Does LeBron James' support of Anthony Davis to Lakers constitute tampering?


Did LeBron James cross a line by stating the obvious?

Several general managers from small-market NBA teams are "privately expressing outrage" over James' recent endorsement of the Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Anthony Davis and believe his comments should be viewed as tampering, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday.

James told ESPN's Dave McMenamin on Tuesday it would be "amazing" and "incredible" if Davis came to L.A. via trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Considering James' massive platform, his remarks resulted in extensive speculation about Davis joining the Lakers -- enough that several GMs reached out to Pelicans GM Dell Demps personally to "express dismay over what they perceive as the NBA's tacit endorsement of James' comments."

LeBron's words could be construed as tampering under the NBA's bylaws, which prevents players from "directly or indirectly entic(ing), induc(ing) (or) persuad(ing)" another player under contract to join another team.

Davis also recently hired the same agent who represents James -- Rich Paul of Klutch Sports -- which has "elevated the belief" Klutch Sports will push the Pelicans to deal Davis to L.A. or risk losing him to free agency after the 2019-20 season.

None of this is good news for the Boston Celtics, who reportedly have coveted Davis for years but may be at a negotiating disadvantage against James and the Lakers. While the Celtics arguably have better assets to swing a deal for the 25-year-old superstar, his agent's familiarity with both New Orleans and L.A. could be enough to push Boston away from the bargaining table.

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