Lakers superstar LeBron James has never been afraid to leap one other franchise with a purpose to improve his odds of winning a championship. He famously opted to take his talents to South Beach after spending his first seven seasons in Cleveland. After winning two titles in Miami, James then went back to Cleveland, leading the franchise to their first NBA championship, before inking a take care of the Lakers and being the driving force within the team’s 2020 title run.
The godfather of the NBA player empowerment era has done all of it in his decorated profession, except doing what most disgruntled NBA stars do nowadays – requesting a trade.
The discussion of LeBron’s ongoing contract extension talks with the Lakers this summer, within the context of fellow future Hall-of-Famer Kevin Durant’s demands for a trade from Brooklyn, kicked off some thought exercises from experts about whether or not James can be willing to go down that path if things go sideways in LA again.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor believes that if Rob Pelinka and the Lakers brass don’t pull out all of the stops (cough, spend the picks to trade Russell Westbrook, cough) to make the team a contender, LeBron, who clearly enjoys the LA lifestyle, should ask for a trade.
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“If the Lakers don’t do all the pieces they will to construct a title contender around LeBron, or if they struggle to accomplish that and fail, he should leave for basketball reasons. Family, business, and the enjoyment that comes from living in Los Angeles might outweigh the will to bolster his legacy in a latest city. But there are still chapters to be written that involve him winning on the court.”
In a recent meeting with LeBron, Pelinka reportedly stated that he’s willing to do all the pieces in his power to make sure that James can proceed to compete for championships.
The approaching months could possibly be the time for Pelinka to place his money where his mouth is and burn the team’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to get Westbrook, a running mate that LeBron seemingly is not keen on anymore, out of town.
The Lakers standing pat with the present roster may lead to the roster’s most significant player asking out of LA.