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LeBron James told Lakers willing to part with both future first-round picks if it returns team to contention

L.A. has nonetheless pledged to James that it will indeed continue to aggressively pursue upgrades. League sources say James, in fact, has been assured that the Lakers are willing to trade both of their available future first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 if a trade that costs them both picks can realistically position the Lakers to return to contender status.
Yet sources say that the prospect of acquiring a focused Irving, or a similarly splashy acquisition, does still hold that kind of appeal to the Lakers even at the costly price. Sources confirm that they would be willing to surrender both firsts in tandem with Westbrook’s $47.1 million expiring contract to acquire Irving (although it’s unclear if the picks would be unprotected or protected). I’m told, however, that the Nets have steadfastly rejected that pitch.
“I don’t care. I don’t care what they’ve got. I know we have a great team,” he quickly responded when asked about the depth in the West. “We have a great team. Everybody knows what we can do, you’ve seen the snippets of what we can do when we’re all healthy together, so we just look forward to that. We don’t care what the Suns have and what the Lakers have, we just want to be healthy so we can do what we set out to do.”
Grady grew up in Indianapolis during the Pacers’ heyday, when Miller and Mark Jackson were battling with Jordan’s Bulls and Patrick Ewing’s Knicks for Eastern Conference supremacy. Watching his team from the Midwest get overlooked and discounted in favor of the bigger-market teams instilled in him a defiance — an audacity, as he likes to put it — that could serve him well here in Minnesota. “You have the Lakers and Golden State and these big markets and these teams with players that are household names,” Grady said. “You mention Minnesota competing with them and some people might not take that seriously. But you have to have the audacity that you can go toe-to-toe with anybody out there. Being able to be a part of fanning the flame for what this franchise is building is something that I take very seriously and I’m really excited about.”