Lakers Trade Proposal Would Send LeBron James to Eastern Conference Contender

Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty LeBron James against the Cavaliers.

Even though the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to build around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Stephen Noh of The Sporting News proposed a trade that’d send James back home to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lakers would get: Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen

Cavaliers would get: James, Gabe Vincent

“A sign-and-trade doesn’t work without the Lakers’ cooperation. If James really did demand to go to Cleveland, he has enough cachet for Los Angeles to accommodate that request,” Noh wrote on May 14. “But it would have to be worth the franchise’s while. Garland and Allen would check that box.

“Garland is only a few years removed from being an All-Star and one of the most promising young point guards in the league. He’s needed the ball in his hands to be at his best, which hasn’t happened much with Mitchell. He’s a very good passer and a terrific shooter who would pair well with Anthony Davis.”

The Lakers, however, should be interested in receiving picks for James as they’d enter a different phase as a team.

Los Angeles Lakers Were Told LeBron James Was Going to the Cleveland Cavaliers Game

James went to watch the Cavaliers game against the Boston Celtics in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, leading to questions about whether he wanted to return home.

According to Brian Windhorst on “Get Up” on ESPN, James agent, Rich Paul, made the Lakers aware that he’d be in attendance.

“The first thing that I thought of — the first thing that came into my mind when this thing happened — was 10 years ago, when LeBron came back to Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ jersey retirement, while he was a member of the Miami Heat, [he] took a night off while in Chicago, flew over for it, and he signed with the Cavs a few months later.

“Now, I have been told the reason LeBron was in Cleveland was because he and [James’ wife] Savannah were there for Mother’s Day, seeing their mothers,” Windhorst said on May 14. “It coincided with it being a day later and he went. And Rich Paul, who was also at the game and represents several Cavaliers, called the Lakers and said, ‘Just so you know, LeBron is going to be coming to the game tonight,’ so they weren’t surprised.”

James has put pressure on the front office before with similar situations, most recently doing so around the trade deadline with the New York Knicks. After a game at Madison Square Garden, James was seen with a Knicks towel around his neck.

How James Would Help the Cavaliers

If James did get moved from the Lakers to the Cavaliers, the Cavaliers would be an instant contender in the Eastern Conference. The pairing of Donovan Mitchell and James is something many Lakers fans want to see in Los Angeles, but that pairing would also happen in this scenario in Cleveland.

The Lakers saw firsthand that James can still be a top option on a championship team, averaging 25.7 points per game and shooting 41.0% from three-point range this season, the best of his career.

Adding another piece around Mitchell and Evan Mobley could help the Cavaliers get back to the top, something they were familiar with when James spent time with the organization.

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