Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is one of the most intelligent players to ever step foot on an NBA court. His ability to completely control a game and use his knowledge and basketball IQ to lead his team to victory is the stuff of legend.
That control on the court has also seemingly been displayed off of it as well as LeBron has been known to make demands about his teams signing or trading for certain players at different times in his career, with varying degrees of success.
But that apparently won’t be the case with the Lakers this offseason. According to Mark Medina of Sportsnaut.com, James won’t advocate for any specific free agents or trades this summer and will simply focus on staying healthy for the upcoming season:
Just as it has been for his entire four-year tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James hopes the front office makes moves this offseason that prioritizes the franchise’s championship window.
Unlike during part of his time with the Lakers, however, James does not plan to advocate for any specific free-agent signings or trades, according to a person familiar with his thinking. Regardless of how the Lakers construct their roster when free agency begins on Friday at 6 p.m. ET, James also is expected to fulfill the remainder of his two-year, $97 million contract and remain proactive with maximizing his health entering his 21st NBA season.
James has sometimes been referred to as “LeGM” because of his proclivity to get the players he wants surrounding him, but it looks as if he is now putting his faith in Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office. They certainly did an excellent job of re-shaping the Lakers roster on the fly this past season and now have the opportunity to build on that this summer.
The last big move LeBron reportedly pushed for was the trade for point guard Russell Westbrook, which turned out to be a complete failure. The guard never quite fit with LeBron and Anthony Davis and the move undoubtedly set the Lakers back in a big way.
It is also interesting to see that James is expected to play out his extension with the Lakers, which does have a player option for the 2025 season. This would potentially keep LeBron in purple and gold for two more seasons and lines up with Davis’ contract as well.
LeBron James says Lakers’ trade deadline acquisitions re-energized him
James didn’t necessarily push for the Lakers to bring in D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt at the trade deadline, but the deal that sent away Westbrook had a major impact on the Lakers superstar.
“I think it energized me from the moment I was out for those four weeks and just seeing the type of team that we had, the type of energy that we brought into the locker room, the type of energy we brought onto the floor,” James said after the Lakers’ season ended.
“You know, I just couldn’t wait to join these guys with action and get on the floor and I knew how much I could make an impact with the group of guys. But it was always — it was an exciting moment when we were able just to bring those guys into the locker room. You know, we were just a better team right away, and it results in getting to the Western Conference Finals.”
The trade undoubtedly changed the fortunes of the Lakers and now the franchise feels very close to potentially being a champion once again.
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