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Could LeBron James leave the LA Lakers after they failed to qualify for the NBA Playoffs? What has he said about his future plans?

After clinching the 2019/20 NBA title, the LA Lakers have slipped back to not even qualifying for the end of season fun in 2021/22.

Injuries and bad form under coach Frank Vogel had the Lakers at 33-49 for the season, and 11th in the Western Conference.

Vogel has paid with his job as they seek to rebuild for 2022/23 – but will star player James still be part of the team?

Is LeBron James leaving the LA Lakers – and what has he said about his future career plans – including retirement?

As it stands, James only has one year left on his contract with the Lakers.

Ahead of the disastrous 2021/22 season, he penned fresh two-year deal with the Lakers – worth about $85.6 million, as per Sportrac.

Unless he intends to stick around on the west coast of the United States, he will be a free agent in just over 12 months’ time and able to speak with other franchises.

James, who joined the Lakers in 2018 from the Cleveland Cavaliers issued a promise on social media as the NBA Playoffs began regarding his future.

“I can/will NOT miss the post-season again in my career,” he tweeted – having missed it for the fourth time.

Two of those have been with the Lakers in 2018/19 and 2021/22 with him also missing from 2003/04 and 2004/05 with the Cavs.

As of April 2022, LeBron James has not announced his intention to leave the LA Lakers – although he has not publicly indicated he intends to stay, either.

However, his agent Rich Paul has rubbished claims he would leave the Lakers – saying his client wanted to make the team better and stronger, as per NBC Sports.

There is however one thing that is certain about LeBron James’ future career, whether he decides to leave the LA Lakers or not.

He has made it clear his intention is to play alongside his son Bronny in the NBA before he retires.

LeBron is 37, while Bronny is 17.

He will be eligible for the NBA draft in 2024 – at which point LeBron has said money will not be an issue and will play for whichever team has drafted Bronny.

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