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Rich Paul on whether LeBron James wants to or will be traded

The Los Angeles Lakers have been a festering disappointment this season. Despite being expected to be a legitimate contender for the NBA championship, they hold a mediocre 25-25 record with the All-Star break approaching.

They have achieved some inspiring victories against some of the league’s best teams, including the Boston Celtics, who they defeated on Thursday. But they have also lost in meek fashion to many teams that are seemingly inferior, at least on paper.

A tweet from a reporter at KTLA, a Los Angeles-based television station, on Thursday, claimed that the Lakers were seriously looking to trade LeBron James. James himself didn’t help that speculation, as he posted an hourglass emoji on Twitter after L.A.’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday.

But Rich Paul, James’ agent, tried to put an end to that rumor (h/t Lakers Daily).

Via ESPN:

“LeBron won’t be traded, and we aren’t asking to be,” Paul said in reaction to some growing speculation about James’ future ahead of next week’s trade deadline.

James is under contract through next season, but next season is a player option year for him, and thus he could decide to become a free agent and leave the Lakers this offseason.

The 39-year-old continues to put up his usual outstanding numbers and shooting efficiency this season, although there is increasing criticism regarding his major drop-off on the defensive end in recent seasons.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire