NBA analyst cooks up scenario where LeBron James joins Clippers and Paul George lands with Lakers

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

NBA analyst Bill Simmons has never lacked creativity, and a recent trade idea from the podcaster is one of the latest examples of that.

During a recent episode of his show, Simmons cooked up a scenario where LeBron James would land with the Los Angeles Clippers while Paul George would join the Los Angeles Lakers.

“Here’s the solution for all of us with Paul George: a double sign-and-trade with the Lakers,” Simmons said. “LeBron gets to stay in L.A. but he goes to the Clippers to open the new stadium and finish his career there. Paul George gets to finally play with the Lakers after it was blocked by Adam Silver a couple years ago, and finally he gets to be a Laker. And it gets to be him and A.D. (Anthony Davis) and J.J. Redick and we’re off. It’s a new era for the Lakers. Kind of fun.”

Simmons made some assumptions in there — like the Silver claim (which has never been confirmed) and the implication that Redick will ultimately land L.A.’s coaching job — but his overall idea is clear: a blockbuster transaction in Los Angeles.

“I’m just saying it’s a new, post-LeBron era with Paul George, A.D., Austin Reaves,” Simmons said. “I just like the narrative of that. LeBron on the Clippers. [Steve] Ballmer’s like, ‘This is great, I have LeBron James to open my new arena.'”

The odds of such a deal coming to life are likely very low, but it doesn’t hurt to have some imagination.

James and George could both become free agents this offseason. They have player options on their deals for the 2024-25 season that they could decline to keep some doors open.

The expectation is that James will return to the Lakers, and George remaining with the Clippers also seems to have a strong chance of happening, but the nine-time All-Star has also been linked elsewhere — namely to the Philadelphia 76ers.

A scenario that likely isn’t on the minds of many folks around the NBA is the two players switching teams.

James just wrapped up his 21st NBA season, and while his squad didn’t make it out of the first round of the playoffs, the veteran had another strong year, averaging 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game in the regular season.

George, meanwhile, also had to experience a first-round exit. It came after a regular season in which he averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for the Clippers.

If both players remain with their current teams, they’ll look to bounce back next season after disappointing finishes in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. The Lakers and Clippers are two very talented squads, but at the end of the day, winning in June is all that matters.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.