Lakers Rumors: 76ers Asked About LeBron James’ Availability & Rob Pelinka Replied Asking For Joel Embiid
LeBron James, Joel Embiid, Lakers, 76ers
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the trade deadline, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James sent out a cryptic tweet that was just an hourglass emoji. This led to many wondering about his future with the Lakers and whether or not he has a desire to remain with the franchise moving forward.

LeBron has a player option for next season, meaning he could conceivably leave this offseason and many teams will see that as an opportunity to potentially trade for him. The Golden State Warriors reportedly called to ask about James’ availability at the deadline and were turned down, but they weren’t alone as the Philadelphia 76ers put in a call as well.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, 76ers president Daryl Morey called the Lakers about James and Rob Pelinka responded by asking for reigning MVP Joel Embiid in return:

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. In fact, Pelinka responded by asking Morey if Joel Embiid was available, sources said. And that ended that brief conversation. These sorts of bold trade calls are historically a common practice for Morey, who also called the Phoenix Suns and asked about the availability of Durant, only to be told Durant was not available, sources said.

Teams making calls about players is pretty standard as if a team feels like there is even the slightest chance that a superstar the caliber of James could be available, they are going to explore it. Pelinka responding by asking about Embiid is an excellent one and establishes the price that it would cost a team to take LeBron away from the Lakers.

For his part, LeBron has said he is locked in on what the Lakers have within their locker room and getting the best out of his teammates and that will continue to be the case for the remainder of this season and moving forward.

LeBron James ‘focused’ on returning to Lakers this offseason

Even though LeBron could be a free agent this summer, the expectation remains for him to return to the Lakers in the offseason.

Recent reports suggested that James likely will opt-out of his contract this offseason, but is ‘focused’ on returning to the Lakers on a new deal. That doesn’t mean there won’t be many teams pursuing him anyways as the 76ers and Warriors will surely be trying to convince him leave L.A.

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