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. 

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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.

Marreese Speights discusses joining BIG3 prior to coronavirus pandemic

Marreese Speights discusses joining BIG3 prior to coronavirus pandemic

Marreese Speights didn’t have an extended tenure with the Warriors, but it was full of exciting moments.

The reliable stretch four was a valuable reserve in Golden State, including being part of the 2015 NBA championship team. Since leaving the Bay Area after the 2015-16 season, Speights has played for two other NBA teams and spent a few seasons playing in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak putting a hold on American sports, Speights was slated to join the BIG3 via one of the league’s new expansion franchises.

“I just think it’s a platform for me to play basketball,” Speights said on a special, virtual edition of “Warriors Outsiders" last week. “I did a lot of things in the NBA, I won a championship, that’s the most important goal.

“So for me, being back to playing basketball is just gonna be fun.”

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The roar Speights would get if he took the floor at Chase Center sometime in the future would be incredible.

The league was scheduled to get underway in June, although it remains to be seen when many American sports will be able to pick things back up after this extended hiatus.

Eleven players Warriors could target with taxpayer mid-level exception

Eleven players Warriors could target with taxpayer mid-level exception

General manager Bob Myers and the Warriors front office have some work to do whenever the NBA offseason begins.

After five straight NBA Finals appearances, the Warriors have the worst record in the NBA this season.

So, it’s up to Myers and Co. to add a few pieces that will help the Warriors get back into contention for an NBA title.

In addition to having one of the top picks in the 2020 NBA Draft and a massive $17.2 million trade exception acquired in the Andre Iguodala deal, the Warriors will have the ability to use the taxpayer mid-level exception, which ESPN’s Bobby Marks estimated will be around $5.9 million.

That number is based on the salary cap, and if that number goes down due to the loss of revenue caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, the value of the taxpayer mid-level exception could shrink as well.

Hard capped by the D’Angelo Russell-Kevin Durant trade with Brooklyn last summer, the Warriors couldn’t go over the luxury tax line this past season. But in 2020-21, the hard cap is gone and Draymond Green’s contract extension kicks in, meaning Golden State will cross the luxury tax threshold.

[RELATED: Steph among Giannis' favorite players]

The Warriors can use the entire taxpayer MLE to sign one player or they can split up the total to sign several players.

Here are 11 pending free agents, in no particular order, that the Warriors could use the Taxpayer MLE on this offseason: