LeBron James gives testy reaction to Rob Pelinka's comments about LA Lakers' trade options: "He was talking to you, he wasn’t talking to us"

The LA Lakers could end up wasting LeBron James
The LA Lakers could end up wasting LeBron James' historically great season if Rob Pelinka can't make the right trades. [photo: Lakers Outsiders]

LeBron James told the media earlier this month that he knows what he brings to the table. He reiterated that with the right pieces, he can still be part of a championship-winning team.

The LA Lakers struck early heading into the February trade deadline by acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards. It’s a trade that helps Darvin Ham’s team but there are still holes to fill, which GM Rob Pelinka is still hesitant to plug.

James had this to say when asked about Pelinka’s comments about making smart decisions for today and the Lakers’ future:

“How does it sit with you? He said it to you guys [media], alright? He was talking to you, he wasn’t talking to us. Rob gonna do his job, that’s his job. My job is to be on the floor, make sure my guys in the locker room are always ready to go.”
.@KingJames talks about the #Lakers loss, Rui, and more.

The four-time MVP’s response seemed a bit odd, considering that he has been telling everyone that his DNA is all about winning championships. Throughout his career, draft picks have not mattered to him or to most of the teams he has played for.

Pelinka’s job in the offseason was to infuse youth, which he did, but he glaringly failed to provide the “lasers” James has thrived with. More than halfway into the season, the Lakers are last in 3-point shots made with just 10.5 per game.

LeBron James was shooting just 28.8% from deep before last night’s blistering 9-14 display inched his average to 30.7%. He needs others to have more volume and efficiency on that end. JJ Redick, on “The Old Man and the Three” podcast, argued that the Lakers don’t just need a shooter, they need shooters.

The Lakers have been linked to some of the NBA’s deadliest long-range marksmen. They’ve been heavily linked to Bojan Bogdanovic of the Detroit Pistons and Buddy Hield of the Indiana Pacers. Pelinka is willing to start trade talks, but will likely not include the coveted 2027 and 2029 first-round picks of the team.


LeBron James’ job is to play and he has certainly shown that. He’s bringing MVP-level play to the table. It would be interesting to see if Rob Pelinka obliges the GOAT candidate.

LeBron James and Rob Pelinka may not be on the same page regarding the LA Lakers’ prized 2027 and 2029 first-round picks

LeBron James can't care less about the LA Lakers' future first-round picks.
LeBron James can't care less about the LA Lakers' future first-round picks.

2027 and 2029 are too far down the line for LeBron James to care about. The biggest goal of his career is to play with his son, Bronny James. If those picks mean turning the Lakers into title contenders, the soon-to-be 19x All-Star will not even blink before trading them.

Rob Pelinka, on the other hand, has maintained his stance since the offseason that he’s committed to the four-time champ’s legacy. He just doesn’t want to make a decision that will leave the Lakers hanging now and in the future.

Here’s Pelinka on how they will approach trades that could involve the coveted draft capital:

“The completely unwise thing to do would be to shoot a bullet early and then not have it later when you have a better championship move to make.”
I asked Rob Pelinka about the possibility of using the team’s first-round picks ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline. His answer:

LeBron James was visibly dissatisfied with the current roster earlier in the season due to a lack of shooters. That’s still the issue hounding the Lakers with more than half of the season over. If Pelinka is not aggressive, the team could be wasting a historically great year from “King James.”

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Edited by Michael Macasero
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