While the Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling to win games since the beginning of the 2021-22 season, their troubles now seem to extend beyond the basketball court in the light of LeBron James’ recent comments.
During the 2022 All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, James said he doesn’t rule out reuniting with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the future. He also put the rest of the league on notice by saying he will spend his last NBA season playing alongside his son, Bronny.
Those remarks came after the Lakers failed to conduct trade business before the early February deadline, reportedly enraging James’ representatives, Klutch Sports. In addition, general manager and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said the front office’s strategy was with “alignment” with James and Anthony Davis, but reports then refuted those claims.
The rumors raised questions over James’ and Pelinka’s future in L.A. However, NBA insider Marc Stein reports Lakers owner Jeanie Buss’ perception of general manager as an integral part of the franchise has not changed:
Pelinka has the unwavering support of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and is firmly entrenched as a pillar of the club’s four-pronged brain trust alongside Buss and the power couple of Kurt and Linda Rambis.
James’ contract expires after the 2022-23 season, putting extra pressure on the Lakers’ front office to either keep the four-time NBA champion and his entourage happy or start planning for the future without the 37-year-old forward.
However, the Purple and Gold need to take into consideration a conflict with Klutch could also impact Anthony Davis’ stay in L.A., as the 28-year-old is also represented by the agency.
Malik Monk would ‘love’ to play for Lakers again
The Lakers’ front office will have plenty of decisions to make over the next few months, Malik Monk’s future with the team being one of them. Monk has been superb for L.A. this season, averaging 13.0 points, 3.3 rounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 47.1% from the field and 39.9% from downtown.
The 24-year-old guard said he “would love to play” for the Lakers after his minimum contract expires in the summer. However, L.A.’s current cap space situation might not allow them to keep Monk, who is likely to attract lots of interest in free agency this summer.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!