Did the Lakers blame Davis’ and LeBron James‘ agent, Rich Paul?
Was ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy onto something when he suggested Los Angeles consider trading LeBron?
The subject of moving James, however, was contemplated by the Lakers, a team source said, weeks before Van Gundy aired it. When rumors engulfed the team at the February trade deadline that it was willing to trade anyone other than James to acquire All-Star forward Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, James’ agent, Rich Paul, was widely accused of spreading those rumors because Davis is also one of his clients. Paul denied to B/R that he leaked the Lakers’ interest in Davis, but Buss suspected otherwise and was furious. The idea of terminating the franchise’s relationship with Paul by moving James at least crossed Buss’ mind, the team source said, and Paul was made aware of that. That prompted Paul to reach out to Buss to clear the air, and whatever ill will existed supposedly dissipated.
I’m very skeptical. This is from only a single Bucher sources, and the story sounds outrageous.
Jeanie Buss fired her own brother to help the Lakers get LeBron. She was suddenly going to trade LeBron because his agent leaked something? C’mon.
The Lakers can’t trade LeBron without nuking their status as a destination that works for stars. The team and LeBron are in it together now.
This is what the Lakers signed up for – LeBron’s greatness, Paul’s involvement, drama. It’s all part of the deal.
The Lakers’ Davis pursuit clearly caused internal turmoil. I can’t rule completely rule out Buss overreacting by considering trading LeBron. But it would have been the wrong move and doesn’t sound like one she would have made.
Either way, she found another scapegoat.