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LeBron on Lakers likely standing pat: ‘Y’all know what the f*** should be happening’

Atlanta Hawks v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 06: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at 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)

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The Lakers will likely do nothing — or nothing that meaningfully moves the needle — at the trade deadline. Despite winning five in a row behind the play of 38-year-old LeBron James, the Lakers are still a game out of even the play-in and appear to have decided they are not going to surrender a first-round pick for a player such as Bojan Bogdanovic that does not make them a contender (the Pistons continue to demand an unprotected first-rounder for Bogdanovic, and he’s likely the best player moved at the deadline).

But when LeBron signed an extension with the Lakers this summer, he demanded and was promised roster upgrades to make the Lakers a threat in the West, upgrades that never came. He was frustrated then, and he’s sounded frustrated lately with the decisions of Rob Pelinka and management.

That continued when LeBron spoke in an exclusive with Sam Amick of The Athletic. Amick asked about him communicating with management about plans.
Man listen, I play the game. I worry about who’s in the locker room. I can’t — it’s not my … it’s not my job. I can’t do nobody else’s job.

But it looks like the Lakers may hold on to their picks and do nothing:

Well if you guys know, then you guys know. You guys know. I don’t need to talk about it. You guys know...

Y’all know what the f*** should be happening. I don’t need to talk.

LeBron said in the interview management is doing what it thinks is best for the franchise, then Tweeted this later at Amick.

LeBron remains the master of the passive-aggressive message to his team’s management.

The Lakers tried to walk a fine line between winning now while building for the future. Ask the Warriors how easy that is. When you have an all-time great like LeBron James, not to mention Anthony Davis playing his best basketball in years (when healthy), there’s almost an obligation to go all-in, to give him every opportunity to win. While LeBron has to take some of the blame for the Lakers situation — he did push for the Russell Westbrook trade — it was management who signed off on the deal (nobody stood up and said, “no, this is a bad idea”) and, in the wake of that trade, Los Angeles was hesitant to do what it took to change directions.

So here we are, heading into what will be an interesting offseason for the Lakers. One way or another.