Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James wants the team to be aggressive ahead of the trade deadline this season, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
The Lakers are currently the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference with just a few days to go before the Feb. 8 deadline.
Windhorst shared what the Lakers are willing to part with to appease James this season.
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“He has made it extremely clear he wants the Lakers to be aggressive,” Windhorst said. “What the Lakers have done in talks from people that I have talked to is that they have been willing to trade the 2029 first-round pick that they have.”
However, Windhorst was quick to mention that that Lakers aren’t willing to give up everything, which includes sending away pick swaps and guard Austin Reaves to make a bigger deal.
“What they have not been willing to do is give everything that they’ve got,” Windhorst added. “Multiple pick swaps, Austin Reaves, looking to go and use second-round picks in another deal to get expiring money because teams who are talking to them about D’Angelo Russell aren’t crazy about his player option. I think they want to try to improve their roster, but they’ve also watched this team – to use LeBron’s words – be Jekyll and Hyde.”
The Lakers are 26-25 on the season, which is not exactly where the team would like to be, especially since it made the Western Conference Finals last season. In the 2022-23 campaign, Los Angeles shook things up at the deadline and ended up reaping the benefits with a long playoff run.
With James, who turned 39 years old this season, still playing at a high level, the four-time NBA champion clearly wants the team to maximize his time in the league – and his chances to contend for a title.
James reportedly wore a New York Knicks towel after the Lakers’ win on Saturday night as a way to put pressure on the Lakers franchise. It seems like James is going to do everything he can – without coming out and saying it – to make the Lakers improve the roster at this year’s deadline.
This season, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer is averaging 24.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game while shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from 3-point range.
There is no doubt that James is playing well enough for the Lakers to contend in the Western Conference, but the team simply hasn’t done that this season. Los Angeles would love to make a run to avoid the play-in tournament in the West, but the team is currently 3.5 games out of the No. 6 seed.
The Lakers only have a few more days to make a trade and be “aggressive” like James wants to improve the roster this season.