The Los Angeles Lakers have officially hired JJ Redick as their new head coach, solving one of the bigger issues facing the team heading into the offseason. But now the attention shifts to the team's roster and specifically, what will happen with LeBron James.

James, who hosted a podcast with his new head coach this season, has a decision he must make soon. He has to either accept or decline a player option by June 29. If he accepts, James would make $51.4 million this year and become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. If he declines, which he is expected to do, James would hit unrestricted free agency this offseason, shortly after his son Bronny James finds out his fate in the NBA Draft.

While LeBron can still make whatever decision he would like, it seems the Lakers are determined to keep him around. According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the Lakers plan to offer LeBron as much money as they can.

“James has until June 29 to opt in to the final year of his contract with the Lakers or become an unrestricted free agent,” McMenamin wrote. “L.A. is committed to re-signing James and would offer the maximum three-year deal for which James is eligible to take him through his 24th season in the league, sources told ESPN.”

A max contract for James, due to the over-38 rule in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, would be limited to three years. Since James made $47.6 million this past season, if he were to opt out and re-sign with the Lakers, he would make whichever is greater between 35% of the NBA's salary cap or 5% more than his previous year's salary. Since the salary cap is projected to be about $141 million, James, if he re-signed with L.A., would receive the raise on his 2023-24 salary and ink a deal worth about $162 million over three years.

Lakers' big offseason continues

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) reacts with forward LeBron James (23) during the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Over the six seasons LeBron James has spent with the Los Angeles Lakers, there have been some major ups and major downs. After a tumultuous first season in L.A., James, with his new running partner Anthony Davis, led the Lakers to the 2020 NBA Championship. Since then, things have not gone smoothly, however.

The Lakers, dealing with multiple injuries, lost to the Phoenix Suns in the first round in the following year's playoffs. In 2023, the Lakers salvaged what seemed to be a lost season after an ill-fated trade for Russell Westbrook by shipping out Westbrook at the trade deadline and making it to the Western Conference Finals. This year, the team won the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament and posted a better record than in 2023 but found themselves on the losing end vs. the Denver Nuggets in the first round.

After the season, the Lakers fired head coach Darvin Ham, who had been with the team for two years, and began a search that seemed destined to end with JJ Redick being named the team's head coach. And while that was ultimately the case, the team briefly seemed to chase UConn basketball coach Dan Hurley after the two-time national championship-winning coach flirted with the idea of leaving college basketball.

Now, with Redick as head coach, the Lakers will have to retool a roster that showed obvious shortcomings throughout a frustrating 2023-24 season. LeBron's contract situation will be watched closely, as well as if the team pulls the trigger on drafting Bronny James, who is projected to be a late second-round pick, if he is drafted at all.