LeBron James' agent, Rich Paul denies power move rumors
LeBron James' agent, Rich Paul has now weighed in on the NBA star's recent comments as well and assured the Lakers that he's as committed as ever.
It's been quite a week for the NBA's best player. After first hinting at a possible exit, he later reaffirmed his commitment to the franchise, but questions are still in the air regarding just what his intentions were.
LeBron James' agent clears the air
Having created a whirlwind of speculation after making public comments, which alluded to a possible return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James has been the focus of most sports news outlets for the last week. Even though he would later walkback on his words, stating his desire to remain with the Lakers, the situation intensified even further when it was reported that his agency was not pleased with the franchise itself.With that said it now appears that things are on the up. According to reports, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul met with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka on Tuesday. It is understood that Paul directly addressed the situation and then went on to clarify that there was no movement in progress to seek management changes. Paul went further saying that he believes that there is a 'shared accountability' for the Lakers' sub par performance this season.
Paul - whose agency represents LeBron James as well as Anthony Davis - reaffirmed that James' primary objective is to stay with the Lakers, with the central goal of completing the season in the best possible way. Once that is done the team can take stock of what they need to do and how during the offseason.
How did LeBron James and the Lakers get here?
While many will say things have been brewing for some time, the 'rift' between James and the franchise only really came to a head after Pelinka opted not to pursue any deals during the trade window. With the Lakers already struggling and James' own public comments - raising the possibility of a return to Cleveland along with praise for Oklahoma City Thunder's GM Sam Presti - the rumor mill truly started to grind away. Even more so considering that James is set to be a free agent in 2023. In the end, however, it would seem that all is well in Los Angeles. Paul has subsequently put any doubts to bed and has gone on to insist that his client, James, is as committed as he's ever been and more over wants to help the Lakers challenge for championships once again.
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Where are the Lakers right now?
Speculation aside, the Lakers are in a spot of trouble. After their loss on Friday to the Clippers, they now sit on a dismal record of 27-32 and are currently in ninth position in the Western Conference. If that weren't enough they are still without Anthony Davis who will likely be out for at least another month with a right mid-foot sprain. Is there good news? While things aren't looking great on the court, the Lakers are still banking on a few options off of it. Firstly there is the expiring contract of guard Russell Westbrook ($47.1 million) and then there is that of Talen Horton-Tucker and first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, all of which they hope to use in trades.