Warriors

NBA rumors: LeBron James trade was contemplated by Lakers owner Jeanie Buss

NBA rumors: LeBron James trade was contemplated by Lakers owner Jeanie Buss

There's drama, and then there's drama with LeBron James on the Lakers. 

There's rumors, and then there's this: Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher states a team source says Lakers owner Jeanie Buss contemplated trading LeBron James to terminate the team's relationship with agent Rich Paul because of mishandling of trade talks with the Pelicans and Anthony Davis. 

This comes less than a week after ESPN's Jeff Van Gundy suggested the Lakers should trade James. In Bucher's piece, however, his source told him the idea was on Buss' mind weeks before Van Gundy said the team should explore the move while broadcasting a Celtics-Lakers game. 

Let's take a step back. The Lakers' season has been a disaster this year. That's certainly true. LeBron has had his faults and distractions to start his Lakers tenure. Also true. While both statements ring true, what's most clear is the team is not going to trade LeBron James. 

They're not. 

The Lakers go into Thursday as the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference with a 31-36 record. When they signed LeBron this past offseason, their sights were set on taking down the Warriors and hanging another championship banner in the Staples Center. Now, there's virtually no shot of them even making the playoffs. 

But nobody envisioned a 34-year-old James to finally go down to a tough injury. Or half of the Lakers roster to miss significant time. The Lakers haven't just been bitten by an injury bug, but chewed, swallowed and spit out by a Black Bear. 

When James suffered a groin injury on Christmas Day in the Lakers' 127-101 win over the Warriors, Los Angeles was the No. 6 seed in the West with a 20-14 record. LeBron then missed 17 games, with the Lakers going 6-11. 

[RELATED: Steph Curry's 31st birthday provides Warriors star a chance to reflect]

The Lakers' season spiraled in James' absence and they never recovered. You don't trade one of the greatest players of all time because of a tough start, and you definitely don't to be petty. Well, actually that happens all too often, but it won't be happening in Hollywood. 

Once again though, there's drama, and then there's LeBron on the Lakers.

Andrew Bogut explains how becoming father changed his life perspective

Andrew Bogut explains how becoming father changed his life perspective

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Wednesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Andrew Bogut and his wife have two kids. The oldest is about 2 1/2 years old, and the youngest is about 9 months old.

That means the big man wasn't a father during his first run with the Warriors, which ended in July 2016 when he was traded to Dallas.

“Having two kids totally changed his life,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. “He’s no longer a cynic. He’s just as smart and wise and fun.

"He’s always been a really good dude.”

Bogut agrees that being a father has changed his outlook on life.

“If you do lose or play bad, you get to go home to two kids who don’t give a s--t about it, so it’s a pretty cool thing," Bogut explained to The Athletic. "You can get home from whatever you’re doing, and when you’ve got two kids and one of them s--ts themselves, and you’ve got to change the diaper, you kind of forget about all the bad things you’re going through.”

Speaking as somebody who became a father three months ago, this is absolutely correct.

Bogut -- who started five games during the regular season -- jumped center in Games 3 and 4 of the NBA playoff series against the Clippers in place of the injured DeMarcus Cousins:
Game 3 = eight points, 14 rebounds, five assists, steal, block
Game 4 = eight points, 10 rebounds, four assists

He's helping on the court and in the locker room, where he's respected by all.

[RELATEDBogut gives interesting response to Embiid's 3-1 Dubs joke]

“He’s still an a--hole, that ain't changed,” Kevon Looney told The Athletic, while smiling. “But he was always nice to his teammates, and he’s great to me. I say he’s probably the smartest, one of the smartest basketball players I ever played with.

"Him and Andre [Iguodala] and Draymond [Green], IQ level is crazy.”

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Rockets GM Daryl Morey agrees facing Warriors in semis could be better

Rockets GM Daryl Morey agrees facing Warriors in semis could be better

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Wednesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

On the last day of the NBA's regular season, the following two things happened:
1) The Blazers -- who rested their top guys and only played six players -- erased a 28-point deficit and beat the Kings
2) The Nuggets -- who were down at home by 11 points with a little over three minutes left -- stormed back and beat the Wolves

As a result, Denver finished with the No. 2 seed and Portland with the No. 3 seed.

The main takeaway? The Rockets entered the playoffs at No. 4 seed, which meant a potential showdown with the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. It became impossible for there to be a rematch between Golden State and Houston in the West Finals.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey was recently a guest on The Bill Simmons Podcast and he was asked if potentially facing the Warriors one round earlier could actually be beneficial.

"It's very hard to know. We can't control it. To be frank, we don't spend a lot of time on it but we have talked about it internally," Morey said. "It could work in our favor but it's very hard to know.

"As much as we could get injured, so could they. All I know is that we pretty much knew we were gonna have to beat them, so does the order really matter? Probably not. It would have been nice to get homecourt like last year.

"I think that could be a big factor -- last year at Oracle, their fans are great -- I do think not having homecourt is a factor. I do think we're a better team going into the series. Maybe our odds are similar to last year.

"We do feel very strongly we have a real shot at it. But obviously, they're the champs three of the last four years for a reason."

Simmons followed up by saying: "I was looking at it more like from a health standpoint. The longer the playoffs go, and especially, you know Chris (Paul) has battled nagging injuries his entire career -- you just know that if you can get through this Utah series..."

"We are slightly older than them, so yeah it could work in our favor, yeah," Morey said.

[RELATEDBogut gives interesting response to Embiid's 3-1 Dubs joke]

The health variable is a very fair point. The Rockets currently are up three-games-to-none on the Jazz in their first-round series. And if they complete the sweep in Utah on Monday night, they will get a solid chunk of time to rest before a potential series against the Dubs starts this weekend (assuming the Warriors beat the Clippers in Game 5 on Wednesday).

The rematch seems inevitable at this point and the basketball world deserves both teams to be fully healthy.

Make it happen, Basketball Gods.

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