Lakers Austin Reaves Sends Strong Message to LeBron James Following 43-Point Performance

Austin Reaves, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Austin Reaves, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

On January 2, LeBron James rolled back the years to help the Los Angeles Lakers overcome the Charlotte Hornets with a 43-point performance.

When speaking to the media after the game, sophomore guard Austin Reaves provided some thoughts on LeBron’s continued excellence.

“It’s incredible. For someone, as I’ve mentioned a lot, who is not the most athletic person in the world, to see him, at his age, like you said, just turned 38. The stuff that he does, the way that he moves, and the contact that he endures in a full game, and just the way his body’s held up this whole time is super impressive. It’s a testament to what he does on a daily basis. He’s always the first one in the training room, first one taking care of his body, and then also getting the work in as well. To say the least, I’m happy to be on his team,” Reaves said.

LeBron ended the contest with a statline of 43 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 steal while shooting 61.5% from the field, although he did go 0-for-5 from beyond the perimeter.

Lakers Could Trade LeBron James Next Summer

According to Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers could decide to end their partnership with LeBron at the end of the current season – especially if they fail to make the playoffs for the second year running.

“They’re not dumping a legend, they’re simply abiding by his request, which changes the scenario completely. Seriously, how much longer can they believe that James is still capable of leading a young core into the playoffs? When are they finally going to admit that James is a wasted talent without contributions from Davis, and when are they going to realize Davis might never be a consistent star again,” Plaschke wrote.

LeBron has continued to defy the aging process this season and is currently averaging 29 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game while shooting 51T% from the field and 30.1% from the perimeter. However, despite LeBron’s exceptional statline, Los Angeles has been unable to turn his performances into victories.

Lakers Accused Of Wasting LeBron James’ Talent

According to a Western Conference Executive, who spoke with Heavy on Sports Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity in late December, the Lakers are wasting the final years of LeBron’s career – and a lot of their current struggles can be traced back to their acquisition of Anthony Davis.

“If everything had gone as planned, Anthony Davis would be an MVP, and LeBron would be averaging 20 points. The idea of trading for Davis when they did was that in a few years, there would be less pressure on LeBron, but here he is, averaging 27 points and near the top of the league (12th) in minutes played. This is his 20th season, there is no way they should be asking that of him. They won a championship, so you can’t discount that, but they’ve really sort of wasted these last few years of LeBron’s career. That’s because of Davis, how much it cost them for him to get to L.A. and how much it has hurt them that he can’t stay healthy,” The executive said.

Of course, the Lakers didn’t plan on Anthony Davis encountering multiple years of injury issues, but their reluctance to improve the team’s current roster speaks volumes, and perhaps LeBron will decide to walk away at the end of the season. However, right now, Los Angeles is 12th in the Western Conference, and their focus will be on making the playoffs – and potential LeBron trade talk will certainly wait until the season reaches its conclusion.