That’s the view of NBA analyst Tim McMahon.
The Lakers are keen to add a new star to their roster in order to support James for next season.
After failing to acquire Anthony Davis in a trade in February, they are likely to go back in for him this summer but will probably face competition for him from the Boston Celtics.
However, the Lakers will also be looking at the deep free agency pool of players, including All Star calibre stars.
Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker could all opt into the free agency market, and the Lakers would presumably be looking at any of those players.
But McMahon believes that the prospect of playing with James is more of a burden than a reward.
He spoke on The Hoop Collective podcast about the fact that when you play with the three-time NBA champion, the spotlight will never be on you.
That was a problem that reportedly led to Irving leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017, because he wanted to lead his own team and be a true star.
And McMahon believes that could happen again this summer, and the Lakers could find themselves without a free agent acquisition.
“I think at this point, LeBron is almost a deterrant to the free agents,” he explained.
“That’s because they don’t want to deal with his shadow and all the stuff that KD actually talked about earlier this year.
“The feeling around the league is that you don’t want to be LeBron’s sidekick.
“Not if you’re a legitimate superstar.”
The Lakers have endured a mixed season, having gotten themselves up to fourth in the Western Conference, before James suffered a groin injury.
In his absence, they fell out of the playoff spots completely down to ninth, and are now 5.5 games back from the playoff spots.
With the prospect of making it to the post-season looking unlikely, James has now agreed to a minutes constriction, which could see his game time in the fourth quarter significantly shortened.