LeBron James’ Agent Responds to Rampant Trade Speculation

Getty Images LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers are off to a 16-16 start to the year and rumors have started to circulate about LeBron James’ future with the team.

However, fans of the purple and gold franchise can rest easy, with James agent Rich Paul responding to those rumors via NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic. In short, there are absolutely no plans for James to be on the move from LA and any talk of it is “absolutely false.”

“I’m here to inform you guys, that’s not a real thing. I don’t pay attention to random tweets, comments and things like that,” Charania said on the Pat McAfee Show Wednesday. “I spoke to LeBron’s agent Rich Paul and he said that talk in itself is ridiculous and totally false. LeBron James is not leaving the Lakers. He’s going to be on the Lakers.

Lakers Have Been Active on Trade Market

While James won’t be a piece the Lakers are moving, the team is keeping an eye on the trade market to see how they can improve a roster that just hasn’t come together for a variety of reasons. Injuries have played a part in the lackluster results from LA, but the trade for former MVP Russell Westbrook hasn’t truly paid off for the Lakers.

“The question is how can the Lakers get better. This is the hand they’ve been dealt. They made the trade for Russell Westbrook in the summer and it hasn’t paid dividends,” Charania said. “This team doesn’t look like it has the young legs that they need to have. I have heard that they have been active on the trade market. When you look at a guy like Ben Simmons — they’d love to get their hands on a guy like him or Jerami Grant. Those are the kind of guys they need on this team — young, 6-foot-9, 6-foot-10 athletic wings that can handle the ball, can score, can pass. They need guys like that. They don’t have enough of them.”

Westbrook’s contract is the big chip the Lakers could use to make a splash in the trade market. The problem would be finding a team willing to take on the deal and his style of play. Talen Horton-Tucker has also been floated as a trade option for the Lakers, although the return might not be worth the gamble of trading their best young piece of the roster.

LeBron James Unsure of Where Lakers Are At

The Lakers are approaching the midway mark of the season without much of an identity. Much of that has been because of the multiple significant injuries the team has been dealing with — first to James and now to Anthony Davis. On top of that, the rotation has been screwy because of multiple players in the league’s health and safety protocols. After winning three in a row, the Lakers have dropped their last three — two in a mostly non-competitive fashion.

“We don’t know,” James said after the latest loss on Wednesday. “We have no idea what this team can be.”

James and the Lakers will get another shot to turn things around on Thursday against the Spurs.

Read More