National Basketball Association
LeBron 'committed' to Lakers, who are 'willing to explore' drafting Bronny
National Basketball Association

LeBron 'committed' to Lakers, who are 'willing to explore' drafting Bronny

Published Feb. 15, 2024 3:24 p.m. ET

The Golden State Warriors reportedly took a swing at trying to land LeBron James ahead of the trade deadline, but their attempts fell short partly because the superstar didn't want to be traded. 

Not only did James not want to be traded ahead of the deadline, but he wants to remain with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Rich Paul. James' longtime agent told "The Stephen A. Smith Show" that James is "fully committed" to the Lakers, as he's set to become a free agent this offseason. 

"[Lakers owner] Jeanie [Buss] has been an incredible partner for him and us, and I think it's important for that to be understood and to be respected," Paul said. "Obviously, there [are] ups and downs and emotions throughout the course of a season, but ultimately, LeBron's committed to the Lakers."

James' future in Los Angeles came into question in recent weeks due to the Lakers' slide in the standings in January and his contract status. He additionally made cryptic social media posts and messages that raised questions about his future with the organization. 


With that in mind, there was speculation that James could've been traded ahead of the Feb. 8 trade deadline. Obviously, James wasn't moved, but that didn't deter teams from trying. Warriors owner Joe Lacob approached Buss over a possible trade for James, and while she declined the offer, she told the team to check in with her star player's camp to see if he would be interested, ESPN reported Wednesday. James' representation told the Warriors that they weren't interested in a trade and the Lakers also refused conversations with the Philadelphia 76ers over a trade involving the league's all-time leading scorer, according to ESPN's report. 

Warriors reportedly attempted to trade for LeBron to join Steph Curry

Now, all eyes turn to whether James' commitment to the Lakers will end when his contract expires this summer or if he'll remain committed to the franchise beyond this season. As James is set to hit free agency for the first time since signing with the Lakers in 2018, the Lakers want him to retire as a member of the organization, The Athletic reported.

The Lakers, who have won six of their past seven games since the start of February, could try to do a couple of extra things this offseason to entice James and ensure he stays. The Lakers are "willing to explore" drafting James' son, Bronny, while also trying to trade for an All-Star ballhandler with three names in mind: Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young, according to The Athletic's report.

James has stated for years his desire to play with his eldest son, who is currently a freshman at USC, and has been viewed as a possible first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. The New Orleans Pelicans can choose whether to take their first-round pick this year or defer it to next year as part of their trade for Anthony Davis. They also have two second-round picks.

As for the Lakers' possible trade pursuit for an All-Star guard, they've long been linked to Irving, as James has reportedly sought a reunion with his former Cleveland Cavaliers running mate. Mitchell can potentially become a free agent in 2025 as there have been rumors that he'll leave Cleveland when he hits the open market. Young can't hit free agency until the 2026 offseason, but league executives believe the Atlanta Hawks might be willing to trade him this offseason, Yahoo! Sports reported earlier in February.

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