LeBron James is one of the greatest NBA players of all time, and his longevity is unprecedented. The King has played 19 straight seasons at an elite level, never averaging under 20 PPG. A 6’8” powerhouse with the greatest all-around skill set ever, James is doing things nobody could have ever expected. There is no wonder why James is deeply involved in the GOAT debate, a conversation that includes Michael Jordan and Bill Russell among others. LeBron is simply a one-of-a-kind athlete, and his resume will likely stand the test of time.
But at age 37 in year 19, conversation about LeBron riding off into the sunset is also becoming common. After all, how long can James keep this level of play going in the best league in the world? The King looks to be in tremendous shape and he looks like he can play for another few years at least. Why would anyone bet against him? The only person in LeBron’s way is LeBron himself because the 4-time NBA champion seems to be evading father time better than anyone else in basketball history. But the biggest driving factor in LeBron continuing to play the game is his desire to play with his son, Bronny James.
Bronny is eligible to be drafted into the NBA by 2024, and LeBron plans to stick around until then. The King has mentioned that he will do whatever it takes to play with his son for a year, meaning the 2025 season could be the final time we see The King on the court. We have seen LeBron move teams multiple times in his career, and we could be due for one more move as he joins his son in one of these 5 most realistic destinations.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Potential Superteam: LeBron James, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Bronny James
The Oklahoma City Thunder will be among the teams grabbing top draft picks over the next few years at the very least, because they have accumulated an incredible amount of first-round picks. If there is one team that has the most chance of grabbing Bronny James in the draft, it will be the OKC Thunder. The franchise is known for finding a way to select players with potential and based on what we have seen from Bronny until this point, it certainly makes sense that The King’s son is selected.
That means LeBron James will join his son with the Thunder. While championship expectations will be hard to tell at this point, it would certainly be amazing to see OKC finally make it to the Finals again for the first time since 2012. The franchise has seen the likes of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Paul George all play for the franchise; but none were able to deliver the coveted NBA title. With a rookie Bronny and a King well into his 40’s joining Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, Thunder fans could be in for an interesting season just a few years from now.
Potential Superteam: LeBron James, LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Bronny James
Michael Jordan is certainly not afraid of drafting high-profile “celebrity” rookies, as he did with All-Star LaMelo Ball. LaMelo was the most marketed rookie in the 2020 Draft, mainly because of LaVar Ball, and he has certainly brought some excitement to Charlotte after years of mediocrity. For the first time in a very long time, the Hornets have a potential superstar point guard on their hands. It is very fitting to imagine that Michael Jordan and the Hornets select Bronny James in the draft, while also attracting LeBron James to their squad.
LeBron has often mentioned how the original #23 is his idol and a possible combination between them would break news outlets everywhere. After all, why would #23 reject the chance to play for #23’s team? James has built his own resume separate from anyone else, but it is obvious that Michael Jordan has influenced his career in every way. A team consisting of LaMelo Ball, LeBron James, and Bronny James would be possibly the most exciting team to ever happen to Charlotte Hornets fans. In terms of storylines, having LeBron James retire with Michael Jordan’s team would be epic to say the very least.
Potential Superteam: Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, LeBron James, Bronny James
LeBron James was and will always forever be fond of the Miami Heat. After all, the Heat was the franchise that helped James win his first NBA title after years of coming up short. Miami is also one of the best destinations for superstars because the city is built on leisure activities and an attractive lifestyle. For a superstar of LeBron’s magnitude, it only makes sense for The King to return to the city that changed his basketball life forever. By 2024 and 2025, it is likely that both Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will be on the roster, meaning the roster will be well-built for Bronny James and LeBron James to join.
We will not know where Bronny will land in the rankings, but if Miami find a way to select the young man, they could also welcome the return of future Hall of Famer LeBron James. With a talented roster intact and some massive names coming in, LeBron could find a way to win his 5th championship before he rides off into the sunset. Even if legendary executive Pat Riley was frustrated by LeBron’s exit in 2015, there is no way he would not welcome the return of The King for another go-around. James brought two championships to the city of Miami and winning a third one would be the perfect way to cap off a legendary career.
Los Angeles Lakers
Potential Superteam: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Bronny James
It is still logical that LeBron James stays in Los Angeles by 2024 because it makes sense on almost every front. For one, being in Los Angeles is the best way for The King to continue to take care of his off-court endeavors. Being in the center of Hollywood makes a ton of sense for LeBron, a man who is never afraid of the spotlight. Not to mention, the Lakers roster will be built for the King’s son. Russell Westbrook will be off the books by 2024, and Anthony Davis will still be close to his prime or traded for another star by that time. The Lakers are a mess right now, but they will be in a better position in just a few years, especially if Davis can return to full health or be dangled in the trade market for another All-Star.
Los Angeles always find a way to make deals that suit them and could be able to acquire the draft picks necessary to place themselves in a position to draft Bronny James. Having The King and The King’s son together in Los Angeles would be incredible for media members and the NBA in general. The Lakers are the greatest team for celebrity athletes, and stars always find their way to the Purple and Gold in one way or another. If the Lakers can find a way to select Bronny in the draft, LeBron James could be very happy to finish off his career with one of the greatest franchises in sports history.
Potential Superteam: Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, LeBron James, Evan Mobley, Collin Sexton, Bronny James
By far the most likely and acceptable destination for LeBron and Bronny to play together is in Cleveland. The Cavaliers are an extremely talented team, having placed themselves in top-4 seeding in the Eastern Conference in 2022. In just a few years, the likes of Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen will be forces in the conference alongside Collin Sexton and Evan Mobley. If Cleveland find a way to place themselves in a position to draft Bronny, the Cavaliers could be welcoming the third return of their hero, LeBron James.
The King was the only man to deliver an NBA title to the city of Cleveland, and Cavaliers fans would love to welcome their savior back for another run. With Garland, Allen, Sexton, and Mobley most likely on the roster; James could also find himself on the most talented team in his career. Especially with his son on the roster, LeBron could cap off his career with his hometown team that took him No. 1 overall in the 2003 Draft. If there is a way to have a storybook ending to a superhero figure like LeBron James, it would make perfect sense for Bronny to join his father in Cleveland, especially if it results in an NBA title.