LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers missed the chance to win a title this season and there’s a wave of rumors coming their way. A lot of experts predicted the next move for the purple and gold and LeBron’s future is the hottest topic. He’s been delivering some cryptic messages lately and fans say he is on his way out of LA. There’s more. Sean Deveney from Heavy Sports says LeBron is not a fan of one particular Lakers teammate.
The Lakers got Russell at the trade deadline and he was brilliant in the regular season. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a huge factor in the postseason. He was neutralized in the series against the Denver Nuggets. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.5 assists per game while going 32.3% from the field and 13.3% from beyond the arc. Oh, and let’s not forget that he was benched in Game 4.
“I hate to say one playoff series can change a franchise’s whole outlook on a guy because that just does not happen, but it is happening with some of the people in that building, maybe most significantly, with LeBron,” one Western Conference executive told Deveney. “Is this a guy they want to invest in? Does LeBron want him back — there is talk that he is not Russell’s biggest fan.”
LeBron could get his Lakers teammate out in favor for a former teammate
Russell will enter free agency this summer. His poor performance against the Nuggets may get him kicked out of LA. Zach Buckley from Bleacher Report even advised the Lakers to trade Russell and a first-round pick and get Kyrie Irving. Yes, Irving is still a topic in the NBA.
“Kyrie Irving is a natural target for the Lakers even though The Athletic’s Tim Cato reported they’re ‘uninterested’ in pursuing him this offseason,” Buckley wrote. “The Lakers valued Irving enough to offer two future first-round picks (the most they could trade) to the Brooklyn Nets before the mercurial guard was sent to the Mavericks. When Irving went elsewhere, James didn’t hide his disappointment. That surprised absolutely no one, since the pair previously led a championship run together on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“It’s hard to imagine L.A. is fully out on Irving now. There are nights when this offense just can’t get out of the mud. Catch one of those, and it’s easy to see how much of an impact Irving could make with his shooting, efficient scoring and shot-creation. The Lakers would need to jump through a few financial hoops to make this happen, since teams above the first salary-cap apron can’t receive players via sign-and-trade. That’s fine. If it means losing out on a player like Rui Hachimura, that’s a sacrifice L.A. could be willing to make to get a player of Irving’s caliber.”