Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has shifted his focus from Kyrie Irving after a failed pursuit of the former Nets star.
Before Kyrie Irving was ultimately dealt to the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers were one of the teams vying to acquire him through a trade after he had spent time as a guard for the Brooklyn Nets. Irving’s former teammate and current Lakers star LeBron James was looking forward to reuniting with the player he won a championship with in 2016.
However, the Lakers were unable to successfully complete a trade for Irving and James was disappointed by this development. Due to the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers were the guard’s preferred destination, the Brooklyn Nets were not interested in trading Kyrie Irving to them. As a result, the Nets demanded both Austin Reaves and Max Christie in addition to two first-round picks from the Lakers, but the Lakers were not willing to meet those demands.
Kyrie Irving was eventually dealt to the Mavericks in order for him to play alongside Luka Doncic, and LeBron James’s reaction to the news showed that he was visibly upset by the failed pursuit. The Lakers are still actively looking to shop Russell Westbrook but the Nets opted to have Spencer Dinwiddie instead.
Speaking about the failed pursuit of Kyrie Irving, LeBron James said, “I can’t sit here and say I’m not disappointed (at) not being able to land such a talented (player) … that can help you win championships. … But my focus has shifted now.” He added, “Definitely disappointing… We had an opportunity, it didn’t happen… we finish this season strong & try to get a bid into the postseason where I feel, when healthy, we can compete with anybody.”
With the trade deadline fast approaching, the Lakers are still looking to make moves to strengthen their roster. The franchise made a smart business move by acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards, but they still need to make a few more trades before they can be considered competitive.
Russell Westbrook is actively involved in the majority of all trade talks for the Los Angeles Lakers and everyone is waiting to see if any NBA team is willing to take Russell Westbrook in return because doing so will unquestionably improve the Los Angeles Lakers chances of winning.
LeBron James is playing at an MVP level
Although the Los Angeles Lakers are not currently in a position to make the playoffs, LeBron James has been playing at an MVP level, which is comparable to the level he played at last year at this time. He kept the Lakers afloat during Anthony Davis’s absence, and now that Davis is healthy again, James has optimistic expectations for the Lakers’ future performance.
The Lakers are currently the 13th seed in the Western Conference and are 25-29. LeBron James has averaged 30.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 43 games this season. If the Lakers are successful in making some significant moves prior to the trade deadline, it will serve to further motivate LeBron James to maintain his play at the highest possible level.
He is close to breaking the all-time scoring record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but LeBron James would not want to miss the playoffs for a second straight season even if he is on the verge of breaking the record. This Lakers team has a good chance to make a deep playoff run, especially now that Anthony Davis is healthy and Patrick Beverley is playing at a higher level at the right time.
They are still in the market for the likes of Zach Lavine, Fred VanVleet, Jordan Clarkson, Bradley Beal, etc. if they are available at the right price as it could transform them into a championship contender.
There is a lot of pressure on the front office of the Los Angeles Lakers to make some significant moves in the next couple of days so that they do not waste the level of basketball that both Davis and James are playing this season. The Lakers front office has a big couple of days ahead of them.
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