LeBron James Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Could the Lakers be on the verge of trading LeBron James? At least one Los Angeles sports anchor seems to think so.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday night, KTLA’s David Pingalore issued a report indicating that the Lakers could look to deal the 4-time NBA MVP ahead of the league’s Feb. 8 trade deadline.

“Hearing from @nba peeps @KingJames is the top of the @Lakers list to trade the 39 year old,” Pingalore wrote. “(Lakers GM Rob) Pelinka is looking for the right team to dance with and is close to a suitor.”

Considering that most major NBA news is broken by national reporters like ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic/Stadium/FanDuel’s Shams Charania, many seemed willing to write off Pingalore’s report as mere rumor mongering. But as others delved into the longtime sports reporter’s background, they found an impressive track record when it comes to breaking NBA news, especially as it relates to James.

Take for instance the time he reported that the then-Miami Heat star was eyeing a return to Cleveland — a full two years before it actually happened.

Or the time he reported that the 2018 NBA trade deadline deal between the Cavs and Lakers was just a precursor to James ultimately taking his talents to Southern California.

Pingalore has even broken major non-LeBron NBA news, like when he insisted Kawhi Leonard was likely to sign with the Clippers, days before the deal ultimately came to fruition (and while Leonard was also negotiating with the Lakers).

Sure, each of these stories was already heavily rumored at the time Pingalore reported them. But there’s a difference between hinting at something and actually putting your credibility on the line. And to his credit, Pingalore was ultimately proven correct in each of these instances.

Now, to be fair, Pingalore’s track record also has some misses, like the time he reported that Tom Brady was “highly likely” to sign with the Chargers. But by and large, this isn’t some volume shooter when it comes to breaking news. He is a legitimate sports anchor in a major market who, if nothing else, appears to be plugged into both James’ camp and the Los Angeles sports scene.

In today’s day and age of aggregation, it’s at least somewhat surprising that more outlets haven’t picked up Pingalore’s report. A quick Google search for “LeBron James Lakers trade” largely returns results speculating about what the 4-time NBA champion’s hourglass emoji social media post was hinting at (even if it might have just been him hinting at his new DraftKings deal).

So why isn’t Pingalore’s report getting picked up? Is it because he’s not Woj or Shams? Is it because the idea of the Lakers trading a player of James’ stature is so outlandish so that it’s almost impossible to fathom?

Ultimately, it’s likely a combination of the two. But between now and next Thursday, we’ll find out whether this report belongs in the “Tom Brady to the Chargers” category or if Pingalore is actually the most connected LeBron James insider this side of Brian Windhorst.

[David Pingalore on X, The Dunk Central]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.