While LeBron James has been the subject of speculation when it comes to free agency and purported roster wishes, he’s not experienced what the Los Angeles Lakers young core and some veterans are playing through ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.
A widespread belief the Lakers would be willing to part with any players but James in a trade for Anthony Davis has led to several members of the roster having their name floated in rampant rumors.
The Lakers’ latest offer to the New Orleans Pelicans was said to include Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Ivica Zubac. If he is moved, Ball and his camp prefers the Phoenix Suns to the Pelicans.
The trade rumors appeared to be weighing on the team Tuesday night as the Lakers suffered a blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers who are without Victor Oladipo and were playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
Although James admitted to not being able to relate to the situation his teammates are in, he suggested remaining off social media to better cope with it, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:
“You can’t really ask me. I’ve never really been a part of that but I’ve been a part of teammates’. I know it has to be tough on a lot of our guys, especially young guys. They’ve never been a part of it and (now) they’re hearing it every single day. I know that the worst thing you can do right now is be on social media. And I know all young guys love social media, so that can’t help.”
While the Lakers had been linked to a Davis blockbuster for the past week, their first trade was to acquire Reggie Bullock from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Svi Mykhailiuk and a second-round pick in the 2021 Draft.
As for Davis, after presenting the Pelicans with a slew of offers and steadily increasing it to meet their demands, the Lakers have since withdrawn from talks. Of course, with the deadline not until 12 p.m. PT on Thursday, there remains a chance the team’s young players will have to endure more speculation.
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