Does the Lakers' dormant trade deadline increase the likelihood of LeBron leaving?

LeBron and Bronny James
LeBron and Bronny James / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

In a move that came as a surprise to approximately no one, the Los Angeles Lakers recently leaked word of their desire for LeBron James to retire as a member of the purple and gold. While their preference to keep LBJ in town is certain, the organization's dormant trade activity in the days immediately following that report is a bit more puzzling.

Rob Pelinka and the front office stayed silent at the NBA trade deadline, shockingly not making a single deal despite word that the head man was tied up in phone negotiations non-stop in the days leading up to the annual swap meet. It was just the second time in the LeBron James-Lakers era (first since 2019-2020) that the franchise did not pull off a midseason trade, and the NBA world has grown accustomed to James-led teams being quick on the trade trigger.

With an abundance of assets to work with in potential swaps, it was surprising to see them play the waiting game. However, it was the right decision for the organization when you consider the fact that they will be armed with 3 future 1st-round picks to go shopping with if they simply held off on any major exchanges until the summer. With an eye toward the future, patience was the best move the front office could make in this scenario.

But what about the present? More specifically, what about LeBron James?

While some of his peers may not share the same sentiment, it is universally known that the King would strongly prefer to team up with his Prince in 2024-2025. Whether it be through subliminal marketing messages within commercials or public declarations claiming Bronny could play for the Lakers RIGHT NOW, it is no secret that LeBron James adores the idea of playing the game that he loves with his son.

While things could certainly be worse in Laker land, James has looked visibly unhappy on countless occasions in 2023-2024. The 4x NBA champion has brought a sense of joy to millions via his efforts on and off the basketball court, and it would be nice to see him play out the twilight of his playing career in a cheerful fashion.

Who knows, that bundle of 3 future 1st-rounders could be used to acquire his superstar replacement. Only time will tell.

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