LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James is not expected to return soon for the Los Angeles Lakers per sources. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


  • LeBron James is nowhere near returning to action, according to an NBA insider
  • The Lakers will focus on their impending free agents rather than pursue Kyrie Irving
  • The Lakers are trying to figure out how far they can go this NBA season with their tweaked roster

The Los Angeles Lakers could use LeBron James in their push for an NBA playoff spot, but it appears that is not feasible in the near future.

According to unnamed sources cited by Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the 38-year-old is nowhere near returning from his foot injury, which has kept him out for the past nine games. International Business Times could not independently verify this information.

"From what I've heard on LeBron, he is not close. That's what I've been told. He's not close..." the scribe stated on "The Hoop Collective" podcast Friday.

Previous reports suggested that the four-time NBA champion would be returning after three weeks. But Windhorst said that three weeks was likely when James would be getting an "official re-evaluation," rather than actually playing.

Worse, a factor on when James may return may be out of his control. The fact is that he is already 38, and his body may not respond to the usual norm coming off an injury.

"I know that LeBron has played through injuries in the past, [but] I'm not 100% sure this is an injury you can play through," Windhorst said.

This update came just moments before the Lakers lost a heartbreaker Friday night to the Dallas Mavericks, 110-111, no thanks to some end-game errors by Anthony Davis plus the game-winning three-pointer of Maxi Kleber as time expired in regulation, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The loss left the purple and gold with a 34-37 win-loss record, 10th in the Western Conference standings.

Ironically, there was a player in that game who is being linked to the Lakers – Kyrie Irving. "Uncle Drew" finished with a game-high 38 points, along with six rebounds and six assists.

Irving is one of the top names who will be available in the offseason, and the Lakers have been mentioned as a team that may try to go after the All-Star guard.

However, all this was downplayed by Jovan Buha of The Athletic when he appeared on "The HoopsHype" podcast. Buha claimed that Los Angeles will instead focus on its impending free agents. He did, however, add that this is subject to change depending on how the regular season plays out.

Since tweaking their lineup, the Lakers have become a different team. A returning D'Angelo Russell has been responding well, along with other new faces such as Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley.

Also stepping up their game for the Lakers are mainstays Austin Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel.

Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks
Kyrie Irving is allegedly not an immediate target of the Los Angeles Lakers. Calling Our Shot/Twitter