LeBron James already has a firm spot in the basketball history books in a myriad of categories, but his exact placement is becoming more clear.
As he enters his second year with the Los Angeles Lakers, the 34-year-old star — who will be paired with friend and new Laker Anthony Davis — has some significant milestones he can hit quite quickly.
James likely will reach these during the 2019-20 season if he produces similar statistics to his injury-shortened season last year.
Current total: 32,543 (fourth all-time)
Potential rank this season: Third
James has led the NBA in points per game (2007-08) and total scoring (2017-18) once. He has twice averaged at least 30 points per game. He has also averaged at least 25 points per game each season of his career since his second in the league, a remarkable display of consistency and exceptional talent. After passing Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Jordan, he now needs just 1,101 points to surpass Kobe Bryant for the third spot on the all-time scoring list.
Current total: 1,727 (19th all-time)
Potential rank this season: 14th
Last season, James recorded his career-high for 3-pointers attempted per game (5.9). It was the first time in his career that he connected on at least two 3-pointers per contest. During his final year in his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he made a career-high 149 field goals from beyond the arc. He has been more reliant on taking deep 3-pointers. So if he is able to produce at a similar rate he may pass the following players in total 3-pointers: Peja Stojaković, Rashard Lewis, Klay Thompson, Bryant and Chauncey Billups.
Current total: 8,662 (10th all-time)
Potential rank this season: Eighth
Without point guard Lonzo Ball on the roster, James projects to potentially have a career-best in assists per game. James has had four seasons with eight assists or more per game, including each of his three most recent campaigns. He will likely pass Gary Payton as well as Isiah Thomas.
Current total: 1,937 (16th all-time)
Potential rank this season: 11th
James ranks No. 2 overall among all active players in career steals, behind Chris Paul. He also has the most steals recorded during the postseason. But James’ defensive effort has been widely criticized in recent years.
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Current total: 46,234 (15th all-time)
Potential rank this season: Seventh
He ranks No. 1 overall in minutes played in the postseason and is the only player to ever record 10,000 minutes in the playoffs. Last year, he was on the court less than any other season in his career, averaging 35.2 minutes per game and playing in just 55 contests. Even if he is slowing down, he may pass an esteemed group of players who rank ahead of him in career minutes, including Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain and Tim Duncan,