Atlanta Hawks: The Lakers Would Never Trade LeBron James, Right?

LeBron James Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LeBron James Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A rather unlikely (but still tantalizing) trade scenario in which the Atlanta Hawks somehow obtain one of the greatest players of all time, LeBron James, from the Los Angeles Lakers.

And so it begins. After Magic Johnson stepped down from his management role with the Los Angeles Lakers, the team brought in Kurt and Linda Rambis and botched a coaching search that is still ongoing, now there are some rumblings that the team’s owner, Jeanie Buss, is being told to seriously consider trading LeBron James.

Wait what?

That’s right, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN was featured on a segment of SportsCenter in which he claimed that Lakers owner Jeanie Buss was being “advised to trade LeBron:”

This is a wild, incendiary statement that, if true, could immediately alter the Lakers’ future in a less-than-ideal way. However, might this mean that the LeBron James sweepstakes can begin in earnest, with every team vying for James’s services? If so, what kind of deal could the Atlanta Hawks put on the table?

Here’s one to start:

Now, this certainly looks like a lot to give up, but this is the player that many call the GOAT, a three-time champion, and a player that was still extremely effective when he was on the court in 2018-19.

Kent Bazemore and Miles Plumlee would have to be included for salary-matching purposes, and Baze at least should provide solid minutes for the Lakers next season. After those two players is where things get interesting.

Taurean Prince is a young player that the Lakers could re-sign this offseason on a good deal, and then Omari Spellman and Kevin Huerter would be excellent young players that the Lakers could build around in addition to their vaunted young core.

Beyond that, if the Atlanta hawks really want to roll out a “godfather” offer, one or both of their first-round draft picks this year could be put on the table (as long as it’s not the #1 overall pick, as Zion Williamson is probably more desirable at this point than even LBJ).

Would that be enough to land King James? Furthermore, would he want to play with the Atlanta Hawks?

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Who knows, but no matter what, this offseason is going to be a complete blast with all this delicious drama surrounding the league and one of its most notable players.