The 34-year-old James continues to rehab a strained left groin suffered against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.
The Lakers have gone 4-7 in James' absence, and their schedule doesn't get any easier. He'll miss road contests against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets, but hasn't been ruled out of Monday night's showdown with the Warriors on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
"It's a tough three-game stretch," Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said, according to McMenamin. "Super tough. Top-five teams in the league if you were to look at it from a year ago and even how they're playing right now. So for us, we got our hands full, and it's just more adversity we got to face, especially road games and coming home and playing on Martin Luther King Day."
While James is "itching to play," Paul said his client knows better than to jeopardize his long-term health.
"We don’t give a s--- what nobody thinks or says," Paul told The Athletic's Sam Amick. "We're going to do what's best for (James). The best-case scenario was three weeks, the worst case was six weeks, and we're right on schedule. He’ll improve his workload, and he'll be day to day from there.
"Now day to day doesn’t mean tomorrow or the next day (he’ll be back). Day to day means that after each day of his workload, we'll evaluate it, and when he feels his best he'll play. However long it takes, it'll take. We're not on nobody else's timeline."
James' 13-game absence - including the upcoming matchups with Oklahoma City and Houston - is the most action he's missed in a season since 2014-15, when he also sat out 13 games.
Overall, the Lakers (24-21) are tied with the Utah Jazz for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.