At least one analyst thinks the Lakers should explore trading superstar LeBron James during the offseason.
During the first quarter of the Lakers’ 120-107 loss to the Celtics amid a season filled with disappointment, ESPN broadcaster and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy suggested that the Lakers should end the “LeBron James experiment” and trade him. He believes the move would give Los Angeles the assets needed to rebuild its entire roster.
— Champ (@ChampChong) March 10, 2019
Van Gundy outlined the idea of sending James to the Clippers to free up cap space, which would then allow the Lakers to go after Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and/or Kawhi Leonard. Van Gundy’s fellow analyst Mark Jackson, however, wasn’t buying into the idea.
Take a look at Van Gundy’s and Jackson’s exchange, per Yahoo Sports:
Van Gundy: I think in the offseason, they need to rebuild this roster, right? And to me, it could be a trade for an Anthony Davis, or I think they need to explore trading LeBron for getting as much as they can.
Jackson: What are you doing, seriously? No, seriously, what are you doing?
Van Gundy: You’ve got to get on the right timeline. I’m going to say, if I could trade him for the Clippers into cap space, which would give me a better chance to get Durant or Kawhi Leonard, would I not do that?
Jackson: OK, LeBron James is not getting traded. OK?
Van Gundy: You’ve got to put everything on the table.
Jackson: No, you can’t.
With Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram reportedly done for the season due to injuries and James on a minutes restriction, Los Angeles’ playoff hopes are all but gone. There’s also some speculation as to whether Luke Walton’s job is secure amid a 30-36 season, which puts the Lakers 11th in the Western Conference and seven games back from the eighth-ranked Spurs.