LeBron James makes trade claim over NBA rivals after Lakers miss out on Anthony Davis | Other | Sport

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James carried the Cleveland Cavaliers through the East for four years, taking them to four straight finals appearances.

But last summer he switched to the West, as he joined the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.

And he believes that teams in the Eastern Conference are starting to stockpile quality players because they think they have a better chance of getting through the playoffs.

The Philadelphia 76ers have beefed up their roster this year, having traded for Jimmy Butler, Boban Marjanovic and Tobias Harris, as they look to make a run for the playoffs.

Eastern Conference leaders Milwaukee Bucks traded for Nikola Mitotic and second-placed Toronto Raptors acquired Marc Gasol.

And speaking to The Athletic, James explained that the only reason teams are making those trades is because he isn’t in the East anymore.

“Those top teams in the East, yeah, they’re going for it,” he said.

“Toronto is going for it, Milwaukee’s going for it, Philly.

“Boston believes they can do it, too.

“They know they ain’t gotta go through Cleveland anymore.

“Everybody in the East thinks they can get to the Finals because they ain’t gotta go through me.”

One of the biggest moves of the trade window was Anthony Davis staying at the New Orleans Pelicans.

He had been heavily linked with a move to the Lakers, and James explained that despite missing out on the star, he was still looking forward to seeing how things worked out in the East.

“I was excited seeing all the moves they made in the East,” he continued.

“Those matchups in the second round, in the Eastern Conference finals, that s*** is gonna be crazy.

“It’s gonna be fun to watch.”



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