The talk about LeBron James has moved away from what has been happening this season following his return to Cleveland for the All-Star Game. His interactions with other greats, including Michael Jordan and the contemporaries from his era have dominated the conversation around the King. However, the break will come to an end soon and then the situation with the Los Angeles Lakers will have to be dealt with.
LeBron took some perceived shots at Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, praising Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder and also suggesting that he might return to the Cleveland Cavaliers before the end of his career. All this has done nothing but fed speculation about LeBron's supposed unhappiness in Los Angeles. Brian Windhorst has revealed that if things don't quite pan out like James expects them to, the Lakers may have to let go of him over the summer.
"The Los Angeles Lakers might have to trade for LeBron James this summer. James has rather clearly been offended by Lakers’ management twice over the past two weeks. First when it elected not to make a deal before the Feb. 10 trade deadline after he had both publicly and privately prodded for something.
"More accurately, he expected it. And second when Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka stepped over the line when he announced James was on board with the status quo; a source told ESPN there was no prior sign-off from James."
Moving on from Russell Westbrook is starting to seem more and more like a priority for the Lakers but parting with assets to make that happen is something that they have seemed reluctant to do so far. Considering that despite their 27-31 record, LeBron James has been playing at an incredible level and is arguably the only reason they are even in the play-in spots, any decision that will make the King more likely to leave is one the Lakers should avoid.