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Lakers’ LeBron James, Frank Vogel talk NBA trade deadline

Lakers, LeBron James, Rob Pelinka

EL SEGUNDO – The NBA trade deadline is only days away with teams around the league having until 12 p.m. PST to conclude their business to improve their rosters. The Los Angeles Lakers, as per usual, have had a few trade rumors swirling ahead of the deadline, with Kyle Kuzma being the name mentioned the most as a potential candidate to be headed elsewhere.

On Monday, LeBron James spoke to the media after practice. He fielded a number of questions, including one about how the Lakers and general manager Rob Pelinka can go about their business before the traded deadline after dealing with the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant.

“That’s a Rob question,” LeBron said. “I can’t speak on what Rob is thinking about right now or what our front office is thinking about.

“For me, as the leader of the team right now, I’m thinking about how we can continue to get better, continue to lean on each other during this difficult time for us as we continue to get over what’s most important. I have no idea on the question that you asked, but I know we can all just continue to support each other no matter what’s going on.”

James is clearly focused on the now with the squad he’s playing with and understandably so with the Lakers sitting atop the Western Conference standings. However, losses to the L.A. Clippers (twice), Boston Celtics, and Milwaukee Bucks have been concerning convincing some that a trade needs to be made.

Head coach Frank Vogel also spoke briefly about the upcoming NBA trade deadline after practice on Monday.

“This time of the year just comes with the territory of being an NBA player,” Vogel said of the trade deadline approaching. “If there’s ways to improve our team, like every other team in the NBA, if there’s a way to improve your team, you’re going to try to do it.

“If not, I know our team; we feel really good about what we have in uniform on this roster. We’ll see how the next few days plays out.”

Over the past few months, Kuzma has been linked in trade speculation with the Sacramento Kings being mentioned frequently as a potential trade partner. Los Angeles seems to be favoring the addition of another three-pointer or ballhandler in the backcourt.

Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Kings has been rumored to be a target for the Lakers. Los Angeles also might be a destination for free-agent guard Darren Collison, who reportedly wants to land with the Lakers or the L.A. Clippers after the NBA All-Star break.