NBA rumors: Rich Paul on LeBron James leaving Lakers: 'Ridiculous, totally false'

With each Los Angeles Lakers’ mediocre performance this season, their playoff dreams are fading away slowly as they slip further in the standings. As a result, rumors have begun to circulate about a possible LeBron James exit in the near future. However, Shams Charania shut down all of that chatter as a guest on The Pat McAfee Show. LeBron is not leaving. On the show, Charania shared a message from James’ agent, Rich Paul.

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On the show, Charania shared a message from James’ agent, Rich Paul. “I spoke to LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, and he said that talk [of James leaving] in itself is ridiculous and it’s totally false," Charania told McAfee. "LeBron James isn’t leaving the Lakers, he’s going to be on the Lakers. The question is: how can the Lakers get better? That’s why I’ve heard they have been active in the trade market.”

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Pat McAfee: “I personally don't see a scenario where LeBron James is bolting from the Lakers to the Cavs.. from everything I've been told his plan is to be a Laker for the foreseeable future" ~ @ShamsCharania #PMSLive

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The Los Angeles Lakers might have to trade for LeBron James this summer. James has rather clearly been offended by Lakers' management twice over the past two weeks. First when it elected not to make a deal before the Feb. 10 trade deadline after he had both publicly and privately prodded for something. More accurately, he expected it. And second when Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka stepped over the line when he announced James was on board with the status quo; a source told ESPN there was no prior sign-off from James.
Same as he was doing last week, in the wake of the trade deadline inaction, when he spoke about how his recent knee injury would likely bother him the rest of the season. The knee surely is an issue, but James was also laying the groundwork to give himself options depending on how the rest of the season plays out for the Lakers (27-31). What James is doing is likely aimed at one primary goal: Force the Lakers into major action this summer. He tried to do it nicely and now he's doing it harshly.
But it isn't free. Aug. 4 is the first day James can extend his contract again. The Lakers will surely offer one. And James will have some demands before he accepts. The Lakers have a flawed roster -- yes, James played a large role in putting it together but that doesn't mean he isn't ready to divorce it -- but they have options. If Russell Westbrook picks up his own player option, he will be on a $47 million expiring contract. After only being able to trade their 2027 first-round pick -- which the Lakers decided not to trade at the deadline, in part because they still owe two future firsts from the Anthony Davis deal -- rules will then allow the Lakers to trade their 2029 pick.
According to Oakley, one of the most important things that remain on LeBron’s checklist before he hangs it up would be to win another championship. Oakley isn’t completely confident that James will be able to achieve this with the Lakers and this is exactly why the 58-year-old believes that LeBron is going to part ways with the team sooner rather than later: “You know LeBron, his legacy right now is he definitely wants to win a championship before he retires,” Oaklay claimed on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “He might leave LA to get it. I don’t know if it will be Cleveland, could be somewhere else. He left twice. He’ll leave again.”
Pat McAfee: "I heard directly from Rich Paul that LeBron James isn't leaving the Lakers.. this team just doesn't look it has the young legs that they need to have & they have been very active in the trade market" @ShamsCharania

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LA Times' Bill Plaschke came on with Jorge, A-Kam and Dave to talk more about the Lakers' woes and . Bill revealed that if the Lakers don't get a "big fish" in the next month, LeBron could "want out."
Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times on ESPN LA: "I’m hearing that, if they whiff on free agency, and if they whiff on a trade – which I don’t know how likely that is, but if that happens, they’ve got big trouble with LeBron. Why would LeBron – I mean, the LeBron era could be over before it starts here. I heard this for the first time yesterday. Somebody very connected said “You know what, if they whiff, LeBron’s going to say either, ‘I’m out of here’ or ‘Get me out of here,’ or the Lakers better just might as well just get him out of here."
The one thing Hart said he was fairly certain of was that no one on the roster was untouchable with the exception of two players: LeBron James, the team’s lone All-Star, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who is represented by Klutch Sports, the same agency that represents James and Davis: “You’re going through it and you’re like ‘Alright, man.’ You had no idea. Like, really, it seemed like nobody was untouchable honestly, besides LeBron and KCP. That was the only untouchable pieces. Fortunately for me, my name wasn’t really thrown in there until the last day when basically everyone on the roster was allegedly getting traded. It was just a weird situation because you had no idea.”
It’s early in that process. Leonard’s shot just fell through the net. But one Western Conference executive brought up a name that could be a Simmons trade target: LeBron James. “I think they very well might explore that,” said a rival executive of Philadelphia. James doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but he shares the same Klutch Sports agent with Ben Simmons in Rich Paul. James has two seasons left on his deal before he can become a free agent.

