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Lakers pair James and Russell not interested in trade talk

LeBron James won’t be distracted by rumours ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s agent last week dismissed suggestions James would be on the move but there remains question marks around several of his team-mates, including D’Angelo Russell.

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The 39-year-old James scored 26 points as the Lakers beat the Charlotte Hornets 124-118 on Monday night, a brief interlude in between continued speculation as to how the roster could look at the end of the week.

ESPN reported Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka was “stuck on calls” all day as he attempted to make changes, but James was indifferent when asked for his thoughts.

He said: “It’s not a question for me. I love who we have in the locker room, that’s all I worry about.

“We’re going to go out and prepare ourselves every single night no matter what it is, no matter who is on this team, no matter what.”

Russell has been linked with the Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks but, like James, was relaxed about what may or may not happen.

“I don’t care, at all,” he said. “I can’t control that my contract makes sense to be traded. I just play.”

Russell opted to waive a no-trade clause in his current deal when it was re-negotiated last summer, a move he felt made sense.

He added: ”Obviously I’ve been here before, I played for the Lakers before, so I know what the requirements are to be successful here are. 

“So, if you’re part of the future here you’ll be successful. If you’re not, you’ll get traded. And I’ve been traded before here. So, my approach is just a little different.

“I really just genuinely, humbly don’t care because I know I can’t control it, one. And, two, I just won’t allow my mind to go there. I like to focus on this and you guys see how I’ve been focusing on basketball and not comments and what’s trending on social.”

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