Sunday, April 21, 2024

LeBron Stays Put: Lakers Shut Down All Trade Offers at Deadline

HomeSports NewsLeBron Stays Put: Lakers Shut Down All Trade Offers at Deadline

In the hours leading up to the 2024 NBA trade deadline, chaos ensued as multiple teams made bold attempts to land superstar players. Most notably, the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers reached out to the Los Angeles Lakers about the availability of LeBron James, hoping to form superteams that could rival the league’s current juggernauts.

The Inception of the Warriors’ Grand Plan

It all started when Warriors owner Joe Lacob called Lakers owner Jeannie Buss to ask if one of the greatest players in NBA history could be pried away. Buss made clear that no deal would happen without James’ blessing. Lacob then turned to James’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents Warriors forward Draymond Green.

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In fact, according to league sources, it was Green who initially planted the idea of chasing James in Lacob’s mind. Green took the ambitious initiative of texting Paul himself to pitch teaming up with Stephen Curry in Golden State. He expressed confidence that alongside Curry, the aging but still lethal James could contend for more championships to bolster his GOAT case.

The moment of truth had arrived. If James no longer felt committed to the struggling Lakers, here was his opportunity to escape. But after internal discussions, Paul refuted the possibility to both Lacob and Warriors GM Mike Dunleavy Jr. James intended to remain in Los Angeles, cementing his Lakers legacy rather than orchestrating yet another seismic move. Dunleavy Jr. later received the same message after following up with Lakers GM Rob Pelinka.

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Morey Brings His Trademark Aggression

In characteristic fashion, 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey also rang Pelinka about James’ availability after the cryptic hourglass tweet raised eyebrows around the league. But Pelinka swiftly shut down Morey’s inquiry, even turning the tables by jokingly asking if Joel Embiid was on the table. Morey has a track record of long-shot trade proposals, sources said, including recent unsuccessful attempts at prying Kevin Durant, Devin Booker or Bradley Beal from their teams.

What Could Have Been for the New-Look Warriors

One can only imagine an alternate universe in which a Curry-James duo came to fruition. Two all-time greats still performing at superstar levels, joining forces for one last ride. The internet would have exploded over the blockbuster partnership.

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For salary-matching purposes, a package around Andrew Wiggins and draft picks potentially could have interested the Lakers. But they likely would have sought out 19-year-old Jonathan Kuminga as the centerpiece in return for surrendering the face of their franchise.

Alas, we’ll never know exactly what it would have taken. James remains steadfastly committed to bringing championship glory back to Los Angeles. But with his contract expiring this summer, rumors will continue swirling over whether his next chapter could take place in a different jersey.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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