Kendrick Perkins: Lakers are punishing LeBron James for Russell Westbrook trade

Everyone is waiting to see if the Los Angeles Lakers do anything before the Feb. 9 trade deadline to improve their roster and get closer to championship contention.

Their 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks are apparently their only attractive trade chips, yet the front office is reluctant to trade them, which doesn’t sit well with LeBron James.

Many fans believe the team is in limbo, not wanting to go all-in and maximize the window of James and Anthony Davis, yet also not committing to some sort of long-term plan.

Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins thinks general manager Rob Pelinka and team governor Jeanie Buss are punishing James for pushing for the Russell Westbrook trade, one that many think was a huge mistake.

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“It almost feels like, in my opinion, that Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss is punishing LeBron for the Russell Westbrook trade, meaning, ‘You played a huge part in getting Russell Westbrook here, and we know we have these two draft picks and we’re not going to trade them because you wanted him. You wanted him, Bron. So now you have to deal with it. You made your bed, you have to lay in it.'”

The irony of this theory is that by “punishing” James, the Lakers could be hurting their own team by passing on a deal that could perhaps give it a shot at competing for the NBA title this season or next season.

In addition, such a decision would make L.A.’s front office look more inept, which could, at least in theory, dissuade another superstar from signing with it in the future. Such a superstar might feel Pelinka wouldn’t bring in the right pieces to give him enough support.

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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire