LeBron James came to Los Angeles to add more rings to his portfolio and analysts believe the Los Angeles Lakers could consider trading their star to another franchise. David Aldridge from The Athletic was among the many to discuss LeBron’s potential departure from LA. The four-time NBA champion wants his rings and the Lakers seem to be far from getting any in the near future.
“Could James’ rings fixation lead to an amicable divorce from Los Angeles, where he moved his family almost five years ago?” Aldridge wrote on January 16. “Would James leave the fulcrum of his post-playing career: the entertainment and business empire he’s creating in L.A.?
“…But even if James and the Lakers ever mutually decide it is time to move on – which, we say again, we know is the longest of long shots – is there even a deal out there this offseason that would make any sense?”
Lakers could be trading their star player to the ATL
Aldridge has a suggestion for both LeBron and the Lakers. The king of basketball goes to the Atlanta Hawks to join forces with Trae Young. The Lakers would trade LeBron and Patrick Beverley for Dejounte Murray, John Collins, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin Holiday, and a 2024 first-round pick. Does this make sense?
There’s a catch in this one. The Hawks lost three first-round picks and a pick swap in the Murray deal. Would they even consider trading him for LeBron? Age has nothing on him, but he will have to retire at some point.
“John Collins has been available for a while,” Aldridge noted. “In this scenario, he could be L.A. bound or ultimately re-routed elsewhere in a bigger deal to bring in more assets for the Lakers. Would L.A. want Clint Capela to assure AD wouldn’t have to play the five indefinitely? Or, maybe Bogdan Bogdanović’s career 38 percent from deep would be more valuable going forward.
“While Atlanta sent three first-round picks (2022, 2025, 2027) to the Spurs for Murray, along with a 2026 pick swap with San Antonio, the Hawks still could include either their own 2024 first-round pick or the protected 2024 first they got from Sacramento in the Kevin Huerter trade last summer without violating the Stepien Rule. Let’s say it’s Bogie over Capela.”
Losing LeBron would be a big blow for the Lakers. However, they could benefit from Murray and Collins. Getting Murray could help the Lakers solve some of their problems. He was named an All-Star and averaged 21.1 points, 9.2 assists, 8.3 rebounds, and two steals in the 2021-22 NBA season. Rob Pelinka can get him through a team-friendly deal worth $64 million that goes through the 2023-24 NBA season.