LeBron James’ Former Teammate Urges Lakers to Trade for $68 Million Star

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers notched a win in their second game of the season, beating the Phoenix Suns 100-95 on October 26.

But the come-from-behind nature of the victory against a depleted Suns squad missing Bradley Beal and Devin Booker left former NBA big man Kendrick Perkins less than satisfied.

“If I’m the Los Angeles Lakers, I might be looking to trade for James Harden,” Perkins said on “NBA Today” on October 27. “James Harden wants to go to the Clippers. But, to be honest with you, James Harden to the Lakers makes the most sense for Anthony Davis.”

Harden has had designs on a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers since the offseason. But negotiations between them and the Philadelphia 76ers have stalled. LA stepped back from their pursuit of the disgruntled star, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Harden is a Los Angeles native and led the NBA in assists per game last season.

He is in the final year of a two-year, $68.6 million contract.

“If you want to get [Davis] good, easy looks – like James Harden did for Joel Embiid last season – how about trading for him?”

Harden has not played this season, and he did not play in the preseason after arriving late and working light in training camp. He and the Sixers have also come under investigation following reports that Harden was denied access when trying to board the team flight for their road trip.

If he is traded, Harden would be suiting up for his fourth team in the last four seasons. His track record and age might turn some potential suitors away. But this is a former MVP who averaged 21.0 points and 10.7 assists and shot 38.5% from beyond the arc last season. And Perkins – who was teammates with both Harden and LeBron James – offered up a trade scenario.

“I think you can start trading around, what, December 15? If you’re trying to throw in D’Angelo Russell,” Perkins said. “If I’m James Harden, I think I reconsider just picking the Clippers and actually want to get to L.A. to be with the Los Angeles Lakers.”

Lakers Trade Proposal Lands James Harden

“The deal is either DLo plus Rui [Hachimura] or DLo plus Gabe Vincent plus some other stuff after December 15,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said in response to Perkins’ idea.

Lakers get:

– James Harden

Sixers get:
– D’Angelo Russell
– Rui Hachimura

Sending Hachimura would keep a reliable backup for Harden who has missed time for injuries on top of being disgruntled over the last few years. The Sixers also have Tyrese Maxey at point guard, creating a potential log jam if they opt to trade Russell and Vincent.

“I don’t think that’s crazy,” Lowe said. “The Lakers, last season, their halfcourt offense was bad. … the Lakers are really good. I have them as one of the six or seven teams that can win a title. They cannot win a title with a bad halfcourt offense. They have to figure it out one way or another.”

Lowe said he didn’t think the Lakers would try to solve the issue with Harden.

Fans Turn on D’Angelo Russell

It was a summer of optimism for Russell who espoused his desire to play like Derrick White of the Boston Celtics who earned All-Defensive honors last season. But Russell’s defense has not carried over from the preseason while his shooting slump from last postseason did.

He also decided against a layup when on a fastbreak. Instead, Russell pulled the ball out, passing it off, and shooting a (wide-open) three-pointer when he got it back.

He missed the shot.

“If this guy is on the team after the trade deadline there’s no point in watching the Lakers anymore imo,” posted @Spence_DFS. “You can’t win a title with him on the roster.”

“It’s crazy how much more obvious it’s going to be this year next to LeBron in LA opposed to next to Ant in Minnesota,” posted Josh Eberly of HOOP Magazine. “‘But D Lo been playing the same way since college.

Russell is averaging 12.5 points and shooting 35.7% overall and 25% on threes this season.

All of those figures would be career-low marks across an entire campaign. Russell waived his implied no-trade clause when he re-signed with the Lakers on a two-year, $36 million contract this offseason. Trade speculation began at that point and his struggles are only adding fuel to a preexisting idea.

Vincent has not fared much better after signing on a three-year, $33 million contract this offseason. He is averaging 6.5 points while going 0-for-9 from beyond the arc. Vincent is also averaging 2.0 steals and 4.0 assists, though, both of which would be new career-high marks.

The Lakers waited until January before acquiring Hachimura from the Washington Wizards last season. Perhaps this time around, they will swing a deal for an even bigger target in Harden.

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