LeBron James' agent Rich Paul reportedly denies trying to push Lakers into management changes

LeBron James insisted this week that he isn’t trying to force any management changes within the Los Angeles Lakers organization and that he believes they are all responsible for their struggles so far, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

James’ agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, met with both Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka on Tuesday to discuss recent reports about James’ future in the league and frustration with the team, per the report. His primary objective, Paul reportedly told Buss and Pelinka, is to finish the season as best as possible and then regroup next summer.

There have been plenty of reports in recent weeks about James’ happiness with the Lakers and about his future in the league. The “door’s not closed” on a potential return to Cleveland, according to The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd, and James has said that he wants to play his final season in the NBA for whichever team drafts his son, Bronny, as early as 2024.

James was also reportedly frustrated with Pelinka’s lack of action ahead of the trade deadline. The team reportedly was considering a deal to send Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for John Wall, though it fell through.

James then praised Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti during All-Star weekend, calling him the “MVP.” Though it’s hard to know how much to look into that comment, it certainly turned plenty of heads.

James is averaging 29.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists so far this season. He is in the first year of a two-year, $85.6 million deal with the team, and will be a free agent in 2023. The Lakers lost seven of their last 10 heading into the All-Star break, and they have fallen to ninth in the Western Conference standings.

 Los Angeles Lakers guard Lebron James and agent Rich Paul
Rich Paul reportedly met with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka on Tuesday. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)