LeBron James’ family will be a central factor in his offseason decision.
“I have no idea at this point. The one thing that I’ve always done is consider my family, understanding especially where my boys are at this point in their age,” LeBron said after Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
“They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. I got a teenage boy, a pre-teen, and a little girl right now that wasn’t around as well. So sitting down and considering everything, my family is a huge part of whatever I’ve decided to do in my career, and they’ll continue to be that. So I don’t have an answer for you right now as far as that.”
Which means a report about LeBron’s oldest son could be a huge clue regarding his free agency destination.
LeBron James Jr. will “likely” enroll at Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles this summer, according to TMZ.
Just breathe, Lakers fans.
But this is far from a guarantee.
In fact, according to a report from three of ESPN’s most plugged-in reporters, LeBron’s joining the Lakers this offseason is tied to the team’s ability to land Kawhi Leonard in a trade and Paul George in free agency.
Both scenarios seem to be gaining steam, but they’re far from sure things.
For that reason, I wouldn’t write off LeBron’s opting into the final year of his contract to stay in Cleveland. Or to facilitate a trade to a team more prepared for success in 2018-19, like the Rockets.
Like Gary Payton, who weeks ago said Bronny had “committed” to Sierra Canyon, TMZ failed to mention when LeBron’s offspring would attend the California school. He’s going into eighth grade this spring, and Sierra Canyon has a separate high school campus nearby.
Maybe the James family doesn’t plan on moving to Los Angeles until a year from now.
Or maybe, if the Lakers strike out on Leonard and George this summer, LeBron is prepared to be away from his family for just one season.
Because the summer of 2019 will offer its own set of high-profile free agents, including Leonard and Klay Thompson.
If TMZ’s report is to be believed, it doesn’t ensure that LeBron will join the Lakers in 2018. But it does make it look like they’ll land him this year or the next.