Report: Several teams would be hesitant about trading for LeBron James
Jeff Van Gundy suggested during a recent broadcast that the Los Angeles Lakers need to consider the possibility of trading LeBron James this summer, and he is not the only one who feels that way. However, finding a team that would give up a king’s ransom of The King might be more difficult than you would think.
Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report spoke with several NBA team owners and executives about the possibility of LeBron being traded, and the general consensus was that teams would not be willing to give up nearly as much for James now as they would have a year ago.
“At this point, probably not, given where we are,” one Eastern Conference owner said of trading for James. “I wouldn’t want to gut the team for a player that isn’t committed and is toward the end of his career.”
Others said they would add James, but only at the right price.
“Depends on what I’d have to give up,” a Western Conference owner said. “I wouldn’t roll up the truck and give more than one protected first[-round pick].”
Bucher concluded that owners would probably be more willing to acquire James than executives would, which makes sense considering what LeBron can do for business and revenue. As one GM put it, the Lakers being on the verge of missing the playoffs proves that LeBron is “not good enough anymore to take four cadavers and get to the Finals,” at least in the West.
The struggles the Lakers have had this year are only part of it. LeBron is also 34, and he missed 17 games due to a groin injury. He has essentially been the ultimate iron man throughout his career, so some wonder if the amount of minutes and postseason games he has appeared in are finally taking a toll.
It would be a shock if the Lakers traded LeBron. They obviously have some issues to tackle with certain players on their roster this summer, but they can’t abandon their plan after one season. The idea is to put the pieces around LeBron to contend for a championship again. That said, the reaction from some owners and executives to the suggestion that James should be traded says a lot about the difference a year can make.