76ers asked about LeBron James39 availability and Rob Pelinka responded

76ers asked about LeBron James' availability and Rob Pelinka responded by asking about Joel Embiid

LeBron James, Joel Embiid, Lakers, 76ers

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Before the trade deadline, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James sent out a cryptic tweet that consisted solely of an hourglass emoji. This led many to wonder about his future with the Lakers and whether he had any desire to remain loyal to the franchise in the future.

LeBron has a player option for next season, meaning he could potentially leave this offseason and many teams will see this as an opportunity to potentially trade for him. The Golden State Warriors reportedly called to inquire about James' availability at the deadline and were rebuffed, but they weren't alone as the Philadelphia 76ers also called.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, 76ers president Daryl Morey called the Lakers about James and Rob Pelinka responded by demanding reigning MVP Joel Embiid in return:

According to sources, Dunleavy was the team leader's second call to Pelinka about a possible James transfer. After seeing James' cryptic social media post of an hourglass a week before the trade deadline, Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey called Pelinka to explore a James trade and was immediately told that James was unavailable . In fact, Pelinka responded by asking Morey if Joel Embiid was available, sources said. And that was the end of this short conversation. Such bold trade calls have historically been common practice for Morey, who also called the Phoenix Suns asking about Durant's availability only to be told Durant was unavailable, sources said.

Teams inquiring about players is pretty normal because if a team feels there is even the slightest chance that a superstar of James' caliber might be available, they will look into it. Pelinka's answer asking about Embiid is excellent and lays out the price it would cost a team to pry LeBron from the Lakers.

For his part, LeBron said he's focused on what the Lakers have in their locker room and getting the best out of his teammates, and that will continue for the rest of this season and into the future.

LeBron James was “focused” on returning to the Lakers this offseason

Even though LeBron could be a free agent this summer, the expectation remains that he will return to the Lakers in the offseason.

Recent reports suggest that James will likely opt out of his contract this offseason but is “focused” on returning to the Lakers with a new contract. But that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of teams pursuing him anyway, as the 76ers and Warriors will certainly try to convince him to leave LA

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