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LeBron James breaks silence on wild Lakers-Warriors trade rumors

LeBron James addressed reports that the Golden State Warriors contacted the Los Angeles Lakers about trading for him before the NBA trade deadline. Speaking before he made his record 20th appearance in the NBA All-Star Game, LeBron downplayed the extent to which trade discussions progressed.

“I actually heard about it when everybody else heard about it,” James told the TNT crew. “Sometimes there’s conversations that happen behind closed doors that you don’t even know about it. And I guess until it’s real or not, then they’ll bring it to you. But it never even got to me.”

Earlier this month, Warriors owner Joe Lacob—with backing from Klutch client Draymond Green—reportedly reached out to Jeanie Buss to inquire about LeBron’s availability. Buss, per ESPN, reaffirmed her preference to keep LeBron on the Lakers, but referred the inquiry to James’ agent. Rich Paul relayed his client’s disinterest in leaving Los Angeles, at the moment.

“I’m never surprised,” Stephen Curry said about the reports, per NBC Sports. “It’s always a surprise when stuff like that gets out because I am assuming every team is making calls that if every fan or fan base or media group would know about it, it would maybe normalize the conversation that happens in the front office, especially around the trade deadline when you’re exploring around the league who’s available and who’s not.”

“Obviously, a guy like Bron, you would probably call just to see. I don’t know what the depths of those conversations were, but that was a nice little surprise this morning, for sure.”

Despite LeBron’s overtures, the Lakers did nothing at the deadline. They currently lead the Warriors by 1.5 games for the ninth spot in the Western Conference.

Before his TNT appearance, LeBron hit on a litany of topics at his extended media availability in Indianapolis, including his overall contentment to remain with the Lakers organization—though he didn’t specify for how long.

“I’m happy and been very happy being a Laker the last six years, and hopefully it stays that way. But I don’t have the answer for how long it is or which uniform it’ll be in. … Hopefully, it’s the Lakers. It’s a great organization, so many greats. But we’ll see.”

LeBron has a $51.4 million option for 2024-25. A few days before the trade deadline, he said he had not yet decided whether to return to the Lakers or test unrestricted free agency.

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