Lakers insider says there’s ‘slight divide’ between LeBron James and front office about which players to target

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to improve their roster this offseason in the trade market, but there may be a “slight divide” between superstar LeBron James and others in the organization regarding who the team should trade for.

The Athletic’s Jovan Buha believes James prefers that the team trades for Kyrie Irving. However, it seems like there might be some internally who’d rather make a trade for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner from the Indiana Pacers.

In both scenarios, the Lakers would likely part ways with guard Russell Westbrook, as they’d need to match the salaries that they’d be taking on. The Lakers would probably also need to include some kind of draft capital to incentivize the Pacers or Brooklyn Nets to make a deal.

It’s no secret that James would like to play with Irving again, as the two won an NBA title together with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2016.

Irving would be a solid fit alongside James and Anthony Davis, but the Lakers tried playing with three stars last season and failed to make the playoffs.

A deal for Turner and Hield would likely cost less than one for Irving, and it would give the Lakers more depth. However, neither player has the ceiling that Irving would provide.

It’s a tricky situation for the Lakers, as they don’t want to hurt their relationship with James, especially since he is in a contract year now.

Irving, whose relationship with Brooklyn has soured, played in just 29 games last season due to his decision to remain unvaccinated. Irving averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from beyond the arc in the 2021-22 campaign.

The Lakers seem motivated to make a trade to improve the roster this offseason, and time will tell which direction they decide to lean toward when crafting the roster for the 2022-23 regular season.

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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.