Rich Paul Reiterates LeBron James’ Committment To Jeanie Buss & Lakers
LeBron James, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 season has been a trying one for the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James, who have a lot of ground to make up in the standings.

The Lakers find themselves in the ninth seed during the All-Star break, a place they are all too familiar with as they’ve had to fight their way into the postseason via the Play-In Tournament multiple times already. Despite James’ good health, Los Angeles will need to kick things into high gear once the regular season resumes next week.

After the Lakers decided to stand pat at the NBA trade deadline, some took that as a sign that James would bolt in free agency. James has a player option for the 2024-25 season and has yet to publicly commit to staying in Los Angeles past this year.

However, James’ agent Rich Paul set the record straight about where LeBron is with the organization, via Stephen A. Smith Show:

“No, he’s committed to the Lakers,” Paul said. “Jeanie has been an incredible partner for him and us and I think it’s important for that to be understood and to be respected. Obviously, there’s ups and downs and emotions throughout the course of a season, but ultimately LeBron’s committed to the Lakers.”

While teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors will chase after James in free agency, he is reportedly focused on returning to the Lakers. James can easily do so by declining his player option and re-signing with the team for another raise.

Even at 40 years old and in Year 22, James would be a massive upgrade for any contending team, but it sounds like he is content with the situation in L.A. The front office has also been transparent about its plans to explore adding to the roster in the offseason because of the draft capital they’ll have at their disposal.

James probably already has an idea of what he’s going to do and is likely privy to the organization’s plans for next season. It doesn’t seem like a blockbuster trade is necessary to keep the King in L.A., though that won’t stop the front office from trying.

Warriors unsuccessfully tried to trade for LeBron James before trade deadline

At the trade deadline, opposing general managers will do their due diligence and ask about players that aren’t going to be moved under any circumstances. For example, the Warriors reportedly tried to trade for James before they were quickly shut down.

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