The Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James for a reason, but people believe that the franchise may soon trade him.
Sean Deveney from Heavy Sports reported that the four-time NBA champion may soon force his way out of LA. The Lakers offered him a two-year contract extension in August, but he can leave the team after the end of the 2022-23 season. King James came to LA to win games, but he isn’t really winning.
“It’s in the background if you think you have a chance at him. There are preparations being made just in case. You have to make them. Like the Boy Scouts used to say, ‘Be Prepared,’” one general manager told Heavy Sports. “It will not be an easy thing to do and there are a lot of factors. There’s still a chance the Lakers make a trade this year or that something clicks and they go on a run. You can’t count that out. And they will have a chance to do something that (James) likes in free agency this summer, something that could change the outlook there.
“But since he went to L.A. (in 2018), there has been this certainty that he was going to finish up (his career) in Los Angeles, that he wanted to be an entertainment mogul and that he needed to be in Hollywood for that. He is realizing that he is only going to get one shot at how he finishes his basketball career, though, and that the movie stuff will always be there. He doesn’t want his time playing basketball to end missing the playoffs every year for the Lakers.”
Lakers GM has to think twice before agreeing to a LeBron trade
Where will LeBron go? One potential scenario involves him and Ben Simmons. CBA rules allow the Lakers to trade LeBron for Simmons, Day’Ron Sharpe and Cam Thomas.
“LeBron would have to be interested in playing with Kevin Durant,” a Western Conference executive told Deveney. “Both of those guys, at this point of their careers, they have been such great competitors and both of them want to finish out their time in the NBA strong, want to change the narrative a little bit on the way the last few years have gone. They have never been very close as friends but they have a lot of respect for each other. But, do you trade Kyrie? Probably, if they wanted to do a trade, they’d move Ben Simmons to L.A. but Simmons is a Klutch guy so you’d have to see how that plays out.”
Simmons will earn $35.4 million this season and averages 7.7 points per game with the Nets.
Marc Stein wouldn’t bet on this trade though. He believes that LeBron will finish his season with the Lakers. Stein has a few reasons to say this. LeBron moved his business to LA and his kids also go to school there. Why would he go somewhere else now?