When Will LeBron James Return for The Struggling Los Angeles Lakers?

Published 04/30/2021, 4:11 AM EDT
Apr 22, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers injured forward LeBron James (23) yells during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled massively this season. The defending NBA champions started the season off strong and held the first seed in the West at one point. However, injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis left them without their two best players. While Davis has just made his return, he is looking rusty, and the Lakers haven’t been the better for it. So when can we see his All-Star teammate LeBron James return?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Is LeBron James on his way back?

Reports emerged last week that LeBron James was very close to a return after a high ankle sprain. James was sidelined in early March after the All-Star break. And now, the reports are suggesting that LeBron will return sometime in the next week. The Lakers are scheduled to take on the Sacramento Kings tonight. And barring any major change in status, LeBron will sit out the game.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Then the Lakers face the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night. That could be the first opportunity for LeBron James to make an appearance. However, the Lakers have shown great patience and restraint with Anthony Davis, and will probably do the same with LeBron James. He could take part in the game against the Raptors off the bench with a minutes restriction going forward.

Mar 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) is helped up by Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews (9) and Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) after injuring his leg in the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
DIVE DEEPER

Richard Jefferson Reveals Confrontation Between LeBron James and Coach Tyronne Lue During 2016 NBA Finals

12 days ago

However, James is a highly motivated player and will want to start. So his best opportunity is probably the Lakers’ game against the Nuggets. Their showdown against Denver will be the second of a back-t0-back. So James could get valuable minutes against the team they will most likely face in the first round. Furthermore, he could give rest to players like Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris, who will play fewer minutes after playing big minutes against Toronto.

LBJ needs to boost the Lakers

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Lakers will want to get LeBron James and Anthony Davis at least two or three games to get their reps together. Furthermore, the duo has to build chemistry with Andre Drummond. The Lakers’ final stretch of the season is a must-win. But the Lakers will face a difficult stretch in the next week when they face the Nuggets, the Clippers, and the Trail Blazers.

Mar 2, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts against the Phoenix Suns during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
DIVE DEEPER

Former NBA Champion Picks Kyrie Irving to Take Last Shot Ahead of LeBron James and Steph Curry

12 days ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Can LeBron James spur the Lakers in their final stretch of the season? He needs to be able to get his form back and rebuild chemistry with his teammates. Furthermore, he will have to build a relationship with Andre Drummond. If the trio of James, AD, and Drummond can develop a strong relationship over the next 10 games, then the Lakers will be a very strong contender in the West.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1181 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT