LeBron James Trade to Denver Nuggets Was on Lakers Mind at Deadline

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A few days ago, Stephen A Smith revealed on television that people close to Los Angeles Lakers majority owner, Jeanie Buss are “imploring her to trade LeBron James.”

That’s nothing new.

The Los Angeles Lakers considered trading LeBron James at the NBA’s trading deadline.

Back in March, I got a phone call.

The person on the line was someone in the know and they shared that the Los Angeles Lakers were miffed about how the Anthony Davis deal was handled and that they were quite upset that the deal didn’t happen.

In fact: Ownership felt that Rich Paul’s Klutch Agency and Magic Johnson, former Lakers President of Basketball Operations, were working too closely together in getting Davis via the New Orleans Pelicans.

Simply put: There was a belief in Lakers management that they were trying to sabbotage the Lakers team.

As a result, the Lakers were angry enough that they contemplated trading All Star, LeBron James to the Denver Nuggets.

That’s not outlandish.

The Denver Nuggets were quiety looking to wheel and deal at the NBA’s trading deadline in February.

They even made calls to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis.

LeBron James to the Denver Nuggets is not so outlandish either because LeBron James actually has a personal relationship with the teams president, Josh Kroenke.

While the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets were heavily discussed as a preference by James, before James ultimately chose LA, during NBA free agency this past summer, the Nuggets sought to lure James.

Per LA Times:

James said Josh Kroenke, the vice chairman of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, whose mother technically owns the Nuggets and whose father owns the Los Angeles Rams, broached the subject with him.

“He sent those throwback jerseys, I think they’re wearing them tonight,” James said after the Lakers’ morning shoot-around Tuesday. “The white ones? With the mountains, I believe, that’s on it. Said you’d look good in one of these. But we’ve been on vacation, things of that nature, we have a great friendship. But I didn’t give it much thought.”

James met with Magic Johnson, Lakers president of basketball operations, as soon as league rules allowed at 9 p.m. Pacific Time on June 30. He agreed to a four-year deal with the Lakers in the evening on July 1.

A lot has changed since then.

A LeBron James groin injury was a huge hurdle.

“It was the most serious injury of LeBron’s career,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

“So that’s the start there, and for him not to be on the court, he’s not able to influence anything.”

The Lakers currently lack a head coach.

Names like Jason Kidd and Juwan Howard are currently on LA’s list.

The team also doesn’t have a President of Basketball Operations. Magic Johnson abruptly stepped down as the team’s President last month at a press conference.

On his latest episode of his HBO Special, “The Shop,” LeBron James discussed his displeasure with Magic Johnson stepping down from his post as President of Basketball Operations of the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I found out from Randy [Mims],” said James.

“During my stretching session, my right hand [man] says to me: ‘Magic just stepped down.’ And I’m like: Man get the f*** out my face you’re bulls****ing. I go and check my phone, I look at it, the shit happened.”Personally for me, I came here to be apart of the Lakers organization, having a conversation with Magic. So it was just weird for him to just be like: ‘I’m outta here,’ and not even have no like: ‘Hey ‘Bron, kiss my ass, I’m gone.’ It wasn’t even that.”

The Lakers will enter this summer looking to make a splash in NBA Free Agency.

The team purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019 where several NBA superstars like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, and DeAndre Jordan are expected to become unrestricted free agents.

 

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