LeBron James, are you pushing for Laker trades? “There’s nothing I’m chasing”

Kurt Helin

It’s a question of perception.

The report on ESPN that the Pelicans had played the Lakers’ push to trade for Anthony Davis in a way to sabotage the Lakers’ chemistry always smelled of spin. The fact is what hurt the “Lakers chemistry” far more than anything the Pelicans’ did was Rich Paul, the agent of Anthony Davis (and LeBron James, so the perception is this comes straight from LeBron), publicly requesting a mid-season trade out of New Orleans. And, very obviously, trying to push Davis toward the Lakers, where LeBron plays. This after Davis and LeBron dined together following a game earlier in the season. The Lakers put all their young talent — Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma — in various the trade packages, ones that quickly became public. The Pelicans listened to the Lakers, but the decision makers in New Orleans were never tempted to play along.

The perception to those young Lakers? LeBron wants to trade them. It showed in the 42-point drubbing he distracted Lakers got from the Pacers this week.

In shootaround in Boston Thursday, LeBron was asked about the idea he is pushing the Lakers to make moves sooner rather than later. He pushed back.