LeBron James On Lakers Making Roster Upgrades At Trade Deadline: ‘Y’all Know What The F— Should Be Happening’
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

When LeBron James signed an extension with the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason, he was under the impression that Rob Pelinka and the front office would do everything in their power to give him the help he needs to compete for a championship.

Pelinka even spoke at Lakers Media Day about his responsibility to put the best group possible around James and Davis even if they would be cautious, waiting for the right deal to present itself for their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks.

So far though, no moves have been made. The trade deadline is still a month away, but James has been holding up his end of the bargain, playing at an unreal level over the last few weeks in Davis’ absence.

James has stated his desire to finish out his career competing for championships multiple times now, which seemed to be a message to the front office that moves need to be made.

All of James’ comments had been pretty subtle though, at least until now. In an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic after the Lakers’ win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night, James could not have been more clear that he wants the front office to do something to help improve the roster:

To see you and the team playing this well, especially with AD out, has me wondering what the conversations with (president of basketball operations) Rob (Pelinka) and (owner) Jeanie (Buss) are like these days in terms of the roster. What’s the nature of your message? What is that communication like?

Man listen, I play the game. I worry about who’s in the locker room. I can’t — it’s not my … it’s not my job. I can’t do nobody else’s job.

But LeBron, you’re 38, and you’re doing things that have never been done.

I know that.

And the idea that a team would hold on to some picks and wait for next year …

Well if you guys know, then you guys know. You guys know. I don’t need to talk about it. You guys know.

But if you stay quiet, then time is gonna keep marching on, no?

Listen, you guys know. It’s not rocket science. It’s not rocket science.

But is that conversation (with ownership and management) evolving?

I’m working. I don’t have time. We’re playing every other day, three (out of) four nights. I don’t have time to be…

Right, but we’ve got cell phones. We can call people.

Listen, I’m doing my job. That’s all I can do.

But how’s your patience level? Is that aspect (of this situation) tugging at you?

They’re doing what they feel is best for the franchise.

How do you feel about that?

I’m doing what’s best for my guys in the locker room. That’s all I can worry about. I’ll let y’all …

A brief pause as he walks away, and one final, unmistakable comment that was shouted from nearly 20 feet away …

Y’all know what the f— should be happening. I don’t need to talk.

What James is referring to that should be happening, of course, is the Lakers making one or multiple trades involving their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to give the team immediate roster upgrades.

For a while it looked like the team wouldn’t be making any moves considering they looked to be far away from contender status. L.A. has now won five straight games to get back in the postseason mix though and at 19-21, the team is just two games out of the 5-seed in a wide-open Western Conference.

The Lakers have been linked to a number of different players such as Bojan Bogdanovic, Cam Reddish, Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, so it will be interesting to see what Pelinka does ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline, especially now that James has been loud and clear about what he wants to see happen.

Turner has ‘rebuffed’ extension talks with Pacers

Turner is one potential trade target that makes a ton of sense for the Lakers as a big that can block shots and stretch the floor.

There were some talks about him signing an extension with the Indiana Pacers although those don’t seem to be going anywhere, which could open up the door for him to be traded ahead of the deadline.

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