LeBron James Responds to Lakers Trade Rumors

LeBron James, Austin Reaves, Lakers

Getty Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates a three-point basket with teammate LeBron James #23.

The Los Angeles Lakers are now starting to get healthy and figuring things out that after their second straight win — 127-110 against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, January 17 — LeBron James was ticked off by trade deadline questions.

“I don’t play fantasy basketball. What I do is focus on the guys that are here and in this uniform, and show up to work every day,” James told reporters in his locker room after the win. “It’s too disrespectful to be thinking about what we need or what we don’t have. I don’t do that to my teammates.”

James’s comment is his strong pushback to his critics labeling him as “LeGM” every time a trade rumor comes up involving his teams, both past and present.

The Lakers have shut down the trade noise by winning four of their last six games, including their last two against Western Conference contenders Oklahoma City Thunder and the Mavericks.

“We’ve been putting in the work and that’s what we got to continue to do,” James said. “We like the way we’ve been playing the last couple of games. We got to continue that Friday versus Brooklyn.”

The Lakers have a favorable schedule at the end of their current four-game homestand.

After the Nets, they will face the lottery-bound Portland Trail Blazers (11-29) on Sunday.

Lakers Eye Point Guard Help Ahead of Trade Deadline

The Lakers are surveying the trade market for point guard help, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

“You’re gonna look at the Lakers surveying the market for point guard help and one guy you can look at is certainly Tyus Jones with the Washington Wizards,” McMenamin said on ESPN’s Sports Center before the Lakers won their second consecutive game on Wednesday. “He’s 27 years old and highly efficient — 52% from the field 42% from three. He’s on a $14 million expiring contract and we’ve seen the Wizards are not necessarily competitive right now with the group that they have. So perhaps they would be looking for some sort of future assets that the Lakers could bring that guy in right now.”

The Duke product was one of the best backup point guards in the league during his last two seasons with Memphis before the Marcus Smart trade that brought him to the rebuilding Wizards last summer.

“Another guy you look to is Collin Sexton — 25 years old, athletic, competitive, averaged about 17 points and 4 assists a game, more of a combo guard but certainly someone that has ties to the Lakers, in the sense that his agent Rich Paul also represents LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Those names aren’t the same level as a Pascal Siakam or Zach Lavine, but they could be what could help this team down the stretch, especially with Gabe Vincent out with that knee injury,” McMenamin added.

Kyrie Irving Wanted a Reunion with LeBron James

Kyrie Irving sent signals last year that he wanted to play with LeBron James again.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Irving showing up to the Lakers playoff games last season was his way to express his intention.

“He was … about to become a free agent, and according to sources close to him, Irving had a strong interest in reuniting with James — the man he’d won an NBA championship with as Cavaliers back in 2016 — either in Los Angeles or Dallas,” wrote ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne on January 17.

“Irving was there, sources close to him say, to send that very message.”

Ultimately, the Lakers stuck with their newfound depth after the Russell Westbrook trade that helped them reach the Western Conference Finals.

Irving stayed with the Mavericks on a three-year, $120 million contract.