Crazy Out-of-the-Box Lakers Trades!

Three trades that would not only shock the pro basketball world but would also transform the Lakers into a totally different team

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With the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office in total chaos and rumors circulating that Jeanie Buss is being urged to consider trading LeBron James, maybe it’s now time to consider what a viable trade for the King might actually look like.

Factors to be considered not only include what the Lakers could garner in return for trading LeBron but also whether or not James would actually be willing to play for the team to whom he was traded. While LeBron wasn’t eligible for a no-trade contract, no team is going to trade value for a superstar that doesn’t want to play for them. That’s why it would be silly for the Lakers to consider trading LeBron to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis.

Here are three viable trade ideas that might appeal to the Lakers as well as to LeBron James. The trades would all involve the Lakers trading LeBron James to either the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics, or the New York Knicks:

  1. Philadelphia 76ers. This trade would be a straight up trade of LeBron James ($35.7 million) for Joel Embiid ($25.5 million) and Ben Simmons ($6.4 million). The salaries match on the ESPN Trade Machine and would solve immediate problems for both teams. The trade would be gigantic gamble for the Lakers since Embiid can’t stay healthy and Simmons can’t shoot the ball but the Lakers would not only be better but much younger. The76ers would get the best player in the game and would immediately be transformed into legitimate serious championship contenders.
  2. Boston Celtics. This trade would again be a straight up trade of LeBron James ($35.7 million), Brandon Ingram ($5.8 million, Moe Wagner ($1.8 million), and Isaac Bonga ($1.0 million) in return for Gordon Hayward ($31.4 million), Marcus Smart ($11.7 million), Jayson Tatum ($6.7 million), and Jaylen Brown ($5.2 million). The salaries match on the ESPN Trade Machine and the trade would give the Lakers a incredibly deep and talented young team for the future and the Celtics the perfect teammate in LeBron to pair with Kyrie Irving to dominate the East.
  3. New York Knicks. This trade would be dependent upon the New York Knicks winning the #1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery next week. The salaries don’t get close to matching so the Knicks would have to use $24 million of their projected cap space for next summer and the Lakers would pick up $24 million in extra cap space to chase free agents, which would be a huge motivation to make the trade. The trade would be a straight up trade of LeBron James ($35.7 million) for Zion Williamson ($6.8 million), Dennis Smith, Jr. ($3.8 million), and Mitchell Robinson ($1.5 million).

While it’s unlikely the Los Angeles Lakers would seriously entertain trading LeBron James, the chaos and dysfunction engulfing the team right now frankly makes anything possible, even trading the best player on the planet. After Magic Johnson’s embarrassing exit as Lakers’ president of basketball operations and their equally embarrassing struggle so sign a new head coach, would it really be a shock if LeBron James were suddenly to request a trade?

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics have seen their championship hopes go up in smoke as they seriously regressed from last season, losing four straight games to be eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the playoffs. The Philadelphia 76ers may be right behind them after getting crushed by 36 points by the Toronto Raptors to fall behind in their second round playoffs, with Embiid and Simmons both looking mismatched and overmatched.

All three trades are clearly crazy out-of-the-box trades made by teams who have suffered extremely disappointing seasons and might be looking for major deals that might resuscitate their dimmed championship ambitions.

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