LeBron James said it was a “duh” question when asked if Kyrie Irving was a player the Los Angeles Lakers should move for before the trade deadline.
Irving requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets before the deadline next week.
The eight-time All-Star did not appear for the Nets on Saturday due to a calf problem, although he did not feel his absence too keen in the comeback victory over the Washington Wizards.
James scored 27 points to edge closer to breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time record, but it wasn’t enough to help the Lakers avoid a 126-131 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Although the Lakers are in 13th place in the Western Conference, with a record of 25-29 for the season, they could still hope for a championship push if they succeed and make the playoffs.
In January, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said “there’s no way we’re going to keep her” if there was a chance to win a championship, and a potential trade for Irving could fall into that category.
For Seamus, it’s a no-brainer, although he emphasized that it’s not his calling.
“That’s Rob’s question,” James said when asked about the possibility of reuniting with Irving, with whom he made three NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“You have to see [Pelinka] when you come back to LA I don’t speak for our front office.
“My mindset is that whatever group or groups we have we make sure we prepare ourselves the best way we can to go out and win.
“Of course, that’s a question – what word do you use – ‘Duh’ when you talk about a player like that.”
One player who could be used as leverage in a potential trade is Russell Westbrook.
The 2017 NBA MVP had 15 points, four assists and four rebounds off the bench on Saturday, even though Darvin Ham wasn’t called upon in the final quarter.
There is a lot of speculation about his future, but when asked if he was feeling extra pressure, Westbrook replied: “I don’t.
“That’s not about me. I’ve known this is a business since I was 18, 19 years old, since I got into it.
“My father taught me at that age, that going to this league is a business, and that people make whatever decision they make, it’s up to them.
“I’m all in from day one. I’m very supportive of my teammates. I compete every night. I’ll make sure I’m ready and professional, as I always have been and always will be.”
James echoed this sentiment, saying: “It shouldn’t be an issue. The trade deadline happens every year.
“You go out and focus, no matter what happens. You are still professional.”
In terms of making history, James could break the scoring record on Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I just want to win, you know. You play the game the right way and see what happens,” he said.
“I’m tired, [but] I’ll be ready to go on Tuesday.”