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Sagar Trika: Woj: LeBron James's decision won't be quick and will likely stretch into July. Implication here is that it can't be an opt-in-and-trade, as the player option deadline is June 29. Keep an eye on what he decides to do at the end of the month (a week from this upcoming Friday).
If Paul stays with the Rockets, Houston becomes the closest thing to a favorite on my scorecard, no matter how complicated it would be for the 65-win Rockets and their general manager, Daryl Morey, to orchestrate the requisite salary-cap gymnastics to bring James in. But don’t discount the idea that James could try to bring Paul with him to a team that can afford two superstars, such as the Lakers, because he and Paul really are that close.
The prevailing thought from outside the Cavaliers is that LeBron forces a trade rather than walking away. Much like his good friend Chris Paul, LeBron can choose to opt into his final contract year and push his way to a team with existing stars – like Houston. The fact that teams like the Lakers and even the Philadelphia 76ers could sign him outright in free agency gives him some leverage.
Chris Haynes: ESPN Sources: Cleveland never approached LeBron James about waiving his no-trade clause. The team committed to righting ship with hopes of retaining James.
Following yet another disheartening loss by the Cleveland Cavaliers, 116-98 to an Orlando Magic team tied for the worst record in the Eastern Conference, LeBron James said he will not waive his no-trade clause ahead of Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline. "I'm here for the long haul," James said. "I'm here for this season right now, [to] try to figure out ways we can still compete. I couldn't give up on my teammates like that. I couldn't do that. I just couldn't do it. We put too much into the game every single day. We go out and prepare. Win, lose or draw, at the end of the day, we're all brothers, and we understand that. I owe it to my teammates to finish this season out no matter how it ends up. I would never waive my no-trade clause."
LeBron James: "I'm here for this season right now, try to figure out ways we can still compete. I couldn't give up on my teammates like that. I couldn't do that. I just couldn't do it. I owe it to my teammates to finish this season out no matter how it ends up. I would never waive my no-trade clause."
There has been no indication publicly that Gilbert wants to trade James, and a team official said last month James was the one player the Cavs absolutely would not deal.
LeBron James will not waive the no-trade clause in his contract, a league source confirmed to the Beacon Journal Tuesday, and remains focused on winning now with the Cavaliers. With the NBA trade deadline looming on Thursday, teams have inquired about whether that was a possibility with James, according to a report by Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.
Cleveland has attempted to behave as a buyer at the trade deadline, but the first approach toward a possible rebuild would be to examine trading the team’s core players — a conversation the Cavaliers have yet to broach with James, and both sides understand his position to play the season out, league sources said. Over the past several days, teams around the league have openly wondered about whether Cleveland would look into James dropping his no-trade — which would clear the way for a potential pursuit. However, James remains solely focused on competing for a championship in Cleveland this season and evaluating his future after the season ends.
Shams Charania: Sources: As NBA teams do due diligence on his no-trade clause and potential of him dropping it, LeBron James is determined to see year through in Cleveland, focused on season and will not waive the clause.
LeBron James may or may not be “100 percent” certain to leave Cleveland after this season, but the Cavaliers are reportedly already preparing for life without the King. According to Kevin Durant, James has more than earned the right to dictate the terms of any possible departure. Durant was replying to a tweet Wednesday from rapper Lil Dicky, who said, “If I’m Cleveland, I’m one thousand percent trading LeBron.” James actually has a no-trade clause in his contract, which also gives him the ability to opt out in 2018, but the Warriors forward took the tweet at face value, saying that the Cavs “can’t trade a legend.” “He is Cleveland, he gets to hold the cards,” Durant added.
Durant then returned to his exchange with Lil Dicky, who had noted the acrimony between Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and James over the latter’s 2010 exit in free agency. “If I’m Gilbert, I’m getting something back this time,” the rapper said. “I feel what you’re saying,” Durant replied. “Most owners think that way, but then you realize it’s LeBron James.”
No matter the reconstruction of the Cleveland Cavaliers' roster, no matter the potential for heightened inner turmoil, no matter the win-loss record, and with or without Kyrie Irving, LeBron James will not waive his no-trade clause for any teams at any point during the 2017-18 season, league sources tell ESPN.
Sources are adamant that James is fully committed to leading the team with the personnel the organization imports to training camp in September. His primary focus is next season, an entire season with the Cavs in pursuit of another championship.
Anthony would also be willing to play with LeBron James in Cleveland but as of now the two teams have not been able to come close to striking a deal. Anthony is also concerned that LeBron may leave the Cavs next summer once LeBron becomes a free agent. It has been speculated for weeks that James is interested in signing with the Lakers.
Bobby Marks: On the LeBron James contract. James joins Melo, KG and Dirk as players with a no trade clause. 8 seasons and with current team 4 yrs to be eligible. James previous stint in Cleveland applies to a no trade clause.
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August 8, 2022 | 3:49 pm EDT Update

Jordan Clarkson on trade rumors: I know how the business of basketball works

Even as rumors of a Jazz rebuild swirl amid reports of trade talks involving Donovan Mitchell, Jordan Clarkson stays even-keeled. As the rain fell around us and kids yelled in the distance — pleading for Clarkson to stay in Utah and telling him that he is their favorite player — I took a serious tone and asked Clarkson how he was feeling considering everything that could potentially happen. “I’m chillin’,” he said with the wide and honest smile that has endeared him to Jazz fans for the last two years. “My mood is — I’m always good. My vibe is always good. It doesn’t change. This is my ninth year going into the league. I know how the business of basketball works.”
Newly minted Jazz coach Will Hardy stopped by to meet Clarkson in person and have a brief get-to-know-you session on Saturday while Clarkson was in town, and Hardy made a solid impression with the former Sixth Man of the Year. “I’m not that good at texting or calling people, so it was really cool to just kick it with him today and shoot the (expletive),” Clarkson said. “He’s tight. I like him a lot.”
What Clarkson knows for sure is that he is currently on the Jazz roster, he still has many years of basketball ahead of him, and he’s ready for whatever life throws at him. “Am I happy in Utah? Yes. Do I like my teammates? Yes. I met the new coach and love him,” Clarkson said. “This is all part of what it is. But my preparation never changes and I’m going to wake up every morning and be me and do what I do. Everything is good.”
August 8, 2022 | 3:17 pm EDT Update

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