The latest Lakers rumors on LeBron James, Jarred Vanderbilt and D’Angelo Russell

As free agency approaches, rumors about LeBron James, D’Angelo Russell, and Jarred Vanderbilt are ramping up.

As a free agent, LeBron will play the role of a bystander

It’s always unclear what role LeBron James, Rich Paul and Klutch Sports play in the Lakers’ roster moves, particularly in free agency.

In the summer, though, LeBron will take a back seat…at least that’s what he says.

The return of Jarred Vanderbilt

It is reported that Jarred Vanderbilt will return to the Lakers next season in the least surprising report heading into the offseason. Since his contract wasn’t guaranteed next season, the Lakers will pick up his option to ensure he returns after a strong performance in the second half of the season.

The Lakers plan to exercise the $4.7 million team option for Jarred Vanderbilt for next season. The 24-year-old forward will be eligible for a contract extension worth up to 4 years and $71 million starting Sept. 7.

At just $4.7 million, Vanderbilt is on one hell of a deal for one more season, which might put pressure on the Lakers to maximize things this season before he’s due for a big raise next year.

Will D’Angelo Russell stay in purple and gold?

As restricted free agents, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura are under the Lakers’ control. D’Angelo Russell, however, is not. The Lakers won’t be able to match any big offer he receives, but that doesn’t sound likely.

The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reports that D’Lo may return soon.

Depending on the Lakers’ track record and free agency, that could always change. The Athletic previously reported that the organization was planning to re-sign restricted free agents Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura and unrestricted free agent D’Angelo Russell, according to public and private reports.

The market for Russell is not very strong due to his playoff struggles and the fact that teams do not have cap space. This results in a market that the Lakers could take advantage of, potentially adding another big weapon via free agency.