LeBron James Delivers Ominous Message After Lakers’ Failure to Land Kyrie Irving

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers had hope of adding a superstar to their roster — for two days.

But after they failed to acquire the Brooklyn Nets‘ Kyrie Irving via trade, the Lakers’ LeBron James weighed in with a cryptic message on Twitter: “Maybe It’s Me.”

According to multiple reports, the Nets traded Irving to the Dallas Mavericks on February 5, two days after Irving told the team he wanted a trade. The night before, after the Lakers’ 131-126 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, James told reporters that the attempt to acquire Irving was the obvious move to make.

“That’s a Rob question,” James said, referring to Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka. “You got to see him when y’all get back to LA. Told y’all a couple of weeks ago I don’t speak for our front office. My mindset is to, you know, whatever lineup or whatever group that we have is to make sure we prepare ourselves the best way we can to go out and win. Obviously, that’s a — what’s the word you use – ‘duh’ question when you’re talking about a player like that.”

But, the Lakers might not have ever had a chance to get Irving, according to a February 5 story by Marc Stein on Substack.

According to a January 6 story in The New York Post, quoting Stein, “one of Nets owner Joe Tsai’s ‘presumed objectives’ was to not trade Irving to the Lakers, which was his ‘preferred’ destination after he requested a trade from Brooklyn last week. … However, Tsai — possibly at least slightly annoyed by Irving’s dramatic and tumultuous tenure in Brooklyn — did not want to comply with his wishes.”

At 25-29, the Lakers are looking for answers to help push their way into the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Currently, they are in 13th place, two games out of the 10th seed and a chance to get into the playoffs via the play-in tournament. James and Irving found success together as teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning an NBA title in 2016, Irving’s fifth season in the league.

Now, Irving will be competing against the Lakers in the Western Conference. The Mavericks are 28-26 and in sixth place but only two games out of third place.

Jeanie Buss Discusses LeBron James’ Frustrations

At 38 years old, James is still playing MVP-level basketball, averaging 30.0 points a game, but he is not pleased with the Lakers right now, according to a January story by The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has acknowledged James’ frustration.

“I mean, unless he’s winning, he’s not going to be happy,” Buss told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on the January 30 episode of his “Know Mercy” podcast. “That’s him. That’s what drives him. And I could see why he would be frustrated. We’re all frustrated with — you know, we’re down four starters, and he’s our only remaining starter, and he’s gotta show up and play. And the burden’s on him.”

Los Angeles Lakers Linked to Jakob Poeltl Trade

While there may not be another blockbuster deal out there to be made by the February 9 trade deadline, there are some players who the Lakers could add. According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, San Antonio Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl is one of those players.

“The San Antonio Spurs like Jakob Poeltl and would be happy to extend him, but existing rules limit him to $50.5 million over four additional seasons,” Pincus wrote. “Several NBA sources peg his asking price in the $17 million to $20 million range in the first year alone as an unrestricted free agent. While the Spurs can pay that, the team will have to wait until July to do so. And that may be beyond their price range, which could inspire the team to get a deal done before the trade deadline. The asking price is believed to be a first-round pick and a good young player. Teams linked to Poeltl include the Boston Celtics, [Toronto] Raptors, Lakers, [LA] Clippers and [Golden State] Warriors.”

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