Western conference scout pegs Phoenix Suns as potential landing spot for LeBron James

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

One Western Conference scout believes that the Phoenix Suns would be an ideal landing spot for Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.

The Suns have come up short in the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, losing in the NBA Finals in the 2020-21 season to the Milwaukee Bucks. However, Phoenix could potentially explore an avenue to bring James onto the roster if that happens again, according to the scout.

James is currently under contract with the Lakers through the 2023-24 season, and he has a player option for the 2024-25 campaign.

“If the Lakers were to move James, it presumably would be to acquire the treasure trove of future picks they currently lack,” Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher wrote.

“A Western Conference scout pointed to the Phoenix Suns as a far more ideal candidate should they find themselves once again falling short this season in their quest for the franchise’s first championship, after reaching the Finals two years ago and then getting knocked out in a seven-game, second-round series by Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks last year.

“The Suns have a solid core with Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, but they may need another piece to get over the hump in the West, especially since they were knocked out in the second round of the playoffs last season.

“‘The Suns have proved themselves quite capable of getting close, but I think they need a little bit more if they want to get to where they want,’ the scout said. ‘One more ball handler and playmaker.'”

The other link that could bring James to the Suns is his close friendship with guard Chris Paul. It’s possible that would make Phoenix a more appealing destination for James.

“It’s the one place he’d be welcome with open arms,” the scout said. “In Phoenix, with LeBron, I think Chris would finally get his ring.”

While the Suns may be interested in the four-time champion, the biggest hurdle would be working out a deal with the Lakers. Los Angeles certainly doesn’t want to lose James, so it would take a major offer from the Suns to even bring him to Phoenix.

Despite the fact that he’s 37 years old, James is still playing at an extremely high level for the Lakers. So far this season, the 18-time All-Star is averaging 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 45.7 percent from the field.

If the Lakers were playing well as a team, there wouldn’t be any questions where James would be playing in the future. However, Los Angeles is just 2-9 so far this season, and it’s possible that James may want to reassess his future if the team misses the playoffs for a second straight season.

Phoenix has gotten off to a strong start in the 2022-23 campaign, winning eight of its first 11 games. The Suns have the talent to be a top seed in the West for the third straight year, and that could entice James to attempt to get himself onto the team in the future.

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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.