Lebron will be 35 and will be only be getting less likely to be considered the best player in the world. He is also one bad injury away from being a contract liability. While he has shown not be enough to win a title alone or carry Lakers to playoffs by himself but I’m sure a few contenders such as Portland would be very interested in pairing Lebron James alongside their franchises Star.
The Young Core only has room for improvement and time on their side. Lebron is aging and while he is still clearly better than them, he also is worth more in terms of Trade Value. Think about the return the Lakers could get to pair more young prospects around Lonzo and Ingram.
Any trade involving Zo is off the table, the Lakers season changed when Lonzo got injured. Their defense collapsed and the Team stopped being able to win games. The Lakers were 5-7 without Lebron (and also Missed McGee, Rondo, Kuzma) Until Lonzo got injured and since that point they have went 6-18.
Lebron and Lakers Front Office ruined their chemistry around the trade deadline as they tried to dangle the entire core for Anthony Davis. While that isn’t on LBJ entirely, there is no way he didn’t have knowledge of the trade and didn’t object to offering the house. This would obviously hurt the way these young players view Lebron as a teammate and leader.
Big Fish FA
The only way I’ll say this changes is if the Lakers signed a big time Free Agent and decided they’d rather trade a few of the Core for a third Star than maybe I’d be on board but it’s a Big if. We’ve seen the Lakers ability to win when the injury bug strikes this season and I don’t want to see a team with 3-4 good players and a bunch of G-Leaguers.
This Core already has shown plenty of potential now they need to actually build a good team around them. They have already let De’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Brook Lopez, Thomas Bryant, and Ivica Zubac walk out the door; do they really want to add anymore names to this list? Lonzo, Ingram, and Kuzma are going to be very good NBA players and I believe even perennial All-Stars one day.
Lakers have went (31-39) in their first 70 games this season, they had an identical record in their first 70 games last season and if they had been given the chance to keep their young players I’d have to go out on a limb and say they’d have a better record at this point in the season.
Ainge has nothing to actually do with this, but imagine Magic Johnson trading Lebron for a multitude of picks or young players in an attempt to fill out roster holes and invest into the future. Much like we’ve seen Ainge do with The Big 3, and with Isaiah Thomas he traded them away to put his franchise in the best position possible long term.
Imagine Magic Trading Lebron for a multitude of young players to fill out the Lakers roster. If they won a title while Lebron doesn’t in the coming years that could be big for the Lakers short and long term. At the moment I can’t see the Lakers winning more than 1 title if they put stars around Lebron, but if they build and develop their young players and maybe even add a few more they could win multiple title over the next 15 years.
Lebron only knows how to play one style of basketball and he’s disrupted the teams offense enough. If the Lakers but into Lonzo Ball’s style of passing and play the Lakers will be a much better team than trying to play around Lebron who will try to be Ball dominant and take too many team possessions to the detriment of his own defensive effort.