LeBron James’ disappointing first season in Los Angeles will put pressure on the Lakers to make a major splash in the coming offseason.
But could the Lakers do the unthinkable and trade James after one season?
ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy thinks it’s something that the Lakers should consider. And he admitted it … in public … on TV.
During the Lakers-Celtics broadcast on Saturday, Van Gundy suggested the Lakers scrap their direction entirely and trade James to free up cap space. Co-analyst Mark Jackson didn’t hesitate to basically tell Van Gundy that his idea was horrible.
This was the exchange:
Van Gundy said to Jackson, “You’ve got to get on the right timeline. I’m going to say — if I could trade him for the Clippers into cap space, which would give me a better chance to get Durant or Kawhi Leonard, would I not do that?”
Jackson responded that James was not getting traded, and Van Gundy continued to insist that LeBron should be on the table.
James is due to make $37.4 million in 2019-20 as he approaches 35. The 2019 offseason was always going to be the most important period for GM Rob Pelinka and president of basketball operations Magic Johnson when it comes to adding pieces around James.