LeBron James on Lakers Trade Rumors: 'Y'all Know What the F--k Should Be Happening'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 8, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 06:  LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at Crypto.com Arena on January 06, 2023 in Los Angeles, 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

LeBron James wants the Los Angeles Lakers to make a trade.


The four-time MVP spelled out his frustration in only a select few words in a conversation with The Athletic's Sam Amick after Saturday's 136-134 win over the Sacramento Kings.

"Y'all know what the f--k should be happening," James said. "I don't need to talk."

James may not want to "talk," but he's sending a message. The Lakers are 19-21 and winners of five straight games, with James playing historically brilliant basketball at age 38. He's scored at least 37 points in three of his last four games, hoisting a shaky roster on his back as the Lakers await Anthony Davis' return from a foot injury.

Even when Davis returns, this Lakers team has no chance of reasonably competing for a championship without a trade.

The only player on the roster besides James and Davis who makes enough money to bring back difference-makers in a trade is Russell Westbrook, who could be packaged with first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to make an enticing offer for teams. The Lakers front office has been reluctant to include both picks in trade talks over the last several months.

Even though Amick's interview with James consisted of few words, the sense of frustration over the inaction was palpable.

"Man, listen, I play the game. I worry about who's in the locker room. I can'tβ€”it's not my … it's not my job. I can't do nobody else's job," James said.

A package of Buddy Hield and Myles Turner for Westbrook has been the most rumored trade, but it's unclear if the Indiana Pacers are as interested now as they were over the summer. Indiana is a surprising 22-18, with Hield and Turner both playing critical roles around the ascending Tyrese Haliburton.

NBA insider Marc Stein recently reported Turner has declined contract extension offers from the Pacers.

The Lakers could also make a lesser deal involving Kendrick Nunn or Patrick Beverley, but none of those deals would pack the same punch as adding the depth and floor spacing that would be provided by Turner and Hield.

LeBron did not make these comments by accident. He's letting it be known the pressure is on to make a move.