Rich Paul Denies Claims Klutch Sports & LeBron James Are In Conflict With Lakers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 All-Star Weekend brought the Los Angeles Lakers some physical rest, but the break has hardly been quiet for L.A. amid the sudden emergence of rumors over LeBron James’ future.

James and his representatives, Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports, have reportedly been unhappy with the franchise’s general manager and vice president of basketball operations, Rob Pelinka, due to the Lakers’ inactivity on the trade market.

Pelinka is also believed to have angered James and his entourage by claiming the front office’s decision to stay put at the transfer deadline had been consulted with the four-time NBA champion and Anthony Davis.

Then, James didn’t rule out a potential reunion with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the All-Star Weekend, leading to speculations over the Lakers superstar potentially leaving the Purple and Gold.

However, recent reports claim the 37-year-old forward wants to stay with the Lakers for the “foreseeable future.” Also, Paul has denied Klutch, James, and the Lakers are in a conflict, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania on “The Pat McAfee Show”:

“Rich Paul told me there is no issues between him and the Lakers. There’s no issue between Klutch Sports and Rob Pelinka. He told me there’s no issues between LeBron and the Lakers. And so, Rich’s an agent that has made a history of going on the record. If he feels a certain way, he’s not afraid to hide it. And so for him to say that, and he did go on the record with me today when I spoke to him, and he said there’s no friction. Of course, there is a level of frustration.”

James has one more year left on his current contract with the Lakers. The Purple and Gold currently have two other players on the roster that are represented by Klutch: Anthony Davis and Talen Horton-Tucker.

Pelinka has ‘unwavering support’ of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss

As Pelinka navigates perhaps the biggest challenge of his career in an NBA front office, he appears to have received support from the franchise’s ownership.

Reports claim Lakers president Jeanie Buss considers Pelinka an “entrenched pillar of the club’s brain trust” alongside Kurt and Linda Rambis, and herself.

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