Woj: LeBron James playing with his son in the NBA not a priority anymore

After getting knocked out of the NBA playoffs in Game 5 of their first-round series against the Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Lakers are entering a pivotal and uncertain offseason.

There are several big dominoes to fall as far as how things will shake out for them, but by far the biggest is what happens with LeBron James. He has a player option for next season he can turn down in order to become a free agent this summer, and many expect him to do just that.

There has been lots of talk, which has been fueled by James himself, that he wants to play on the same NBA team as his son Bronny James. The younger James has made himself eligible for June’s draft, and there has been speculation that his father may use that as leverage to choose his next team.

But per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the two teaming up is no longer a priority (at 2:25).

“In my conversations with Rich Paul, who obviously represents LeBron James but will also represent Bronny James, is that the idea of them playing together is not a priority. It’s not foremost, at least any longer, in LeBron James’ mind. Rich Paul’s goal here in the pre-draft process for Bronny James is to see if there’s the right developmental system, organization, a place that can take a young player like Bronny James, who went five months without playing after his heart episode, certainty limited him in his season at USC.”

The younger James struggled as a freshman at the University of Southern California this season. There is a feeling that he’s not ready for the NBA, and he has also entered the transfer portal, which has given him the option of staying in college but playing for a different program if he wishes.

The Lakers will have the No. 17 pick this year if the New Orleans Pelicans take their first-rounder next year instead of this year, per the terms of 2019’s Anthony Davis trade. They will also have the No. 55 pick. Wojnarowski said L.A. won’t use its first-rounder, if it has one this year, on the younger James, and he could be off the board before pick No. 55.

The journalist also delivered some news that will be music to Lakers fans, or at least for those who want the elder James to stick around.

“We all know in all likelihood he’s back with the Lakers,” Wojnarowski said of James. “It will just depend on what is the structure of a deal — two years, three years, perhaps after he opts out.”

The 39-year-old has until June 29 to decide whether he will, indeed, opt out of his contract and become a free agent once the new league year starts shortly afterward.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire