At 39 years old, LeBron James is still the market-maker

The history-making longevity of L.A. Lakers superstar LeBron James has been one of the storylines of the 2023-24 NBA campaign. In his 21st year, James is still in the vicinity of his peak years as a player, averaging 24.8 points, 7.8 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game, while the only other players to have played that long (Vince Carter, Robert Parish, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett and Kevin Willis) were shadows of their former selves by the same stage.

On the court, James is still having an impact unlike anyone else before him. And it turns out that this may be the case off the court, too.

Last week, ESPN reported that at the trade deadline, the Golden State Warriors threw a Hail Mary attempt and reached out to the ownership of James’s team, the Los Angeles Lakers, about possibly trading for him. And while it clearly did not work – the Lakers, simply, had no reason to engage in any such discussion – the existence of the report speaks to the continued importance of LeBron in the transaction market.

Paying historically high levels of salary for what still might not be a playoff team, the Warriors sought some sort of rejuvenation. The Chris Paul trade in the offseason had not kept the title window open as intended, and, with the trio of Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson/Draymond Green in the final quarter of their careers, they needed to go big if they were going to make a deal at all.

A move for James, though, would have been bigger even than most optimists would have envisaged. The fact that they felt it was a phone call they were both willing and able to make speaks to a perception, real or not, that James might have been available.

History supports the idea that he is available

LeBron has always held enormous player power

Story originally appeared on HoopsHype