The Lakers should trade Kyle Kuzma. They should consider trading an injury-prone Anthony Davis.
Fans and pundits continue to debate who the Los Angeles Lakers trade for Damian Lillard or even Ben Simmons. There was even a prediction that the Lakers would trade five players for one Damian Lillard. There are other predictions regarding how the Lakers could get a third star next to Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
While a healthy Anthony Davis-LeBron James duo is an unstoppable force, everything has a limit. LeBron James may have put up 25 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists during the 2020-2021 regular season at 36. Even with those majestic numbers, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s a reason why he only played 45 games the past regular season: He’s 36 years old.
As a team that wants to get back to winning championships in a snap, do the Lakers need LeBron James moving forward when they can trade him for a younger superstar?
Putting it into numbers, the Lakers went 12-15 last season without LeBron James. They had a 44% winning percentage in that stretch. Without Anthony Davis, they went 19-17 in 36 games. Their winning percentage was up to 52%. Sure, the Lakers were winning more games without Anthony Davis. However, in the games that mattered, LeBron couldn’t get the Lakers over the hump. Without Anthony Davis.
Remember when LeBron James walked out before the end of Game Four of the first-round series against the Phoenix Suns? Is that how a “king” should behave?
The Logical Illogical Move
If the Lakers choose to trade LeBron James, it would be both a logical and an illogical move.
A potential LeBron James trade would be logical because it would be better to start surrounding Anthony Davis with younger talents such as Damian Lillard or Ben Simmons. Even though LeBron said that he hopes to finish his career with the Purple and Gold, would the Lakers wait that long if they can acquire Lillard via a one-on-one swap?
Another reason why trading LeBron James would be logical is this: some Lakers fans don’t want him there. And you can’t blame those fans. LeBron James tends to give up on defense, especially when the Lakers are facing a sizeable margin. Every NBA fan saw this tendency from LeBron James in his stops in Miami and Cleveland.
It’s illogical for one reason: LeBron James steered the Lakers to the team’s first championship in TEN YEARS. And he did under the most unprecedented circumstances: the entire world trying to catch its breath during a pandemic.
A LeBron James-Damian Lillard straight swap would work, according to ESPN’s Trade Machine. However, the chance of seeing LeBron James on the trading block is close to zero. Why?
He’s LeBron Raymone James Jr. That’s why.
Unless Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka wakes up one morning on the wrong side of the bed and decides that the team should trade LeBron James, it’s not happening