Lakers Make Decision on Possible LeBron James Trade to Rival: Report

lebron james

Getty Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

This offseason is already off to a rough start for the Los Angeles Lakers. UConn coach Dan Hurley spurned the team after it offered him the head coaching job. And then the Boston Celtics broke their tie with the Lakers for the most championship wins in NBA history.

Now, the Lakers’ future with LeBron James is unclear. He is expected to decline his player option, allowing him to test free agency. What is clear, according to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, is that the Lakers will not deal him.

“The Lakers are not trading him,” Buha said on the June 18 episode of “Buha’s Block.” “He’s not going to Phoenix, and if you’re Phoenix, why would you trade Devin Booker for LeBron James? You have Devin Booker, a franchise cornerstone, a young All-Star, All-NBA-caliber guy.

“A guy, in my opinion, who is a top 15 guy and has been a borderline, like, top 10-12 guy at various points,” he said. “Why would you trade that for like a couple years of LeBron when you could have Booker for the next seven to 10 years potentially?”

The Suns were massively disappointing last season and their one chance to turn things around could be persuading James to come to Phoenix.

Are Phoenix Suns Trying to Lure LeBron James?

The reason that James has been getting linked to the Suns more often is due to the fact that they are one of the two teams that Bronny James has worked out for ahead of the draft. The elder James has expressed interest in playing with his son in the past and the 19-year-old has refused workouts from teams that aren’t the Suns or the Lakers.

According to The Ringer’s Bill Simmons, there might be some substance to the idea of James heading to Phoenix.

“There’s a lot of Phoenix buzz right now; I’m just going to say it. And I don’t know if it’s real or not,” Simmons said on the June 16 episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast.”

If the Suns draft Bronny James in the upcoming NBA Draft, then there’s a real chance his father will follow.

Would LeBron James Want to Play in Phoenix?

James likely only has a year or two left before he really starts to think about retirement. He’s comfortable in Los Angeles and that could be enough for him to stay put. However, the idea of teaming up with Kevin Durant before he retires might be appealing.

The problem for the Suns is that they likely can’t make it happen if the Lakers aren’t willing to do a sign-and-trade. The only piece that should appeal to Los Angeles is Booker. Swapping a 39-year-old for a 27-year-old star would be something that the Lakers have to consider if it’s on the table.

It’s difficult to see why Phoenix would do that unless they really believe that a James-Durant duo is good enough to win a championship. Though helping a rival is a tough call, getting Booker in Los Angeles would set the Lakers up for the foreseeable future.

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