LeBron James has at most two seasons left with the Los Angeles Lakers, but that’s not guaranteed. “King James” can choose to part ways with the Californians after the 2023-24 season.
If that happens, Los Angeles will have to hit free agency in 2024 and be determined to sign a star to fill LeBron’s “big hole” with the Lakers. This task is not easy at all. However, there are three players who will be looking for new teams next offseason and could be a good solution for the Californians.
If the Lakers are looking for a player with characteristics similar to LeBron James to replace him, it would be DeMar DeRozan. It’s clear that the forward is a few steps below ‘King James’, but in the past he has proven to be a player who creates options for himself and his teammates.
DeRozan averaged 6.2 assists per game during his three seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, a team that demands to move the ball and share the spotlight on offense. In the last game, the Californian averaged 24.5 points per game and shot 50.4% from the field, which is not an unpleasant number when you consider that DeRozan is an excellent defender.
Starting next season, current Chicago Bulls player salaries should be less than $25 million. This will allow the Lakers to pursue other quality players in the free agent market, which is another important reason to sign DeRozan.