LeBron James odds to retire: What's next for the King?
After being eliminated in the Western Conference finals, LeBron James said he's "got a lot to think about" regarding his future in the NBA. Photo by Ashley Landis/AP.

Have we seen the last of LeBron James in the NBA?

The latest: For 20 Hall-of-Fame seasons, James has captivated the league while winning four titles and four MVPs. After he and the Los Angeles Lakers were swept in the Western Conference finals, LeBron confirmed to ESPN that he will consider retirement this offseason.

Check out our latest LeBron odds to retire market as he mulls his options for the 2023-24 NBA season.

LeBron odds to retire

Check out the latest odds for whether LeBron James will retire prior to the start of next season. Click linked odds below to add selection to your betslip.

LeBron to retireOdds

NBA odds as of 2:00 p.m. ET on 05/24/2023.

LeBron retirement odds

Yes (+1,400)

In his postgame press conference after the Lakers' Game 4 loss, LeBron's cryptic hint at retirement was delivered like this: "Going forward with the game of basketball, I've got a lot to think about."

ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin caught up with LeBron afterward, and when asked directly if he would walk away from the NBA the power forward said, "I got to think about it."

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That type of open-ended language is perfect kindling for a firestorm of speculation in the coming months. For now, let's just break down what we know.

LeBron, 38, is under contract with the Lakers for the coming season (and he has a player option for 2024-25). Spotrac estimates that he'll earn $46.9 million in the coming campaign, which would be the highest salary in the NBA.

With over $400 million in career earnings in the NBA — not to mention his Forbes-certified status as a billionaire — LeBron is probably willing to part with next year's salary if he does opt to retire.

From a performance standpoint, it seems like LeBron still has plenty left to give. He averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists this season and played almost 40 minutes per game in the playoffs.

Based on these 14-to-1 odds, it's clear that most expect him to return for a 21st season.

Why LeBron might retire

While we're here, let's spin one theory about LeBron's possible retirement, shall we?

One option is for LeBron to retire in 2023-24 as a form of extended rest before returning a year later — just in time for his son, Bronny, to be eligible for the NBA Draft.

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Bronny is committed to USC for the coming college season, and it's certainly possible that the four-star guard will do a one-and-done route to the pros.

LeBron has stated in the past that he hopes to play long enough to share an NBA court with his son, and a one-year sabbatical could help with that goal.

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