With the Los Angeles Lakers’ mediocre performance this season, making their playoff dreams fade away slowly as they slip further in the standings, rumors have begun to circulate about a possible LeBron James move away from the team in 2022. However, Shams Charania shut down the rumors in his tweet, suggesting a different scenario.
LeBron is not leaving
Charania guested on the Pat McAfee Show and shared an answer from James’ agent Rich Paul. This information can be considered reliable because Shams has built a career on releasing breaking news, especially about player trades and movements, which are almost always true.
“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. 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.”
James is no stranger to switching jerseys. He has been lauded and ridiculed for jumping teams in the past. For others, it’s a power move in that he has control over his future, while others feel it was a weak move to win a title. But as Shams have now clarified, Lakers fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing their superstar will remain in the team at least until his contract ends in 2023.
The rumors about James leaving L.A. started on Twitter when @lebroncomehome2022 trended. More stories will surface in the following months if the Lakers continue to struggle.
What the Lakers need to do in the trade market
The trade market opened on December 15, and teams looking to improve their roster can start looking for available assets. L.A. could find some short-term answers there, but in reality, they have no assets to offer to other teams.
Aside from James and Anthony Davis, only Talen Hortons-Tucker or Austin Reaves is the only exciting prospect L.A. has on their roster. Unless they do a massive overhaul and offer veterans in their team, it’s a difficult path for the Los Angeles Lakers moving forward. Is anyone interested in getting Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan, or Dwight Howard?
Whether they stick with what they have or flip some non-performing assets for a younger star is up to the front office to decide. The clock is ticking. LeBron James staying in L.A. won’t solve all their problems.