LeBron James said it was a “duh” question when asked if Kyrie Irving is a player the Los Angeles Lakers should trade for before the trade deadline.
Irving requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets before the deadline next week.
The eight-time All-Star didn’t appear for the Nets on Saturday because of a calf issue, though his absence wasn’t overly felt in their comeback win over the Washington Wizards.
James scored 27 points to move 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.
While the Lakers sit in a lowly 13th place in the Western Conference, with a 25-29 record for the season, they could still harbor hopes of a championship push should they make a run and make the playoffs.
In January, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said “there’s not a single resource we can hold on to” if there were a chance at a championship, and a possible trade for Irving could fall into that category.
For James, it’s obvious, although he stressed that it’s not his decision.
“That’s a question from Rob,” James said when asked about the possibility of reuniting with Irving, with whom he reached three NBA Finals while with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“You must see [Pelinka] When everyone returns to Los Angeles, I’m not speaking for our main office.
“My mindset is whatever lineup or group we have is to make sure we prepare in the best possible way to go out there and win.
“Obviously, that’s a ‘Duh’ question when you’re talking about a player like that.”
One player who could be used as a middleweight in a potential trade is Russell Westbrook.
The 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player had 15 points, four assists and four rebounds off the bench on Saturday, although he wasn’t called up by Darvin Ham in the fourth quarter.
There is a lot of speculation about his future, but when asked if he felt any additional pressure, Westbrook replied: “I don’t.
“That does not depend on me. I’ve known this is a business since I was 18 or 19, ever since I got into it.
“My dad taught me that at that age, getting to this league is a business, and whatever decision people make, it’s up to them.
“I’ve been all-in since day one. I’m very supportive of my teammates. I compete every night. I’ll make sure I’m ready and professional, like I always have and always will.”
James echoed the sentiment, adding: “It shouldn’t be a problem. The trade deadline happens every year.
“Get out there and focus no matter what. You’re still a pro.”
As for making history, James could break the points 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 as hell, [but] I’ll be ready to go on Tuesday.”