2022 season review: Will LeBron James stick with the Lakers for longer?

Welcome to our annual website Lakers The season is in the review series, where we’ll look at each player on the team’s roster this season, assess their play, and decide if they should be part of the organization’s future. Today, we’re taking a closer look at LeBron James.

Everyone was waiting for Father Time to finally catch up with LeBron James, forcing him to retire so he would stop hitting all 29 other teams in the league. So it stimulated This funny and now viral Tweet is from 2015where a Warriors fan thanked the man upstairs that LeBron was 30 and his level of performance at that point couldn’t “last much longer”.

teller: Last longer.

LeBron has turned 37 this season, and while the stats keep jumping off his basketball reference page, his advancing age Act They appear in various ways during the 2021-22 campaign.

Those different methods were part of the reason why the team didn’t make the playoffs or even playBut instead of going back to the blame game we fans (and the team) have played so much all season, let’s review King’s 19th year, a campaign that featured some of his classic prowess on and off the field.

How do you play?

LeBron averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists during the 2021-22 season. He made 52.4% of his field goals, the highest mark since becoming Lacker. The most impressive thing is that 30.3 points per game She is the second-highest number of points he has scored in a season, which is just under the 31.4 PPG during the 2005-06 Cavaliers season.

LeBron’s stunning output has seen him score in the league title competition, allowing him to rival the likes of Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo for the lead, providing We’re cheering for the Lakers and it’s something they’re thrilled to head toward the end of the season, even as the team’s chances of making the post-season dwindle in every game.

Unfortunately, LeBron failed to make the 58 qualifiers that would have officially put him in the title race, but either way, Embiid ended up besting him by 30.6 PPG.. It would have been LeBron’s second title to score since the 2007-08 season, when he averaged 30 PPG.

LeBron came close to that qualification, playing in 56 games that culminated in his closing in the last two games of the season due to a right ankle sprain. That total brings him to 101 out of 154 regular season games over the past two seasons, easily the highest percentage of games lost (35%) across two campaigns for LeBron since it was drafted in 2003.

LeBron, as Anthony Davis did, could amount to a bad thing Luck, as the sprained ankles he suffered this season and last season only happened due to a player’s foot hurting under him while he was landing. These situations could cause an ankle sprain for anyone, whether it’s the middle-aged guy at the local gym or the 18-year-old LeBron James who just got out of Akron, Ohio.

However, a sprained ankle wasn’t the only injury LeBron suffered, as he also had knee pain that first appeared after the January 25 win over the Nets, with no notable moment causing it. He missed five games after that win, with that pain keeping LeBron’s injury report questionable (despite playing nearly always) for the majority of the remaining season.

This injury – as well as his thigh injury in the 2018-2019 season – shows that LeBron’s injury isn’t just about luck. It’s that damned, already mentioned Father Time too, apparently heeding the call above to stop the f—ery at last. The erosion of the playing center may not have helped this season either, as the LeBron 5 has played a lot this year, due to AD injuries and other terrible big man options on the roster.

His age, those injuries and the team’s overall low level of success have caused LeBron to be a little angry this season, as he’s also likely hit the high end pointing fingers on the field and yelling at teammates. The frustration also seemed to cause LeBron’s defensive efforts to decline, as he regularly stared at open 3-point shooters rather than closed.

LeBron’s frustrations manifested on the field against several of his teammates, but most notably against a particular player in Russell Westbrook. This did not go unnoticed by his teammates, as players were generally reported to have been “disturbed by how regular James’ shoulders were and how his head would droop after missed chances to score or defend.”

However, while defense hasn’t been around this year, LeBron has to pick his fights at that end of the field as he gets older. Given that he might have seen how bad this team was as we did… he saved those fights for later.

But nonetheless and the harsh reality of his health deteriorating in recent years on the side, this solo season for LeBron has been so successful due to the fact that he has shown that he can still contribute to a team with the very best of the best. in the NBA. He just needs a little more help from his teammates for it to matter.

What is the state of his future contract?

LeBron has one season left on the two-year, $85 million extension that he signed in December 2020. This means he could leave Hollywood in 2023, however, a two-year extension will be available to be signed between the Lakers and LeBron on August 1. 4.

Photo by Tyler Kaufman/NBAE via Getty Images

Should he come back?

According to a certain man who gets paid to shout on ESPN at break of dawn, the Lakers should replace him this summer. But while Jenny Boss and Lakers can Do this if he does not want to sign this extension Because trade can allow them to collect some assets in exchange for his services instead of letting him walk for nothing I’m not sure if the Lakers want to be the first franchisee to ever trade LeBron James, given what kind of message it would send to future superstars they would like to woo.

Either way, the idea doesn’t seem to have been entertained by the team, with The Athletic’s Sam Amick recently reporting that even a “no” from LeBron on the extension wouldn’t make Buss consider trading it.

So, will LeBron return next season? I would say it’s 99%, probably 95% certain. But that percentage drops a lot, much lower for the 2023-24 campaign. It has also been reported by Amick since the season ended that “James is clearly considering taking this contract rather than signing a two-year extension,” even if others have made it clear he’s not really considering leaving soon.

But earlier, it was reported that LeBron is still close to the peak of his powers in court. And Amick’s report is the latest indication that James’s sword is still sharp off hardwood as well, something he featured in full over the weekend of the 2022 NBA All-Star, where LeBron gave interviews that included comments like…

  • “The door is not closed on that” regarding the possibility of playing for the Cleveland team for the third time.
  • It’s not a question of “if”, but “when” he will play son Bronny James in the NBA (Bronny is eligible to enlist in 2024).
  • Random Thunder GM praised Sam Presti not long after his frustration with Rob Pelinka for not using a first-round pick to improve the team in the 2022 trade deadline.

This kind of aggressive, inactive off-pitch politics has become a hallmark of LeBron throughout his career, but he has never raised his ugly head during his time with the Purple and Gold until this season.

Its timing can’t be coincidental, with a (most likely) two-year extension on the table, and his son’s looming rehabilitation in two years.

So we’re going to have another year of watching LeBron James in the Lakers’ uniform. Also, bar injuries, he is likely to pass him on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most points scored in his NBA career. However, it is hoped that the 2022-23 season will not be just a year to admire the individual and cumulative greatness of the King.

Hopefully, the leave process – with the free agency starting two days before LeBron is due to sign this extension – will be productive enough for the team to realistically return to contention for the championship. And if it doesn’t, LeBron may reject that extension.

And if that happens… well… get ready for a season that could be even more dramatic than the previous one.

for more Lakers Speak up, subscribe to the silver screen broadcast feed and roll ItunesAnd spotifyAnd Stitcher or google podcast. You can follow Donny on Twitter at Tweet embed

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: