He commented on superstar LeBron James, who he says is putting in “behind-the-scenes work” this offseason.
“Well, we’ll always let LeBron speak for himself, but we were all excited to see his Instagram post the other day where he was giving love to his new teammates, and the great leader he is doing the behind-the-scenes work to get things ready for the season,” Pelinka said.
It’s great to see Pelinka seemingly express optimism about James, who hinted at a possible retirement from the NBA following the team’s loss to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals in the 2022-23 season.
If James does want to continue playing, he will do it for the Lakers in the 2023-24 season. The future Hall of Famer is under contract with the Lakers for the 2023-24 season, and he has a player option for the 2024-25 campaign.
Los Angeles made some solid moves in free agency to remain a contender for the 2023-24 season. Pelinka and the Lakers re-signed D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura while also adding Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince and Jaxson Hayes in free agency.
Those moves should make the Lakers a deeper team for the entire 2023-24 season. Pelinka had to make moves for players like Hachimura and Russell at the trade deadline after the team got off to a slow start last season.
James was not at fault for the slow start in the 2022-23 season, and in fact, he played some of the best basketball of his career despite dealing with multiple injuries.
The 38-year-old averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc in the 2022-23 regular season.
The Lakers ended up knocking out the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors before losing to the eventual NBA champion Nuggets in the playoffs. James continued to shine in the playoffs, averaging 24.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game.
It seems like James is ready to make another run at a title in the 2023-24 season as he is already working some behind-the-scenes things.