Three-time NBA champion LeBron James has a firm spot in the basketball history books and his exact placement is becoming more clear.
As he enters his second year with the Los Angeles Lakers, the 34-year-old star has some significant milestones he can hit rather quickly.
Here are some of the most significant updates on his legacy that James will likely reach in 2019-20 if he produces similar stats to what he put up last season for the Lakers.
Current total: 46,235 (15th all-time)
Potential rank this season: 7th
James already has played over 46,000 regular-season minutes during his NBA career. 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 (35.2 mpg) less often than any other season in his career. It was also the first time he did not reach 2,000 minutes in a season. Even if he is slowing down with his playing time, he may pass a motley crew of players who rank ahead of him in career minutes: Ray Allen, John Havlicek, Gary Payton, Tim Duncan, Reggie Miller, John Stockton, Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant.
Current total: 1,727 (19th all-time)
Potential rank this season: 14th
Last season, James recorded his career-high (5.9) for three-pointers attempted per game. It was the first time in his NBA career that he connected on at least two three-pointers per contest. During his final year in his second stint with the Cavaliers, he made a career-high 149 field goals from beyond the arc. He has been more reliant on taking deep three-pointers, as explained here. So if he is able to produce at a similar rate next year, he may pass the following players in total three-pointers: Peja Stojaković, Rashard Lewis, Klay Thompson, Kobe Bryant and Chauncey Billups. Even though Thompson is still active, he will miss a good portion of next season with a torn ACL.
Current total: 8,662 (10th all-time)
Potential rank this season: 7th
Yahoo’s Chris Haynes reported that James will take over as the starting point guard for the Lakers next season. Especially without point guard Lonzo Ball on the roster, James projects to potentially have a career-best in assists per game in 2019-20 with dimes to Kyle Kuzma and Anthony Davis. James has had four seasons with eight assists or more per game thus far, including each of his three most recent campaigns. He will likely pass Gary Payton as well as Isiah Thomas in total career assists.
Current total: 1,937 (16th all-time)
Potential rank this season: 13th
James currently ranks No. 2 overall among all active players in total career steals. He also has the most steals ever recorded during the postseason. He now trails fifteen players for most steals in NBA history, though James may pass Bryant as well as Derek Harper and Allen Iverson with a full season of defensive steals under his belt. But his defensive effort has been widely criticized in recent years. James recorded the lowest defensive win shares and the second-worst steal percentage of his career last season.
Current total: 32,543 (4th all-time)
Potential rank this season: 3rd
James has only once led the NBA in points per game (2007-08) and total scoring (2017-18) during his career. He has twice averaged at least 30 points per game. He has also averaged at least 25.0 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 1,100 points to surpass Bryant for the third spot on the all-time scoring list.