The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2022-23 NBA season hoping to erase memories of last year’s disastrous run.
It quickly became apparent that would not be happening.
L.A. seems on pace to miss the playoffs yet again this season, and the final years of LeBron James’ career are being wasted in regrettable fashion on a nightly basis.
This has led many to believe that change may be on the horizon.
This week, NBA insider Sean Deveney revealed that executives around the NBA are ‘prepared’ for a scenario where L.A. gets rid of James.
“It’s in the background, if you think you have a chance at him. There are preparations being made, just in case—you have to make them, like the Boy Scouts used to say, ‘Be Prepared,’” an NBA general manager said.
“It will not be an easy thing to do, and there are a lot of factors. There’s still a chance the Lakers make a trade this year, or that something clicks and they go on a run. You can’t count that out.
“And they will have a chance to do something that (James) likes in free agency this summer, something that could change the outlook there.”
A lot of this is rooted in the understanding that James’ past with the Lakers is probably a good indicator of what the future holds.
Aside from one-and-a-half good years (one of which included a Bubble championship) in Los Angeles, James’ time with the Lakers has been mired in underperformance.
“Since he went to L.A. (in 2018), there has been this certainty that he was going to finish up (his career) in Los Angeles, that he wanted to be an entertainment mogul and that he needed to be in Hollywood for that,” the general manager continued.
“He is realizing that he is only going to get one shot at how he finishes his basketball career, though, and that the movie stuff will always be there. He doesn’t want his time playing basketball to end missing the playoffs every year for the Lakers.”
It’s a 4-team race for Trae Young if the Hawks decide to trade him. https://t.co/lyKEvKAIRs
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 8, 2023
For now it doesn’t seem like they want to trade James, but would it really surprise anyone if Rob Pelinka’s plans changed yet again?
The next few months promise to be interesting.
If the Lakers fail to make the playoffs, again, don’t be surprised to hear rumors surrounding a James trade intensify over the summer.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.