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2 Teams Tried Acquiring LeBron James From Lakers At Trade Deadline

2 Teams Tried Acquiring LeBron James From Lakers At Trade Deadline

Heading into last week’s NBA Trade deadline, an interesting rumor began making the rounds.

Essentially, an otherwise unknown NBA source who had surprisingly gotten quite a few past trade predictions correct suggested that LeBron James could be on the move from L.A.

The rumor was quickly dismissed and forgotten – but apparently there is a reason it had started in the first place.

Following a series of public expressions of displeasure from James about the current state of the Lakers, folks around the league began to wonder if maybe he was willing to make a change this year.

According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, two teams attempted to acquire James from the Lakers at the deadline.

The first was the Golden State Warriors.

“Armed with the encouragement of Warriors star Draymond Green, Golden State owner Joe Lacob reached out to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss to inquire whether James’ apparent public frustration could be interpreted as an opening to discuss a trade,” Wojnarowski reported.

“Buss told Lacob the Lakers had no desire to trade James, but that he would need to seek the answer on James’ state of mind from his agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, sources said.

“…In the end, the answer was returned resoundingly on the eve of the trade deadline: Rich Paul told Lacob and Warriors GM Mike Dunleavy Jr., that James had no interest in a trade and wanted to remain a Laker, sources said. When Dunleavy reached out to Lakers GM Rob Pelinka in those pretrade deadline hours, Dunleavy had been told the same: The Lakers wanted to keep James, sources said.”

But Golden State wasn’t the only team to inquire about James. Apparently, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to kick the tires on a potential deal as well.

“Dunleavy was the second team executive call to Pelinka on a possible James trade, sources said. After seeing James’ cryptic social media post of an hourglass a week before the trade deadline, Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey called Pelinka to probe on a James trade and was immediately told that James wasn’t available,” Wojnarowski added.

“In fact, Pelinka responded by asking Morey if Joel Embiid was available, sources said. And that ended that brief conversation.”

It is easy to see why rival teams might have thought that James would be open to being traded – but it must be nice for the Lakers to know that isn’t the case.

In fact, it explains why Pelinka called to get James’ permission to not do anything at the NBA Trade Deadline to improve the team’s existing roster.

James had a perfect opportunity to leave the Lakers this year and join two other contenders in Golden State and Philly.

He passed.

For better or worse, clearly James wants to retire a Laker when everything is said and done.

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Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.
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