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Lakers Rumor: Jeanie Buss’ Interest in 6’3 Guard Could Ruin LeBron’s Homecoming Plans Amid Bronny Speculation

Published 05/15/2024, 11:22 AM EDT

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The Los Angeles Lakers are back into their frantic routine. Another failed postseason, a vacant head coach job, and the urgency to improve the roster are the agendas on Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss’ schedules. The front office is aware of the delicate contract nature of LeBron James. The 39-year-old sensational performer could leave in the offseason if he isn’t satisfied with the direction the Lakers are moving in.

A popular belief is that James is mapping a return to his home state of Cleveland. After being kicked out of the playoffs, James made an appearance during the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ Game 4 loss to the Boston Celtics. His presence in the arena hinted at his declaring an interest in returning home for the third time in his career.

How can the Lakers respond to this challenge? During the Get Up show on ESPN, Brian Windhorst spoke about several teams showing interest in a 6’3″ guard wearing Cavaliers colors. Buss, too, is moving the needle for the All-Star guard. Given the recent news around Bronny James, this might just tip Bron to continue his career with the Purple and Gold.

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Lakers want to add Donovan Mitchell as the third star besides LeBron James and AD?

The Cavaliers have sufficient resources to welcome LeBron James. They have a competitive side that is currently engaged in battle against the best team of this season. Additionally, they also have the second selection in the draft. If Bronny does slip and Cleveland decides to cash in, LeBron James could be motivated to move.

However, the Cavaliers too have a glaring conundrum. Since Donovan Mitchell arrived, the Cavaliers haven’t made substantial progress to compete for the championship. Yes, they have reached the playoffs every season, but they have never convinced anyone of their championship aspirations. As the soul of the franchise, Mitchell only has two years left on his contract, the last being a player option.

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On the latest episode of the Get Up show, Brian Windhorst spoke about Mitchell’s reluctance to speak of a trade. He noted how he didn’t need to inform the Utah Jazz to trade him. Similarly, Windhorst doesn’t foresee a public appeal coming. However, it might be a conversation that is currently materializing behind closed doors. The NBA insider reported, “I am trying to walk the line because I don’t want anybody to freak out in my hometown of Cleveland. But there are a number of teams that have their offers ready.” This take begged the question: Are the Lakers in the race? “Of course,” Windhorst said firmly.

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If the 17-time champions play their cards right, they could seal two years of LeBron James while simultaneously building a healthy base for the future. The Pelicans have until June 1 to decide whether they want the Lakers’ 17th pick in the draft. Given the lack of major talents in this year’s class, it is likely they will allow the Lakers to hold their selection.

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A trade package centered around that first-round pick and multiple role players like Rui Hachimura, Jared Vanderbilt, and probably D’Angelo Russell might be enough to trade for Mitchell. Additionally, the 55th pick could prove to be a trump card for Jeanie Buss. If Bronny does drop to the second round, the Lakers might as well draft him. It presents a stronger scenario for LeBron James to stay.

A lot has to go right for the Lakers to convince James to abandon his hometown dreams. But if Pelinka and Buss can pull off the above moves, it might incline the Akron Hammer to do just that. Do you think Bron should return to Cleveland, or is he better suited in LA? Share your opinion in the comments below.

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Written by:

Anuj Talwalkar

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Anuj Talwalkar is a Senior NBA Writer at EssentiallySports, who is marching towards touching 3000 articles. As a writer who specializes in game analysis, post-game pressers, thrilling perspective on players and their performances, he loves merging his passion for writing with the complex human-dramas that unfold everyone on-court. At ES, he is known for his quick coverage of breaking news, an expertise that is now inspiring the junior writers.
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Edited by:

Sanchari Bhaduri