Report: Rich Paul tells Lakers' front office LeBron wants to stay
Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, the agent of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, met with team owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka on Tuesday to inform them that James intends to remain with the franchise, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Paul also reportedly told Buss and Pelinka that there was no ongoing campaign to force management changes within the Lakers.
The reported meeting came days after James generated plenty of discussion about his future during All-Star Weekend, which took place in his home state of Ohio.
James, 37, candidly remarked that he will do "whatever it takes" to play with his son Bronny James for the final year of his career and didn't rule out a third stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers if necessary. He also made highly positive comments about Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti, who's accrued several first-round picks for the next few years.
However, Paul reportedly refuted the idea that James was angling for an exit and said that the four-time MVP is committed to winning another title with Los Angeles.
James, who penned a two-year, $85-million extension with the Lakers in December 2020, is set to become a free agent after next season. Speculation about his next contract has intensified thanks in part to the team's struggles this season.
There also appeared to be a recent disconnect between James and Pelinka. The GM told reporters that he consulted with James and Anthony Davis - another Klutch Sports client - on not making a move at the deadline, but that was reportedly false.
Los Angeles is ninth in the Western Conference at 27-31 and just three games clear of the No. 10 Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers have to at least maintain their play-in seeding without Davis, as the forward was ruled out for at least four weeks on Feb. 17 with a midfoot sprain.