All season, LeBron James has kept the public heat on the Lakers to get him some championship-level help before the Feb. 9 trade deadline. Kyrie Irving has now demanded a trade from the Nets, and the Lakers are known to be a serious contender for his services. 

Whether they will pull the trigger on a Kyrie deal before Thursday's deadline, or, probably better put, before someone else does, namely their Staples Center roommate Clippers, remains to be seen. 

Lakers GM Ron Pelinka has maintained all along that he would only be willing to move the Lakers' well-chronicled 2027 and/or 2029 first-round draft pick(s) for a return package that would put them in the legitimate running for a title. 

Considering all the Lakers' holes, would Irving represent that kind of upgrade? Would he push the Lakers into true title contention? James was asked that very question following the Lakers' loss at New Orleans on Saturday. 

"That's a Rob question," James said, obviously referring to Pelinka. "You got to see [Rob] when y'all get back to L.A. I've told y'all [for] a couple weeks, I don't speak for our front office. My mindset is whatever lineup or whatever group that we have is to make sure we prepare ourselves the best way we can to go out and win."

LeBron then paused a beat before adding: "Obviously that's a -- what's the word you use -- 'Duh' question when you talk about a player like [Kyrie]."

Look, teams, the Lakers included, have to consider the full scope of a guy like Irving's cost. Not just the future picks, which all but wipes out the rest of the decade of draft capital, but any future contract they would be willing to offer Irving, who wants a four-year max deal. How long do teams really want to be in business with Kyrie Irving? 

But LeBron? He's far less concerned about the long-term franchise implications, if he's concerned at all. He wants a shot at another title. He feels he deserves that considering the level he's still playing at and the fact that his career is nearing its end, at least relatively speaking. 

James has kept the pressure on Pelinka and the front office all year. He wants help. Irving can provide it. Will the Lakers make it happen? Stay tuned.