While the Clippers appear to be on the verge of signing one if not two max players and have a pretty good core already, the Lakers are in a freefall. The purple and yellow signed Frank Vogel to a 3-year contract over the weekend. Vogel was at best the Lakers 4th option and is a disappointing hire for a lot of Laker fans. The Lakers gig feels like a job no one wanted. Tyronn Lue was thought to be in the driver’s seat for the job and was ceremoniously insulted by a low ball offer which stopped the negotiations in their tracks. You’ve got to wonder who is running the ship? Is it Jeanie Buss who threw her brother overboard? Is it Rob Pelinka? Is it Linda Rambis? Who is Kurt Rambis’ wife and presumably angling for her husband to have a more significant role in the organization and is Jeanie’s Buss best friend? The Lake show seems to be a mess right now. You have to wonder if Magic Johnson’s abrupt was a realization that he wasn’t indeed in charge. Moreover, should Lebron James seek a trade? It would be a short end to his Lakers tenure, but this team is so far away from Contending that if Lebron wants to win again before retiring, he is better off heading elsewhere. Who would be the right trade partner? You know I had to try a few scenarios:
Trade with the LA Clippers
This would be a bombshell move because Lebron would stay home. It would make the Clippers an instant contender with a more stable coach and front office. Did I mention already the Clips have room for two max players? How do Kawhi and Anthony Davis sound to you? Both would be available, and if the Clippers get both, you can pencil them in the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers would gain a competitive team, with a soft rebuild and a good draft pick.
Three-way trade with Brooklyn and New Orleans
You may have heard that Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans. This scenario gets Davis out of the big easy and Lebron in another media capital where he can further promote his brand. This is messy but it gets the job done. Lebron gets shipped to Brooklyn, The Lakers get back Davis (from NO), Caris Levert, Joe Harris and Alan Williams from Brooklyn. ThePelicans get Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart (from LA Lakers) and Allen Crabbe (from Brooklyn) and likely a 1st rounder from either LA or Brooklyn. Again, it’s messy, but everyone gets what they want. Brooklyn gets a star they can sell season tickets with and compete with the likelihood of Zion Williamson, Kyrie Irving and maybe Kevin Durant across town. The Nets would need to make a splash and this is it. The Lakers get a star and some young cheap talent. The Pelicans get younger players and draft picks. I think this might work.
These are some aggressive moves, but I think the Lakers can move on from Lebron if the price is right.