LeBron James’ first season with the Los Angeles Lakers is a disaster. Since the failed acquisition of Anthony Davis before the February NBA trade deadline, the Lakers have struggled to win games and, as of now, they are no longer expected to compete in the Western Conference Playoffs 2019. Though they still have 18 games left in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Lakers could already be starting to make offseason plans that could turn them from one of the most disappointing teams in the league to a legitimate title contender in the Western Conference.
When the season is over, the Lakers are expected to find a second superstar to pair with LeBron James either via trade or free agency. However, lots of crazy things do happen in the NBA and Tom Ziller of SB Nation opened up the possibility that the Lakers may consider trading James instead of their young core.
“If James had signed a 1+1 deal, there would be rampant rumors that James were leaving this summer. But since the Lakers have James under contract for three more years, and since James is new to LA, and since the team is barely closer to the playoffs than it was before the four-time MVP arrived, you at least have to consider that the franchise could at least think about trading him… right? He doesn’t have a no-trade clause. He’s a top-notch asset. It’s at least a consideration worth making, isn’t it?”
What LeBron said about the kids and the Lakers’ lack of experience might have seemed like a shot in their direction. But I took it as something much more interesting. https://t.co/p64l3SdBNn— Anthony F. Irwin (@AnthonyIrwinLA) March 6, 2019
With the type of contract he signed last summer, LeBron James will undeniably become a valuable trade asset for the Lakers and he will likely gain plenty of interest once he becomes available in the open market. The Lakers definitely have the control over James’ future, but SB Nation‘s Tom Ziller believes that trading him should be out of the question.
As Ziller noted, trading LeBron James a year after signing him in free agency would be a “career suicide” for Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka. Instead of moving him, the Lakers should stick with their original plan to find superstars who can help James bring the team back in the title contention.
The Lakers are set to have enough salary cap space to chase big names in the summer of 2019 where the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and Kemba Walker will become unrestricted free agents. The Lakers also have a plethora of trade assets to engage in a blockbuster deal in the 2019 NBA offseason. According to a previous Inquisitr article, the “realistic best-case outcome” for the Lakers is to acquire both Irving and Anthony Davis to form the “NBA’s scariest trio” with LeBron James in Los Angeles.