It has not been a good year for the Los Angeles Lakers, but when it began, the general perception was that the ear was going to be epic—or at least had a chance to be. With the addition of LeBron James to an already talented roster, the Lakers were expected to be contenders.
But instead, they missed the playoffs for the sixth year in a row, the can’t find a new head coach, Magic Johnson quit, and there are rumors that they may try to trade LeBron James.
Trade LeBron James? There is no way Jeanie Buss is that crazy! According to Stephen A. Smith (via Sportscenter), some people around her want her to do just that:
“Nothing is out of bounds right now. We don’t know what the hell is going on in Los Angeles. You’ve got folks close to Jeanie Buss imploring her to trade LeBron James. He does not have a no-trade clause….”
He went on to specify that it’s ‘Hollywood people and not basketball people’ that have been telling her she should trade LeBron—and this is all just a rumor. However, when it comes to rumors, it is important to remember that where there is smoke, there is often fire. Maybe, it is true.
Maybe Jeanie Buss is considering doing the unthinkable—trade LeBron James.
So—where is he going to go? According to the odds Bovada has released, he is not going to go anywhere:
- What Team Will Lebron James Play For In The 2019-20 NBA Season?
o Los Angeles Lakers -600
o New York Knicks +700
o Los Angeles Clippers +700
o Cleveland Cavaliers +1000
o Miami Heat +1000
o Chicago Bulls +1500
o Indiana Pacers +1800
That translates into roughly an 85 percent chance that James will not be going anywhere. But that also leaves open the possibility that he might. He did sound a little disenchanted with the organization after Magic Johnson left.
So, if he does go, where could he land?
Even though he is 34, has played more basketball than any other 34-year old due to a dozen deep playoff runs including trips to the last eight NBA Finals, and is coming off an injury-shortened season, a trade for him would command a king’s ransom.
The only teams that might be able to handle the price tag would be the Knicks or Cavaliers, and that is only if they get the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft (and would probably still take additional protected first-round picks). After watching him leave twice, the Cavaliers may not want to see him come back.
That leaves the Knicks.
They don’t exactly have a ton of talent on the roster right now, but they do have enough cap space to sign another max-contract guy. If they get the right one, James might still resurrect one of the NBA’s premier franchises; just not the Lakers.
But will the Lakers pull the trigger?
The argument for it has merit. The Lakers already have a good group of talented young players. Maybe they vibe better with someone closer than age to them then they did with James. If they pick the right guy (like maybe Zion Williamson), then perhaps the franchise still gets resurrected—without all the LeBron-related drama.
However, while it may not be a bad idea, it is never going to happen.