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Rich Paul slams door on LeBron trade chatter

LeBron James will remain with the Los Angeles Lakers, agent Rich Paul made clear to ESPN on Friday.

“LeBron won’t be traded, and we aren’t asking to be,” Paul said in reaction to some growing speculation about James’ future ahead of next week’s trade deadline.

James may have contributed to the swirl by putting an hourglass emoji on his X account this week after a loss in Atlanta. He hasn’t spoken to reporters since to clarify the message, missing the Lakers’ victory Thursday in Boston with an ankle injury.

The Lakers have been active in trade talks over the past month as they look to boost a team that is 25-25 and in ninth place in the Western Conference.

James has a $51.4 million player option in his contract for next season with the Lakers. He has until June 29 to exercise the option. His son Bronny, who plays for USC, is a candidate to enter the NBA draft, which is scheduled for June 26-27.

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