Top 5 LeBron James Trade Packages The Lakers Can’t Refuse


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dated: 2022-11-19 11:43:31 .

It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers are very bad right now. At 3-10, the team is tied with the Houston Rockets for the worst record in the Western Conference. While there are still many seasons to go, at some point a decision will have to be made about the core of the team. The combination of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook didn’t work last season, and it’s not working now.

We’ve heard a lot about the Lakers trying to trade Westbrook and Davis, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see the team cut James if it means better prospects for the team’s future. James signed a contract extension with the Lakers in September, so he has a fence around his commercial status for this season. The Lakers cannot accept trade packages for James until this restriction is lifted on February 16, 2023. The deadline is February 9, meaning James cannot be traded until the end of the season.

Rumors will continue to swirl as the Lakers lose. The Lakers are facing one of their worst seasons in franchise history. Once Westbrook’s $47 million is unaccounted for, the team will have several options to quickly rebuild this team. Selling James would increase the potential value of this team’s ad hoc rebuild.

The Lakers can’t turn down these five trade packages.

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks got: LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers received: RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Mitchell Robinson, three first round picks (2023 via Pistons, 2023 via Wizards, 2024), two second round picks (2024 via Pistons, 2025)

With the Knicks, the window of opportunity appears to be now. The team has money tied up in Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Evan Fournier for at least the next three years. The team has a point guard it needs in Brunson, while Randle is an all-star player. With Robinson and Randle occupying the post positions, he would allow James to return to his natural small forward position.

The starting eleven has potential. Brunson, Randle, Isaiah Hartenstein, Cam Reddish and James would all go together. In theory, Reddish and Randle can shoot the three ball, although both players are swinging 33% on the season. However, having a player like James would draw more open shots. James is at his best when going to the basket, which would take the pressure off those two outside shooters.

The reason for making this deal would be purely because the Knicks want to win with all of these contracts in a three-year window. Barrett, Quickley and Robinson would give the Lakers three solid core players for the future around Davis, while James, Randle and Fournier would be seen as New York’s saviors.

Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls welcome: LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers received: Zach LaVine, Patrick Williams, three first-round picks (2023 via Portland, 2026, 2028), two second-round picks (2025, 2027)

Bulls are currently in wait mode. The team is struggling to stay above .500 through the first 14 games of the season. Lonzo Ball’s status is a big question mark. When the ball is returned, the team gives the core time to play together. When the core was healthy, the Bulls fought for the top of the Eastern Conference last season. However, Ball hasn’t played since February, and the state of Zach LaVine’s knee has fans wondering if he’ll end up on the injury report any day of the week.

DeMar DeRozan is playing all-star basketball. Nikola Vucevic could be brought back at a lower price because his contract expires this season. With DeRozan, the Bulls could take a risk and run a James-DeRozan combination. Assuming Ball is healthy, the team could shed LaVine’s max contract with two years of control over Patrick Williams and a slew of draft picks. The starting line-up would consist of Ball, Alex Caruso, DeRozan, James and Vucevic. The team could even move DeRozan to shooting guard to keep Caruso on the bench and put Javonte Green at the wing.

As for the Lakers, Davis would have a young, athletic all-star playing alongside him. In theory there is concern about the injuries they both have, but on the other hand, the risk could be worth the reward. Two explosive, athletic plays in LaVine and Davis could take the Lakers far. Also, the team would have the draft assets to try to make a big three a second time, or build those two players around for the next two to three years.

Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors received: LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers received: Pascal Siakam, three first-round picks (2023, 2024, 2026), two second-round picks (2025, 2027)

The Raptors took advantage of the opportunity when they traded DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. This trade package ended up happening as Leonard helped the Raptors win their first championship in franchise history. Leonard was the Finals MVP that season and hit one of the most famous shots in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs against the 76ers. Another gamble could pay off and bring back similar memories if the Raptors land James.

The team could seek a reprieve on the $35 million it owes Siakam and add principal to sweeten the deal. The Lakers would free up about $10 million in salary. With Westbrook’s contract expiring, the team could add a free agent to form a new big three with Davis and Siakam. This would be a great addition for Davis considering Siakam played the center position in Toronto.

As for the Raptors, the team could make a run at the Eastern Conference Finals with Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby and James. The Raptors could put Chris Boucher at center and then draft Scottie Barnes for a big sixth man role. Barnes could return to his small forward position, while Otto Porter Jr. moves to shooting guard and Precious Achiuwa fills the power forward position.

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns got: LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers receive: Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, three first-round picks (2024, 2026, 2027)

James starred alongside Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. The only member of the “Banana Boat” picture that James didn’t play with was Paul. Imagine a life where James joins the Suns and gives Paul a chance to win his first championship. This trade has real value as it would create an impressive team that could run the table in the Western Conference.

First of all, the relationship between the Suns and Deandre Ayton is still up in the air. At the end of the playoffs, Ayton had to go to the bench. Although Ayton signed a four-year contract with the team, it was a real draw that he was traded. If the Suns do poorly in the playoffs again, the relationship with Ayton could completely fall apart. This gives both teams plenty of time to evaluate what they want. The window is closing for the Suns to compete for Paul. Getting James to make Paul, James and Devin Booker the big three would be a legitimate trio that is hard to stop.

This setup might also work. Cameron Johnson could slide to the bench or James could play the wings. The Suns should acquire a center in the offseason. As for the Lakers, Ayton could give the team a long-term answer at center, allowing Davis to return to his natural position. With Bridges on the team, this trifecta would give the Lakers a chance to climb back to the top of the defensive pecking order. With the salary reduction from Westbrook’s contract, they could get a real guard and rebuild that look quickly.

Warriors of the Golden State

The Golden State Warriors got: LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers acquired: Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, 2025 first pick.

The Warriors will have tough decisions to make. Contract extensions for Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole take effect next season. Draymond Green’s status with the team is also up in the air with his player option. With a slow start to the season, the Warriors could take advantage of their competitive window by going all out to land James. A team that includes Curry, Thompson, Green and James could be the one that could bring the Warriors their fifth championship, something James has been searching for for the past two years.

Wiggins and Poole’s contract extensions come into effect next season, but that likely means the end of James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. These three young players are key to the team’s success, so the Warriors would have to shed some salary, especially considering Curry’s $51.9 hit salary next season. Looking ahead, the Warriors could afford James’ $44 million salary plus $96 million in salary over the next two years, but that would come at the expense of Wiggins and Poole.

A starting lineup of Curry, Thompson, James, Green and Kevon Looney would lead the table. Also, the Warriors would still have Kuming, Moody, Donte DiVencenzo and JaMychal Green on the bench. It’s a championship-caliber group. As for the Lakers, the team would rebuild more quickly with Wiggins, an all-star caliber player paired with Davis, while Poole would provide another offensive spark. The jury is still out on what Wiseman could be, but a fresh start would make him his player and unseat Davis under center. A lineup of Poole, Wiggins, Davis and Wiseman would be impressive. With Westbrook’s money gone, the team could look for a player to play in the 2023 offseason.


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Top 5 LeBron James Trade Packages The Lakers Can’t Refuse

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