LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have been the talk of the league all season long and for all the wrong reasons. They have struggled to play consistent basketball since October, but things really came to a breaking point in February, when Anthony Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans.
In an attempt to orchestrate a path to Los Angeles, Davis (lead by his agent Rich Paul) made his request public knowledge. Some think Rich Paul may have even taken it a step further, leaking not only Davis’ trade request but the Lakers’ offer as well, possibly as a way to add additional pressure for New Orleans to make a move.
We know now of Paul’s denial of any involvement in the leaks that ultimately tore the Lakers apart. A month ago, a furious Jeanie Buss was not buying it.
In a report by Bleacher Report, stemming from Buss’ resentment towards Rich Paul and his involvement in the leaks, she considered trading LeBron James.
“The subject of moving James, however, was contemplated by the Lakers, a team source said, weeks before Van Gundy aired it. When rumors engulfed the team at the February trade deadline that it was willing to trade anyone other than James to acquire All-Star forward Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, James’ agent, Rich Paul, was widely accused of spreading those rumors because Davis is also one of his clients. Paul denied to B/R that he leaked the Lakers’ interest in Davis, but Buss suspected otherwise and was furious. The idea of terminating the franchise’s relationship with Paul by moving James at least crossed Buss’ mind, the team source said, and Paul was made aware of that. That prompted Paul to reach out to Buss to clear the air, and whatever ill will existed supposedly dissipated. At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference a few weeks later, Buss blamed the media for making the rumors public.”
According to @RicBucher, Jeanie Buss was not happy about the Lakers leaking their trade packages for Anthony Davis and considered trading LeBron James.
— MyNBAUpdate (@MyNBAUpdate) March 14, 2019
Trading LeBron would be a bold move by L.A., to say the least. Just one year ago, the team hailed him as their savior.
Obviously, Jeanie calmed down with the idea of trading LeBron, and Rich Paul appears to have made amends with her. Now, however, with the season ending in failure and questions about LeBron’s role in their dysfunction as a team, trading James is becoming a conversation once again. Only this time, Jeanie won’t be the only one having it.