Much has been discussed recently about the future of Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, and whether he should stay in L.A., look for a new team, or try to play with his son Bronny James Jr., currently playing for USC.

The 39-year-old has still been performing like a top player in the league, but the team’s record and lack of recent success could be the reason he eventually leaves the team he secured his fourth championship with.

“I don’t have the answer to how long it is, or which uniform I’ll be in [when I retire],” James said. “Hopefully it is the Lakers, it is a great organization, so many greats. I don’t know how it’s going to end, but it’s coming. It’s coming for sure.”

James is currently signed to make $47 million this year, with the ability to pick up a one-year option for next year worth $51 million. Though he is the oldest player in the NBA, rumors say that he will be asking for a multi-year deal in the form of nine digits, or at least $100 million.

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“First off, I think LeBron is angling to sign a multi-year deal in the offseason with the Lakers that will be nine figures. That will be even bigger than the deal he is on now,” Brian Windhorst said on ESPN’s First Take. “Now, whether or not he’s able to finish that deal, whether or not the Lakers want to give him a three-year contract and pay him $60 million when he’s 42 years old, that’s a different discussion.”

James has made more money off his contracts than anyone else in the league, collecting $390 million over his 19-year career. While being the third highest paid player annually today, a contract extension would tie the Lakers to putting together a championship-caliber team in James’ final years. As time goes on the pressure to win only seems to get larger and larger for James, who is still ultimately chasing Michael Jordan‘s crown of six championships and six Finals MVPs.

In recent years, James has also discussed playing with his son in the NBA, but recent Mock Drafts don’t have Bronny as being selected his year, potentially putting a wrench in James’ plans for the first father-son duo in league history. He was also recently rumored to be in trade talks with the Golden State Warriors, but with his strong influence within the Lakers organization, a move never materialized.

Los Angeles can offer James more money than other teams because of his time already spent with them, but that doesn’t tie him down to the Lakers just yet. In the past James has made groundbreaking moves during the offseason, like his joining of the Miami Heat in 2010 and his move to the Lakers in 2018. While his options will still be open, L.A. general manager Rob Pelinka and the team believe they can get a deal done.

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently 10th in the Western Conference standings at three games over .500. With the pressure growing to put together a championship contender, the success of the Lakers this season could spell out James’ future with the team.

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