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'Luka Doncic is My Favorite Player!': Lakers' LeBron James Dropping Trade Hints For Mavs?

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James welcomed a Twitter Q&A on Monday night, and he once again expressed his admiration for Dallas Mavericks young star Luka Doncic.

As Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks prepare for the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, LeBron James has been on an extended vacation due to the Los Angeles Lakers being unable to even make the NBA Play-In Tournament this season.

On Monday, James' offseason must've hit a boring patch, as he decided to do a Q&A on Twitter. He answered many questions from fans, but one question in particular was interesting for the Mavs given James' uncertain future with the Lakers.

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

"LUKA [DONCIC]. He's my favorite player!!" tweeted James when asked who his favorite player under 25 years old was. Notice how in James' answer, he left out the age part. Doncic is his overall favorite player.

This should come as a shock to no one, as James aways picks Doncic in the All-Star draft – he has done so for three straight years and counting now. James also wanted Doncic to be a part of his shoe empire before Doncic signed his deal with Jordan.

"When Luka was going through his contract negotiations with Nike, I wanted to begin Team LeBron, and have Luka as my first signee. This is what I wanted, and I don't believe that my guys at Nike were ready for that," said James in an interview. "I don't even know if Luka knows this, but he knows now. I wanted Luka to be the first signee of Team LeBron, and it didn't happen. He's still under the same umbrella of Nike, but I wanted him to be Team LeBron.

"That's how much I believed in him. I feel like it's going to haunt me a little bit, but I wanted him to be my guy."

Sure enough, Doncic's decision to sign with Jordan is indeed haunting James in the shoe world, and Doncic's current on-court success with the Mavs might be haunting him as well. 

With James entering the last year of his contract – unless he signs an extension this summer – and the Lakers not having many ways to improve their current roster, big changes could be on the horizon. Could James potentially force a trade to Dallas to team up with his favorite player?

lebron luka
lebron luka 3
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

During an appearance on ESPN's "Get Up" on Thursday, Brian Windhorst, who has been close to James throughout his entire career, offered his insight on that specific topic:

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"(LeBron) talked about how much he admires Luka Doncic. And that is something you should put in your back pocket,” said Windhorst. “Don't ever judge LeBron 100 percent on his words. Judge him on his actions.

"The best way you can see how LeBron feels about people is who he drafts in his All-Star draft. ... He's drafted Luka Doncic all three years he's been an All-Star."

As well as the Mavs have played this season, roster improvements can always be made. Although James is 37 years old, he led the league in scoring this past season and finished with averages of 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the field, including 35.9 percent from deep.

James' talent is undeniable, and the idea of pairing that kind of superstar production next to Doncic is an enticing proposition... but is James ready to transition into a secondary star role? The answer to that question, along with the Lakers' asking price, could go a long way in determining just how interested Dallas would be in the idea of trading for James.

Doncic has proved this season that he doesn't need a second star in order to make the Mavs a title contender, but you don't turn your nose up at top-tier talent if the opportunity ever presents itself.

“I don’t know that there’s an ideal player," said Mavs GM Nico Harrison in an exclusive 1-on-1 interview on our Mavs Step Back Podcast when asked about the ideal second start to pair with Doncic down the road.

"I really think that if you have the opportunity to bring in another amazing player to play alongside Luka [Doncic], they could be any position. Great players figure it out. So I don’t think it has to be a forward or a center or another guard, I just think when you have that opportunity to bring somebody in at that top tier caliber, you let the players figure it out.”

Whether that player is James, Rudy Gobert, Zach LaVine or potentially someone else, it will be interesting to see the approach the Mavs take this offseason. For now, though, they're trying to win a title the Dirk Nowitzki way, and they're doing a great job so far.