Report: Multiple teams are preparing for possibility that LeBron James will look to force trade this summer

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read

There was a time when LeBron James leaving the Los Angeles Lakers before the end of his playing career seemed like a far-fetched idea.

However, rumors have been brewing that the star might seek a new home. Sean Deveney of recently reported that multiple NBA teams are “at least preparing for the possibility” that the 38-year-old will want out and request for a trade from the Lakers this coming offseason.

“According to executives around the league, multiple teams are at least preparing for the possibility that James will seek to force a trade this summer as he, having just turned 38, looks to finish his career in a winning environment,” Deveney wrote. “And unlike this past offseason, in which teams were blindsided by the trade demand lodged by star forward Kevin Durant on the eve of free agency, front offices around the NBA will be prepared for James’ potential move.”

The Lakers’ lack of success in the past couple of years has likely been frustrating for a player who is wired to win like James.

After Los Angeles’ championship run in the 2019-20 campaign, the franchise’s following seasons have ended with a first-round playoff loss and postseason absence, respectively.

Earlier this campaign, it appeared that the Lakers were primed to miss the playoffs again. However, the squad has put together a five-game winning streak to raise its record to 19-21. It is slowly creeping into the Western Conference playoff picture.

The Lakers have James to thank for their recent victories, as the 18-time All-Star has averaged 38.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game during that stretch. Of course, other players have also stepped up, including Russell Westbrook, Thomas Bryant and Dennis Schroder.

Even so, L.A. still has plenty of work to do, especially in a crowded Western Conference. And even if the team manages to reach the playoffs, the competition will be tough.

A roster upgrade could help the Lakers make a title run, although they would likely need to be willing to part ways with some of their future first-round picks to get another team on the phone.

However, the front office is reportedly hesitant about mortgaging the franchise’s future to bring back players who can help now. It seems that the decision doesn’t sit well with James.

It remains to be seen if the four-time MVP and the Lakers organization will see eye to eye on what steps should be taken by the franchise. If they can’t and the team doesn’t find success later in the season, talks of James leaving town might dominate the 2023 offseason.

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Orel is excited about the prospect of “Showtime Lakers” making a comeback, thanks to the presence of the King and the arrival of the Brow.