Former Lakers champion says trading LeBron James would make them contenders again

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom believes that the Lakers would be contenders again if they traded superstar LeBron James.

Los Angeles is struggling to start the 2022-23 season, going 3-10 through its first 13 games. However, Odom believes the massive haul the team could get for James would spring it back into contention in the Western Conference.

“If you did — probably going to put yourself right back into contention,” Odom said of trading James. “You can get half a team. You’re going to get half a team.”

Odom believes the Lakers would be able to get multiple strong players that have already developed some chemistry together in exchange for James.

There’s no doubt that James would command a massive haul in the trade market, but the Lakers would also be giving up one of the league’s best players. Los Angeles’ roster has already shown a ton of flaws this season (lack of perimeter shooting being one) even with James playing at a high level.

This season, the four-time champion is averaging 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 45.7 percent from the field.

It comes on the heels of a 2021-22 season in which he averaged 30.3 points per game, the second highest scoring average in a season in his career, and yet, the Lakers still missed the playoffs.

If the Lakers were to trade James, there would likely be no way to truly recoup his value with players and picks to where the Lakers would be a better team than they are now. It’s more likely that the team would continue struggling.

If you look at a team that recently traded a star player in the Houston Rockets, who moved on from James Harden in 2021, they have been a perennial lottery team ever since. It’s possible the same could happen to the Lakers if they traded away James.

Odom clearly believes that an influx of talent would help the Lakers, but losing James in the process may not be worth it for the the organization.

Right now, Los Angeles has to make do with its current roster to climb out of the early season hole it has dug itself into. The Lakers take on the Detroit Pistons on Friday in search of their fourth win of the season.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.