On paper, James, Westbrook and Davis still pose one of the top trios on the league.