LeBron James Already Recruiting?

The Lakers may be a longshot to sign a marquee free agent this offseason, especially in the wake of all the front office drama surrounding the franchise these days. But don’t tell that to LeBron James, who has reportedly already begun his recruiting efforts for the upcoming offseason, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Appearing on Pardon the Interruption this afternoon, Windhorst said that from “what (he) understand(s),” James has already made contact with both Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard about the possibility of playing in L.A. next season. Interestingly, Leonard’s season is not yet over, but that doesn’t appear to concern James.

Windhorst doesn’t go into any specifics about what James has been selling to potential free agent signings for the Lakers, but Leonard has been connected to the Greater Los Angeles area – where he’s from – for a while now, and Butler has been linked to the Lakers in the past as well.

Both Leonard and Butler are technically still under contract for next season, but they’re widely expected to decline their player options for the 2019/20 season and hit the free agent market this summer.

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44 thoughts on “LeBron James Already Recruiting?

  1. hiflew

    Not illegal, but should be. Especially since Leonard’s season is not over. If an assistant GM had the exact same conversation with Leonard, he would fined and probably fired. But for some reason it is okay for a player under contract with one organization to recruit a player under contract to a different organization.

    I have much less issue with players recruiting free agents, but Leonard is still a member of the Raptors. And this is not simply a shot at LeBron. I would have the same problem with ANY player doing the exact same thing.

    • imindless

      Players do it all the time lmao, but because its lebron is a problem? Okay….

      • driftcat28

        It’s a problem when any member of any organization does it, not just Lebron. Lebron just happens to tamper all season long with every would be free agent

      • Dodgethis

        Did you not read the part of his post specifically saying he has a problem with all players doing this, not just LeBron? Way to be a gomer.

      • mcmillankmm

        Mindless…do you just troll on here? Seems like every discussion board is you starting up

        • Eta34

          He’s a dodger fan. Give him a break. He likely can’t read very well. Product of the LA public schools.

    • x%sure

      A shame that America’s employment laws did not anticipate Lebron James reporting on the fine smoggy weather outside. You would need several things to achieve your balance.

      One, league execitives would have to stop wanting to police each other messing with their properties. Two, players would have to want to stop chatting with each other.
      Three it would require an alteration of the CBA and four maybe the USC onstitution as well. Five you would have to find a decent attorney and federal judge to take your case seriously.
      Other than that.

          • jimbenwal

            That’s gotta make for some fun water cooler talk.
            “Hey, did you read last nights game?”

            • x%sure

              Ha! I watch the games, I was talking about news… print vs talking-head sports shows. One cannot skim those for the good parts!

    • jump shot

      If Dan Gilbert can have secret conversations and ultimately steal a college coach from kids he recruited, signed, and promised to be there for, I have no problem whatsoever with LeBron or ANY other NBA player recruiting other players to join their team.

    • deano

      If it’s legal, go for it. If Leonard didn’t want to talk, then he could tell LBJ to hold off till season is over. I agree it doesn’t seem right, but bottom line, it is. I actually think they should remove all tampering rules

    • joeyr

      it is against the rules– no empolyee can try and recruit a player under contract—problem is, commissioners office is gutless—the penalty should be simple, a team that violates this rule cannot sign that player

  2. arc89

    I already said it will be Butler. He is not a all star but a guy that will get a max contract for the Lakers. I hope Leonard stay with Raptors their fans love him and he would be LeBron sidekick on the Lakers.

    • kenleyfornia2

      I agree Butler at the max is an overpay. But its not a horrifying one and it will make them a minimum a top 5 seed

  3. jackmarcus22

    Could you imagine butler and LeBron playing together? It would be a children’s daycare lol

  4. wright0525

    The funny thing is, KD will set the direction. If he stays in GS, Kyrie is going to the nets or lakers. Kawhi is going to the clippers, and the knicks and Celtics get nothing. At that point, AD probably gets trade to the Lakers as well. A lot of dominos falling after KD makes his decision.

  5. driftcat28

    How isn’t this tampering? Both players are still currently under contract, and Kawahi especially is in the middle of a title run. It’s very annoying to hear how much the Lakers get away with when it comes to tampering. It’s been reported Magic was consistently doing this, and there’s no doubt Lebron probably has done it all season.

    The lakers are habitual line steppers when it comes to tampering

    • x%sure

      Because Lebron wants all FAs all the time. He’s outside your door right now.

      It’s been reported that Ballmer has had Clipper execs stalking Kawhi all season, but it takes money to do that.

    • driftcat28 you should just embrace the tampering, it will save annoyance in your life, believe me!

  6. Yep it is

    Anyone wanted MG to play with ego maniac BRON BRON should go directly have their head examined.

  7. jorge78

    If LRJ shows his true commitment and cuts his salary way down then MAYBE they attract 2 max players. He’s old, he needs help. How many billions does LRJ need? None.
    How many titles does LRJ need?
    A lot more…..

  8. Dodgethis

    I like how players give up their right to talk to sign a contract. There shouldn’t be any penalties for recruiting. If you want to retain players give them a reason to stay. The draft is already archaic. The NBA has become so scripted it’s sad.

    • miguel trucha

      Well, first of all, rules are rules. Secondly, if a player agrees to sign a contract that states he cannot do something, then he should not do whatever that is.

    • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

      Make it anarchy! If a player wants to have a flamethrower on the court with him, LET him! You don’t want it out there? Find a way to stop it.

      GM on phone: “Where do I get mini tanks?”

  9. Vizionaire

    nobody worth anything ain’t coming to the lakers until they fire the gm and release lebum!

  10. greg1

    I don’t see either player joining the Lakers.

    If this season has proved anything, it’s that Kawhi was more than ready, willing and able to have his own team. He won’t get that with the Lakers, Clips and Raps offer it though.

    Butler and Bron would clash. Butler hates lack of effort on D, and Bron has basically given up on that side of the floor. Jimmy would be better in a situation like the one he has now where the franchise players are young, and open to Jimmy’s advice and help.

  11. Meadowlark

    All this grousing about tampering makes us sound like little old ladies tut tut tutting at a coffee klatch. Did you see what SHE was wearing, Louise?!?!” Well I never saw anything to top that Martha.

  12. snotrocket

    Just be quiet, enjoy your last contract, and ride off into the sunset quietly. Nobody wants to play with you or for that joke of a franchise.

  13. Stoop Down Low

    What’s scary from a non-LAC point of view is the prospect of KD sitting down with Steve Ballmer, Doc Rivers, and Jerry West. That is a recruiting squad like you dream about. The Nets by comparison it’s Prokhorov/Joe Tsai/Sean Marks/Kenny Atkinson. Not bad, but not the logo.

  14. Butler wasn’t ever going to put up the same numbers in Philly that he did at his prior stops, but his game is still the same. Philly can and should re-up both he and Harris (at max if that’s what it takes). The goal is to win championships, not awards for equitable payrolls. Windows for a super team don’t roll around a lot. If they don’t at least try to re-up both, then the Harris trade made no sense in retrospect even if he’s resigned.

  15. Ironmonger835

    Tampering!!! Lakers should be forced to forfeit 3 first round picks, starting with this year’s pick!!! This is UNACCEPTABLE!!!

  16. stevep-4

    Lakers fans should be forced to continue to watch an ongoing dumpster fire turn into a complete implosion. Oh, wait, that is what is happening. Good luck with that recruitment.

    Butler would be a great Pippen for James, but my guess now is that he goes elsewhere, UNLESS they overpay and offer hm a max.

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