The 2018-19 NBA season is still far from being over as the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Golden State Warriors, and the Portland Trail Blazers are still fighting for the 2019 NBA championship title. However, it is not a reason for rumors and speculations to stop circulating around the league. One of the craziest rumors currently surfacing is the possibility that the Los Angeles Lakers will consider trading the best basketball player on the planet, LeBron James, next summer.
On Monday’s episode of Get Up, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN discussed the trade rumors surrounding LeBron James. Smith confirmed the news that some people close to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss are urging her to trade James and rebuild the team in the 2019 NBA offseason. If they are working in the Lakers’ front office, Smith said that he, Jalen Rose, and Max Kellerman would give Buss the same advice.
However, Smith revealed that LeBron James and the Lakers have no intention of parting ways in the summer of 2019.
“In other words, we don’t know. We don’t believe that’s what LeBron James will do,” Smith said, as quoted by Bleacher Report. “Matter of fact, I’m told it’s not what he will do. I’m certainly told…the Lakers will not trade him either, even though there’s been people in Hollywood, not basketball people, but people in Hollywood in Jeanie Buss’ ear telling her, ‘Get rid of him. Trade him. Just rebuild because ya’ll ain’t going anywhere anyway.’ But again, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so you could conceivably move him. That’s not something they’re going to do.”
NEW COLUMN: Jeanie Buss isn’t selling the Lakers, isn’t trading LeBron James and isn’t firing Rob Pelinka. Now that we got that out of the way, let's focus on what she actually does need to do – hire an experienced president of basketball operations. https://t.co/wPn2oL7j2X
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 13, 2019
Despite suffering a huge disappointment in the 2018-19 NBA season, it is less likely that the Lakers will give up on LeBron James that easily. Instead of considering a rebuild, the Lakers are expected to find ways to surround James with quality players that can help them fully dominate the Western Conference and contend for the NBA championship title next season. The Lakers have plenty of ways to improve their roster in the 2019 NBA offseason.
The Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for 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. Though they failed to secure a deal before the February NBA trade deadline, the Lakers still plan to resume their pursuit of All-Star center Anthony Davis. Aside from Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram, the Lakers could also use the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft as a trade chip to convince the New Orleans Pelicans to engage in a blockbuster deal in the 2019 NBA offseason.