There are some rumors floating out there that Phil Jackson would like to trade LeBron James from the Los Angeles Lakers. After a 33-49 record this past season, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said this via the NYT:
“We don’t like to be missing the playoffs, I understand the fans anger and frustration,” said Buss. “I’ve got to make it better. This last year was extremely disappointing … it was hugely disappointing. I feel like we let down Laker fans, and don’t want to do that again, and we’ve got to get it right.”
Let’s be clear, though. LeBron was amazing this past season.
In 56 games, James averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.3 steals. Those are insane numbers for a man that is 37 years old and just finished his 19th season.
Now, trading for LeBron in Cleveland would be for more than his actual basketball services for the Cavs. It would be his 3rd-stint in Cleveland and likely his last run in the NBA before retiring as the greatest basketball player of all time (my opinion).
What’s concerning is the Cavs have a nice young core that is developing. Players such as PF Jarrett Allen, PG Darius Garland, C Evan Mobley and other veterans such as PF Kevin Love. To trade for James would require the Cavs to give up assets in exchange for The King to the Lakers.
James is signed for one more season at just over 44 million dollars.
The Cavs would have to decide if this “Glory Run” in Cleveland with the fans cheering hard-core each home game for James would be worth giving up players for a single year. It would be amazing for the franchise and serve as the icing on the cake, so to speak.
Additionally, James is still a great player and could help the franchise contend for a title. This depends on how many players would be given up for James in the first place and if it would be a difference. The Cavs finished 2022 with a 44-38 record and were 9th in the Eastern Conference. The team lost to the Brooklyn Nets in the first play-in game.
Lastly, James can serve as a mentor to the young core here in Cleveland to help the younger players develop for the future. This is crucial to any basketball team.
Personally, I make the deal. I want to see LeBron give it one more go to finish it all off.
We will see if the Cavs make any moves this offseason to improve the team. It’s going to be an exciting time for Cavs basketball next season with or without a trade for LeBron.