Stephen A. Smith recently said on ESPN that he thinks that the Los Angeles Lakers should trade LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Some may find the idea of trading away the second best player of all-time as well as one of the best current players in the world an absurd notion. But I 100% agree and have for a few months.
The Los Angeles Lakers have a serious problem on their hands. So far the team has gotten off to a 3-10 start. That’s next to last in the Western Conference and second to worst overall in the league. You can’t really put that on LeBron and AD, at least not yet.
LeBron is currently shooting the second-worst percentage of his career, both from the field and at the free-throw line. Granted he is still averaging 24.9 points per game, but that is still on track to also be the second worst of his career. To be fair though some of that does come with age and with being a month and a half away from his 38th birthday. It is also a small sample size. He has mostly been playing great by normal standards, but when you are LeBron James you don’t get to be compared to those normal standards. AD on the other hand has been great and is currently on track for his best season as a Laker, but again it is a small sample size.
Other than their horrible start to the season, the Lakers have other problems. They have no talent and no future. Of course, they have AD and an aging LeBron. They also have an overly criticized Russell Westbrook. But that is it. Sure they have some solid players like Patrick Beverley and Lonnie Walker IV, but none of them are great. They are just decent players. The team has no depth. It is showing this year as it was with each of the last two years when LeBron and AD both missed a lot of time.
The other problem is that they don’t have a ton of draft capital. This year the Pelicans have the right to swap first-round picks with the Lakers, which they almost certainly will. They have already traded away a bunch of their second-round picks. LA also has zero cap space. They have over $128 million tied up with just LeBron, AD, and Russ alone. The team is way in the negatives, leaving no room for impactful free agents to sign with the team. There is not much room for the team to improve because of those things.
All of those reasons lead back to the main thing: the Lakers should trade LeBron and AD. They would get a huge haul for both players, with both of them likely to land the Lakers multiple young players and draft picks. With all of the new additions plus the cap relief, the team would be able to fully rebuild and make themselves back into a title contender. I have no idea what exactly a potential trade involving them would look like. But it would be huge. It is also necessary.