NBA Trade Rumors: There may only be one team in which a LeBron James trade makes sense. Would it work?
For much of the 2023-24 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers have been very much an underwhelming team. Even after an impressive win over the Boston Celtics without LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the lineup Thursday night, the Lakers still find themselves 9th in the Western Conference standings at an even 25-25 50 games through the regular season.
They're four full games behind the sixth-seeded Phoenix Suns in the conference and short of making a big move at the NBA Trade Deadline, it's impossible to envision how this team is going to find out of this early-season mediocrity they find themselves in.
Interestingly enough, while almost everyone seems to expect the Lakers to make a big addition at the deadline - they've been linked to the likes of Dejounte Murray, Bruce Brown, and others - there was an interesting "rumor" that made the rounds yesterday that perhaps points at the Lakers moving in the opposite direction.
KTLA sports reporter David Pingalore, who has broken stories in the region before, seems to believe that the Lakers could be sending out trade feelers for LeBron. This is not to say LeBron is on the trade block, but perhaps the Lakers are exploring every last option before the deadline.
Again, we must take this "report" or "rumor" with a grain of salt. However, for a second, let's say that the Lakers are "open" to trading LeBron before next week's NBA Trade Deadline, at least in my opinion, there's only one team that truly makes sense.
The one team that makes the most sense for LeBron James
Looking at the landscape of the league, a LeBron trade to any of the clear-cut contenders doesn't make sense. LeBron isn't getting traded to Denver, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, LA, Sacramento, or Phoenix. Dallas could make sense, especially considering his connection to Kyrie Irving, but I still find that unlikely. At this point in his career, LeBron is going to make the move to Dallas? I don't see it.
In the East, I can't envision LeBron being moved to Boston, Milwaukee, Cleveland, or Philadelphia (especially considering the Joel Embiid injury news). Maybe New York would make some sense but even then, I'd still be shocked if that was the landing spot.
Miami makes sense. Miami feels right. And you can't absolutely see LeBron in Miami to end his career. Pat Riley wants to win a title before he retires. LeBron wants to win a title before he retires. He also wants to play alongside his son Bronny. It's been reported that the Heat has already begun to scout Bronny. (wink wink).
If Miami would offer Tyler Herro, Jaime Jaquez Jr., and draft compensation, that could be enough for the Lakers to send LeBron out.
This is a deal that could make sense for both sides too. The Lakers would get draft compensation and two key building blocks around AD. Miami would get LeBron as they'd immediately have a shot to win a title with the core of LeBron, Jimmy, and Bam.
Ultimately, it's the only trade that feels right at this point for LeBron.