NBA analyst begs Lakers to consider trading LeBron James: ‘Everybody should be on the table’

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have gotten out to a slow start in the 2022-23 season, losing their first three games.

With LeBron James and Anthony Davis both healthy and under contract beyond the 2022-23 season, one would think that the Lakers would try to make a move to contend this season.

However, ESPN analyst Jay Williams has a different idea. He believes that the Lakers should consider trading anyone on the roster after the slow start this season.

“If you’re talking about maintaining the franchise’s success, if we want to be cold-hearted about this, everybody should be on the table,” Williams said.

Williams took it a step further, specifically mentioning James as a player the Lakers should consider moving.

“If you want to be realistic about it, what can I get for LeBron James?” Williams said. “What can I get for Anthony Davis? What can I get for Russell Westbrook? We’re thinking about the future.”

It’s certainly a bold claim by Williams to say that the Lakers should consider trading James and Davis just three games into the 2022-23 season.

Despite that, there is some merit to it considering how the current Lakers roster is constructed. Right now, Los Angeles lacks the guard play and outside shooting to be a real contender in the Western Conference.

The Lakers are shooting a putrid 21.2 percent from beyond the arc this season, the worst mark in the NBA. Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and Lonnie Walker IV all aren’t known for being elite 3-point shooters, yet those players are expected to be the primary scorers outside of Davis and James on offense.

They do bring other skills to the table, but the Lakers aren’t surrounding James and Davis with players that give them the best chance to win an NBA title.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, the team would likely need to part ways with at least one of its first-round picks (in either the 2027 or 2029 NBA Draft) to add an impact player to this roster and get a team to take on Westbrook’s massive salary for this season.

Williams seems to be arguing that it makes more sense for the franchise’s long-term success to attempt to rebuild rather than sacrifice future assets for a team that may not have what it takes to win the NBA Finals anyway.

The Lakers missed the playoffs last season, partly because James and Davis missed time with injuries. Still, the team hasn’t won a playoff series since the 2019-20 season.

Trading James or Davis would be a drastic shift in the franchise’s plans for the 2022-23 season, but it could make sense if the Lakers get deeper into the season and still aren’t competing for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

With James and Davis both under contract for the 2023-24 campaign, there certainly would be a ton of interest league wide if one or both of them became available.

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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.