Photo: Peter Baba

Amid swirling speculations surrounding LeBron James’ future with the Los Angeles Lakers, NBA legend Gary Payton has expressed confidence that the four-time NBA champion will remain with the purple and gold.

In an interview with Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, Payton emphasized LeBron’s integral role in the city of Los Angeles, stating, “LeBron is not going nowhere. L.A. is his city right now, his town. Kobe is really … it’s Kobe’s city. But LeBron is taking over now.”

Payton’s assertion comes in the wake of reports suggesting that the Golden State Warriors explored the possibility of trading for James at the trade deadline, signaling significant interest from rival teams in acquiring the superstar’s services.

Despite the external interest, both the Lakers organization and LeBron himself reportedly rebuffed any potential trade scenarios, reaffirming their commitment to one another and their shared goal of bringing success to Los Angeles.