June 22, 2024

Another NBA trade deadline is approaching which means LeBron James is ramping up the pressure on the Los Angeles Lakers front office to make moves.

LeBron James

The challenge is James will be a free agent this offseason and can leave the Lakers without netting anything in return.

Just days ahead of the February 8, 2024 NBA trade deadline, James admitted to being undecided on his future. Could the Lakers do the unthinkable and hit the reset button on the King James era with a blockbuster trade?

Probably not, but it is worth noting that James does not have a no-trade clause. James’ agent Rich Paul attempted to squash the trade rumors, but it is ultimately up to the Lakers.

The Ringer’s Bill Simmons suggested a hypothetical trade that sends James to the Golden State Warriors. Los Angeles lands six-time All-Star Klay Thompson and Jonathan Kuminga as part of the package. The trade proposal pairs James with Steph Curry and Draymond Green, two players who the superstar has praised.

“There’s a trade I really love, and it won’t happen,” Simmons noted in a February 5 episode of his self-titled podcast. “The most fun trade for basketball is if he gets traded to the Warriors. And it’s Kuminga and Klay and maybe some pick swap down the road.

“It’s just, ‘We’ll take LeBron for three months and then he can declare for free agency.’ Klay gets to go back to the Lakers. His dad played there, and the Lakers get Kuminga out of it. And then they put together the old guy super team in Golden State. And it would just be like, holy [expletive]. It’s LeBron and Chris Paul and Curry. I don’t know, it would be fun.”

Lakers Rumors: Jonathan Kuminga Would Be the Most Intriguing Part of the Warriors Trade Proposal

“[LeBron] just doesn’t seem happy.”

It’s been a disappointing season so far for the Lakers. Where can LeBron and L.A. go from here?

@BillSimmons discusses the limited options and the one trade he keeps coming back to:

This may seem like a light trade package for one of the greatest players in NBA history. Yet, James’ trade value is hard to project given the star will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Thompson is in the final season of a five-year, $189 million contract. The sharpshooter has a $43.2 million salary for this season.

Thompson has been in and out of the Warriors starting lineup. The guard is averaging 17.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 37.1% from long range.

Kuminga offers plenty of intrigue given his four-year, $24.8 million rookie deal runs through the 2024-25 season. The forward was the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NBA draft. Kuminga is averaging a career-high 15.4 points and 4.7 boards per game while shooting 33% from behind the three-point line this season.

LeBron James on If He Has Made a Decision on Future With Lakers: ‘No’

All eyes will be on James this summer given it is the first year his son Bronny James is eligible to declare for the NBA draft. James has done little to reaffirm his commitment to Los Angeles beyond this season.

“LeBron James declined to offer clarity on his ⌛️ tweet and when asked if he knows what he will do with his contract option for the Lakers this summer said, ‘No,’” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin detailed in a February 3 message on X.

All signs point to the Lakers riding out James’ contract. Yet, it is ultimately up to Los Angeles on how the team wants to handle the superstar’s future ahead of the trade deadline.

Jonathan Adams covers the NFL and NBA for Heavy.com, focusing on the Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Lakers. His work has been prominently featured on NFL.com, Yahoo Sports, Pro Football Talk, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated. More about Jonathan Adams

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