Agent Says LeBron James Won’t Be Traded

Lakers star LeBron James won’t ask to be traded and won’t be dealt ahead of next Thursday’s deadline, agent Rich Paul tells Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

There has been no reputable reporting suggesting that James was considering requesting a trade or that the Lakers were weighing the possibility of moving him.

However, there has been some speculation from fans and media members about LeBron’s future, given the Lakers’ middling record (25-25) this season, his age (39), and his contract situation (he can become an unrestricted free agent this summer).

James perhaps fueled that speculation by cryptically tweeting an hourglass emoji following Tuesday’s loss, but Paul opted to shut down it before it went any further, telling ESPN, “LeBron won’t be traded, and we aren’t asking to be.”

Paul’s comments come as no surprise. Although James has changed teams multiple times over the course of his lengthy career, he has never requested a mid-season trade, haing always made his moves during free agency, and the Lakers wouldn’t look to move one of the NBA’s all-time greats without a push from him.

James has, on the other hand, made a habit over the years of putting pressure on his teams’ front offices by making comments to reporters or on social media hinting that roster upgrades are necessary. His hourglass tweet may have been referencing the time ticking down until the February 8 trade deadline or on the Lakers to salvage their up-and-down season.

The Lakers had an encouraging showing on Thursday, pulling out an upset victory over the Celtics in Boston despite James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (Achilles/hip) both missing the game.

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