There is no question that this season has been a huge disappointment for LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Sitting out of the playoffs with a 27-31 record was not the place they expected to be coming into the season, but everything from injuries to the poorly constructed roster and fit has quickly removed the Purple & Gold from contending status. A shake-up at the trade deadline was expected, but Pelinka didn't pull the trigger, and it seems like LeBron is not happy about it. So much so we could see another homecoming for "The King."
Klutch is not happy with Pelinka
Quickly after the Trade Deadline concluded, reports about a proposed Westbrok-Wall swap being turned down from Rob Pelinka started going around. LeBron and AD definitely wanted the move to go down, but Pelinka refused to give up a future Draft pick for such a lateral move, showing LeBron he is not about to give up their whole future capital for him.
It was an unprecedented situation, seeing James not get what he wants, and it seems it could play a big part in LeBron's future in LA. To add fuel to the fire, Wall is a Klutch client, as that definitely infuriated LeBron and his business partner Rich Paul even more:
"According to multiple NBA sources, Klutch is not happy with Pelinka. The sentiment has long percolated, but it reached a boil when Pelinka refused to trade Westbrook and a future first-round pick (likely 2027) for Houston Rockets guard and Klutch client John Wall."
Eric Pinus, Bleacher Report
LeBron is spilling all the tea
Well, All-Star weekend has come to give the players and teams a short pause, but LeBron has been firing on all cylinders in his media interviews. It is obvious that James is fed up with the Lakers season and the fact Pelinka refused to make any moves at the deadline, basically giving up on the season. The fact AD will be out again for some time also isn't helping.
In what could be called passive-aggressive comments subtly directed at the Lakers management, LeBron has called the Lakers season lackluster, Sam Presti a great GM, and raved about Cavs GM Coby Altman and their young core that has surpassed everybody's expectations this season. You could say the Cavs and the Lakers have been polar opposite so far regarding expectations and results.
It's obvious LeBron loves the young stars making their names in Cleveland, and with the Lakers' situation going downhill, we could see LeBron force his way out of a contract prematurely for the first time in his career. At 37 years old, James doesn't have a lot of time and energy to carry teams to the end, and being around young studs like Darius Garland, Caris LeVert, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen could be the perfect situation for him.
LeBron even talked about the possible third stint with the Cavs:
"The door's not closed on that. I'm not saying I'm coming back and playing, I don't know. I don't know what my future holds. I don't even know when I'm free."
LeBron James, The Athletic
On the other side, adding LeBron would definitely make the already great Cavs team a realistic contender. But of course, there are some that say it would only ruin their momentum and chemistry, stealing the shine from the young stars. The opinions are definitely divided, but LeBron coming home in the soon future seems like a real possibility right now. Who could have thought?