So when James was asked Saturday whether he believes Irving – who requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets Friday – could help his team “get to the finish line,” the 20-year NBA veteran had a pretty simple answer.
“That’s a, what’s the word you use, ‘Duh’ question when you talk about a player like that,” James stated.
James was also quick to remind reporters that questions around Irving about shouldn’t be pointed to him, but instead should be asked of Los Angeles’ front office.
“That’s a Rob [Pelinka] question,” James said. “I don’t speak for our front office. My mindset is to, whatever lineup or whatever group that we have, is to make sure that we prepare ourselves the best way we can and go out and win.”
On Saturday night, the Lakers did not win, as they fell 131-126 to the New Orleans Pelicans and still find themselves on the outside looking in of the Western Conference’s playoff picture. Los Angeles is currently in 13th, two games back from 10th, which is the final spot eligible for the NBA’s new play-in tournament.
Irving’s trade request did not include a preferred list of teams, although ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that there is strong mutual interest between the Lakers and Irving, which dates back to this past off-season. James and Irving teamed up to win the 2016 NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and James is clearly interested in reuniting with Irving in Los Angeles.
Wojnarowski also reported Saturday that the Los Angeles Clippers are also interested in Irving’s services, and the Nets are “determined” to find a deal for Irving ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Despite all of his off-court antics, there is no doubt that on the floor, Irving would be a huge boost to a team’s title aspirations. The Duke product is averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game for the Nets this season.