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.

Why Warriors should bring back Damion Lee, give him real playing time

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Why Warriors should bring back Damion Lee, give him real playing time

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.
 
With free agency starting Sunday, June 30, the Warriors are about to enter one of the biggest crossroads in their franchise history.

Will they be able to retain injured stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson? Can they afford to bring back "foundational piece" Kevon Looney? Could DeMarcus Cousins re-sign on the cheap to take on a bigger role this season? These questions will all be answered soon.

But in the meantime, the Warriors will have to do what they can to fill out a depleted roster.
 
Last week we highlighted under-the-radar unrestricted free agents that the Warriors could pursue. Some of them might be too expensive at this point for the Warriors to sign, others may be looking for longer contracts than the Warriors are able to offer.

But with the team desperately searching for floor-spacers and scorers to help Steph Curry and Draymond Green do their thing, one player that the Warriors should consider for a spot in next season's rotation comes from within, and that's former two-way player Damion Lee. 
 
While Lee might have originally caught the Bay Area's attention for being Curry's brother-in-law, it was his shooting and effort on the court that led to many clamoring for him to make the postseason roster. The 6-fot-6, 26-year-old guard out of Louisville had quite a busy season as a two-way player, appearing in 24 games with the Santa Cruz Warriors, 32 games with Golden State, and constantly shuttling back and forth in between.

While you'd think that the constant shuffle might lead to some fatigue on the court, Lee posted impressive numbers in both leagues. 

Lee averaged 20.3 points per game in the G League while shooting 39.8 percent from deep. In the NBA, Lee averaged 4.9 points over 11.7 minutes per game while making 39.7 percent of his 3-pointers. He also had some eye-opening games, scoring 20 points and hitting four 3-pointers in a late season win over the Pelicans.

His most impressive game of the year came when he made four 3-pointers for a severely short-handed Warriors squad as they battled for a hard-fought win in Philadelphia. 
 
Lee plays with constant energy and hustle, making up for some limitations in playmaking and defense. He is quick and elusive off the ball, finding openings on offense to either cut to the rim or pop-out for an open 3. With Lee standing behind the 3-point line in the corner or above the break, Curry and Green will be able to find adequate spacing.

On defense, his height and length helps him against opposing guards, and his solid instincts guides him to jump passing lanes and come up with steals.

[RELATED: Warriors have decisions to make on nine players]
 
Going into the offseason, Lee is a two-way restricted free agent, which essentially is similar to a common restricted free agent, as it will be up to the front office to decide if they want to extend him a qualifying offer. As it stands, the Warriors' roster has three guards: Steph Curry and two unproven guards in last year's first-round pick Jacob Evans III, and this year's first-round pick Jordan Poole.

With Klay Thompson expected to re-sign in free agency, and then miss the majority of the regular season, Shaun Livingston undecided on his return and Quinn Cook's future with the team up in the air, there is an opening for Lee to solidify a spot on the  team with a minimum deal. And with all the uncertainty and fluidity with the Warriors' roster, it's time to give him a real shot next season.

What Sonya Curry prayed for after Steph Curry was drafted by Warriors

What Sonya Curry prayed for after Steph Curry was drafted by Warriors

Sonya Curry, like any good mother, just wants the best for her kids.

It's been well-documented that the Currys, Steph included, did not want the Warriors to draft him in the 2009 NBA Draft, hoping the New York Knicks would be the ones to select the sharp-shooting guard instead. 

Of course, the Warriors were undeterred and drafted Curry with the No. 7 overall pick, giving Golden State the first piece of what eventually would become one of the NBA's greatest dynasties. 

Long before Curry transformed himself from mid-major darling to one of the all-time NBA greats while leading a basketball renaissance in the Bay Area, his mother was so concerned about the situation her son was beginning his NBA career in that she felt the need to offer a prayer to help Steph along his way.

“Those guys making that amount of money, they think they’re grown, but their maturation level doesn’t match the income,” Sonya told The San Francisco Chronicle's Ann Killion. “The biggest thing was he was that far away without family support. … Knowing that whole arena from Dell playing, it’s just cutthroat. I thought, Father, give him the strength to use the adversity to make himself better versus the adversity hardening him or changing him, making him think he needs to think the way they think or act the way they act and doubt how he has been raised.”

It more than worked out.

Curry survived a tenuous locker room situation early on to become the unquestioned leader of a team that eventually would grow into the NBA's bully, making it to five consecutive Finals and winning three titles.

[RELATED: Warriors first-round pick Poole ready to seize opportunity]

All is well that ends well, and mom's prayers certainly don't hurt.