Lakers Rumors: Organization Was Made Aware That LeBron James Was Attending Cavaliers Playoff Game
LeBron James, Savannah James, Rich Paul, Lakers, Cavaliers
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

With the Los Angeles Lakers season over, one of the biggest questions for the team going into this offseason is the status of superstar LeBron James.

James can opt-out of his contract this season and become an unrestricted free agent, but there is also the possibility of him retiring after 21 years in the NBA.

But if he were to hit free agency, he could sign with any team he wants and considering he’s done it before, a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers could be considered a possibility as he would end his career with his hometown team.

Those rumors likely flew into high gear as LeBron was in the building for the Cavaliers’ home playoff game Monday night against the Boston Celtics. But according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Lakers were made aware prior that LeBron would be attending the game:

“The first thing that I thought of, the first thing that came into my mind when this thing happened was 10 years ago when LeBron came back to Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ jersey retirement, while he was a member of the Miami Heat, took a night off while in Chicago, flew over for it, and he signed with the Cavs a few months later. Now, I have been told the reason LeBron was in Cleveland was because he and Savannah were there for Mother’s Day, seeing their mothers. It coincided with it being a day later and he went. And Rich Paul, who was also at the game and represents several Cavaliers, called the Lakers and said ‘Just so you know, LeBron is going to be coming to the game tonight,’ so they weren’t surprised.”

But Windhorst would continue on, noting that LeBron is smart enough to know that his appearance would make the rounds on all of the sports talk shows while also adding that Bronny James’ first day at the NBA Draft Combine could mean that he’s trending towards being drafted in June:

“Having said that, obviously since the end of the season LeBron has sent several interesting messages. Non-comment on the Lakers going forward. Comments on podcasts and social media about he doesn’t know what to do. And now he comes to this game, which he knows is gonna be on this show. No matter what he says, he knows it’s gonna be on First Take, he knows. As that’s going on, in Chicago yesterday Bronny James has his first day at the NBA Draft Combine and he does very well. One of the best shooters at the Combine, finished second in the 3-point shooting drills, which is not something we expected to see. Also, he shows up measures in at 210 pounds. That’s 10-15 pounds heavier than he played at USC and he looks great. Now he did measure at 6’1.5″ which is less than what he was listed at at USC at 6’3″, which isn’t stunning no one thought he was 6’3″. But Bronny is trending, I think, towards getting drafted.”

Overall, LeBron has been known to do little things to keep teams on their toes and Windhorst feels that is exactly what is going on in this case as LeBron wants to see what the Lakers do this offseason prior to free agency:

“There’s a few things going on with the Lakers. Number one, there’s the coaching search. I don’t think LeBron is super interested in the coaching search. I mean, he obviously cares, but I don’t think he’s looking to influence it at all so I’m gonna throw that out. Two, there’s his contract, he can opt out of the contract. I think the Lakers are gonna give LeBron whatever contract he wants, I don’t think there’s gonna be much negotiations. I don’t think the negotiations with the terms, I don’t think that’s part so I’m gonna throw that out. We have two other things. One, Lakers making moves in the month of June heading up to the draft. On draft night they can trade three first-round picks. At the trade deadline, as everybody knows, they did nothing and LeBron wasn’t happy about it. So this little maneuvers to just put a little bit of doubt, I think is mostly a bit of a thing for the Lakers just to remind the Lakers, by the way, just so you know I’m still out here.”

Anyone who has followed LeBron James throughout his NBA career knows he has no problems exhibiting the power he has and it is very possible these are calculated moves. But by all accounts, the Lakers are committed to James and making sure they do whatever is needed to ensure he ends his career with the franchise and make another run at an NBA Championship.

Rich Paul telling Lakers & teams that drafting Bronny James won’t lead to LeBron James signing

As Windhorst noted, the NBA Draft Combine is underway and Bronny James had a strong showing on his first day. It remains possible that a team could draft him in the second round and there are some who believe LeBron James could leave the Lakers and join the team Bronny is with in order to play with his son.

But LeBron’s agent Rich Paul has reportedly been telling teams that drafting Bronny will not lead to LeBron joining their franchise. In recent weeks, LeBron has scaled back on the idea of playing with Bronny, simply saying that sharing an NBA court with him would be an accomplishment.

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