NBA Trade Rumors: Warriors Pursued LeBron James, but Lakers Star Had No Interest

It turns out there was a reason LeBron James was briefly being mentioned in trade rumors leading up to the Feb. 8 deadline.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 27: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors talk to each other after the Lakers beat the Warriors in double overtime at Chase Center on January 27, 2024 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the Golden State Warriors made an attempt to get James and the Los Angeles Lakers to consider a deal.

The report noted there were “owner-to-owner conversations” at one point, but neither James nor the Lakers got to the point where they were willing to explore a potential trade.

There was never any real indication leading up to the trade deadline that James was actually going to be moved, but there were enough rumblings that his agent had to make a public statement on the matter.

“LeBron won’t be traded, and we aren’t asking to be,” Rich Paul told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on Feb. 2.

James certainly didn’t do anything to shut down the rumors about his future in Los Angeles. He posted an hourglass emoji on X, and then declined to explain the meaning behind it and said he was undecided about his $51.4 million player option for the 2024-25 season.

Before and after the Lakers’ game at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 3, James was openly flirting with the New York Knicks.

“I’ve had that thought in my career,” James said after that game when asked if he ever thought about playing for the Knicks, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Post.

Playing for the Warriors would be something dramatically different for James. His friendly rivalry with Stephen Curry has been the defining rivalry of this generation for the NBA.

James’ teams have played the Warriors in the playoffs five different times. Golden State has a 3-2 advantage in those series, with all three wins coming in the NBA Finals. The Lakers eliminated the Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals last season.

Credit to the Warriors for at least trying to take the biggest swing possible to upgrade their roster for this season. It would have been fascinating to see what type of package Golden State general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. tried putting together for James.

If nothing else, the Lakers might feel better about James’ commitment to them beyond this season considering he didn’t want to play for another team when the opportunity could have presented itself.

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