LeBron James' agent shuts down trade speculation as Lakers try to right ship


The Los Angeles Lakers have failed to live up to expectations more than halfway through the 2023-24 NBA season, but LeBron James won’t be jumping ship. 

Rich Paul, James’ agent, shut down rumors that his client could be traded before the NBA’s trade deadline on February 8th. 

Cam Whitmore guards LeBron

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) looks to drive around Houston Rockets forward Cam Whitmore during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, January 29, 2024, in Houston.  (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

“LeBron won’t be traded, and we aren’t asking to be,” Paul said, according to ESPN.

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Paul’s statement comes one day after speculation on social media that James could be traded as the Lakers continue to hover around .500, and just a few days after James posted a cryptic message to X. 

James, who has a player option for next season, took to X following the Lakers’ second straight loss and posted an hourglass emoji early Wednesday morning. 

The Lakers have been in active trade talks over the past month as they look to improve their roster, per ESPN. 

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LeBron James watches from the bench

LeBron James, #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers, watches the second quarter of a game against the Boston Celtics from the bench at the TD Garden on February 1, 2024, in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

Last year, the Lakers shook up their roster prior to the deadline with a flurry of moves before going 18-9 in the second half. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has to make a move again as the Lakers sit in 9th place in the Western Conference. 

The Lakers pulled off a major upset Thursday night in Boston without the services of James or Anthony Davis

Los Angeles soundly beat the Celtics on the road Thursday night, getting a 32-point performance from Austin Reaves. 

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LeBron James watches from the bench

The Los Angeles Lakers bench, including the inactive Anthony Davis and LeBron James, watch the action in the second quarter. The Boston Celtics lost to the Lakers, 114-105.  (Danielle Parhizkaran/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

“We’re all talented players. And this was an opportunity to show the world what you can do,” Reaves said. “Before the game, we come to together and was like, ‘Look, the least we can do is we can do is go out there and play as hard as we can and live with the results.”

With the 114-105 win, the Lakers moved back to .500 on the year with a record of 25-25. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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