LeBron James criticizes Lakers for their reluctance to make trades: ‘Everyone knows what should be happening’

LeBron James, it seems, has had enough. After his performance of 37 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the los angeles lakers‘ 136-134 victory over the sacramento kingswho extended his winning streak to a season-high five games, James spoke with The Athletic about the lack of movement on the trade front and made it very clear.

“You all know what should be going on,” James said. “I don’t need to talk.”

What James is referring to is the Lakers trading one or both of their remaining future first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to get him help. However, the board has been reluctant to part with either asset for fear of mortgaging the future of an average team.

James has previously made indirect comments through the media to try to put pressure on the front office.

During a special episode of “The Shop” in November, James lamented the lack of talent around Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, another aging superstar. “When you have a major franchise player like Aaron Rodgers…why wouldn’t you surround that, when you have the picks, to maximize what he can do?” James said.

In late December, after a five-game losing streak, he wondered how long he could keep playing in that situation. “I’m a winner and I want to win. I want to win and give myself a chance to win and keep challenging for championships,” James said. “Playing basketball at this level just to play basketball is not in my DNA. It’s not in my DNA anymore. We’ll see what happens and see how fresh my mind stays over the next two years.”

Now that the Lakers are enjoying their most impressive stretch of the season (one with Anthony Davis sidelined), he’s taken a more direct approach. His comments late on Saturday made it clear that he’s not a fan of the approach the front office is taking. The final salvo, quoted at the top of the post, was just one part of a longer conversation that reads, in part:

The Athletic: Seeing you and the team playing so well, especially with AD gone, makes me wonder what the conversations with (president of basketball operations) Rob (Pelinka) and (owner) Jeanie (Buss) are like these days in terms of from the list What is the nature of your message? How is that communication?

James: “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 anybody else’s job.”

The Athletic: But LeBron, you’re 38 years old and you’re doing things that have never been done.

Jamie: “I know.”

The Athletic: And the idea of ​​a team holding on to a few selections and waiting for next year…

James: “Well, if they know, then they know. They know. I don’t need to talk about it. They know.”

The Athletic: But how is your level of patience? Is that aspect (of this situation) bothering you?

James: “They’re doing what they think is best for the franchise.”

The Athletic: How do you feel about it?

James: “I’m doing my best for my guys in the locker room. That’s all I can worry about.”

The Lakers are always going to be involved in trade rumors, but the topic has been busier and more complicated than ever in the last year. Russell Westbrook’s dilemma seems to have been resolved by his better play off the bench once he accepted that role, but little else has been.

James is still performing at an elite level entering the final years of a legendary career, and he wants the organization to do everything it can to compete in the here and now. There are some problems with that. One, James’ insistence that the Lakers trade for Westbrook in the first place took most of the remaining flexibility out of him. All that’s left now in terms of interesting assets are the 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, which won’t be fulfilled until probably after James has retired and could end up being extremely valuable.

Also, the team isn’t that good and Anthony Davis hasn’t shown that he can stay on the court. Even with this five-game winning streak, the Lakers are just 19-21 and out of even a starting spot as we approach the middle of the season. What player or players are available that would make a significant difference to the Lakers’ championship hopes?

Up to this point, the Lakers’ leadership hasn’t blinked, but will they maintain that determination in the face of mounting public pressure from James? The next month leading up to the February 9 trade deadline is going to be exciting.

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