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Six Teams Interested in Trading LeBron James

LeBron James is one of the greatest players in NBA history. He has won multiple championships during his tenure and been an All-Star every year he’s played, yet his future could be in jeopardy.

He could depart the Los Angeles Lakers this summer after making it clear he is discontented with their current roster.

1. Los Angeles Lakers

Due to Kyrie Irving’s efforts at recruiting LeBron James to join him and Luka Doncic in Dallas, speculation about trading the Los Angeles Lakers star has arisen. Before you make any assumptions, though, know this: due to a little-known provision in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), LeBron cannot be traded until next summer.

The Lakers currently don’t see any offers that would convince them to part ways with superstar Ben Simmons, and even if Rob Pelinka and Kurt Rambis tried sending him elsewhere, like Brooklyn, they wouldn’t likely accept any deal involving Simmons as its centerpiece.

One potential option would be the Chicago Bulls, who may take on James’ remaining two years in exchange for Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan as part of a rebuilding strategy. These teams need all-stars like James to return them into contention quickly.

2. Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics may be the premier trade rumor team, but they’re unlikely to let go of their most valuable assets — such as Jaylen Brown. His average is over 20 points per game, and he has reached new levels as an NBA player.

Marcus Smart is another versatile player. He’s known for being a tough defender who excels at running pick-and-roll plays and providing defense. Furthermore, Smart is known for being an off-dribble scorer capable of creating off of it.

Tyler Zeller can hit threes and provide scoring depth for Boston. As an experienced backup point guard, he can also serve off the bench – his salary cap situation prevents them from signing him full-time, plus he becomes a free agent this summer, so this would be taking an unnecessary risk by signing him full-time.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers haven’t reached the Finals since hiring Sam Hinkie as General Manager in 2013, and their tanking practices have resulted in some of the worst teams in the NBA. After years of rebuilding efforts are finally ready to compete for championship glory!

The Sixers have talented young players such as Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and Matisse Thybulle on their roster; however, another star could add dimension. Daryl Morey may have been fined two second-round picks this offseason for violating tampering rules, but he still has assets he could offer James.

Terrence Ross could provide valuable floor-spacing for LeBron and Embiid while giving Philadelphia some much-needed shooting. As a Klutch client willing to sign a long-term deal, this seems like a win-win situation for all parties involved – the only question being whether the Sixers are willing to part with one of their top-five draft picks in exchange for him.

4. Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings possess many assets to offer James, though their roster may still need work. However, they’re expected to be active this summer during free agency and should have enough cap space for any significant moves that might come their way.

With De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Kyle Kuzma on board, the Sacramento Kings could become serious playoff contenders this year. Kuzma excelled during his rookie campaign with Washington Wizards; therefore, he could fit perfectly alongside Fox in Sacramento.

Geoff Petrie has shown his desire to add pieces through trade this offseason, possibly trading away veterans like Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero for young talents like Malik Monk, Kevin Huerter, or Davion Mitchell, who could draw James’ interest. A potential deal may involve trading first-round picks plus prospect like these players.

5. Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks possess an abundance of assets to offer opposing teams, yet due to a series of poor decisions by franchise management, they find themselves on the brink of collapse. Trade rumors surrounding John Collins and Kevin Huerter’s departure won’t lead to long-term stability, nor can short-term fixes revive this team quickly enough.

The Hawks may receive in exchange for Collins a combination of expiring contracts, Brooklyn’s 2024 draft pick, and an unprotected second-round selection from Philadelphia – this wouldn’t amount to much when considering that Collins will likely enter his prime by the time of the trade deadline; therefore a team like Philadelphia may view such an exchange as lacking sufficient value; Simmons could work, but they would likely look for another asset of equal or greater worth as part of any potential move for Simmons.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder have made impressive progress this season since finishing second to Golden State last season and remain in contention for playoff positioning within their conference. That is impressive, considering how evenly balanced West teams have become this season.

Sam Presti has done an outstanding job reshaping the Thunder team through strategic moves. In 2017, he made one such trade that saw Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo traded to create room for Paul George on their roster, hoping to form a “big three” alongside Russell Westbrook.

He re-signed guard Raymond Felton and added power forward Nerlens Noel, but what makes the Thunder’s offseason most intriguing is their strategy for using cap space efficiently; trading away veteran players for future draft picks has long been used as a strategy to rebuild teams; however, in this instance, the Thunder is taking an unusual approach to rebuilding.

7. New York Knicks

The New York Knicks (short for Knickerbockers) is a premier professional basketball team worldwide and has won two NBA championships since its establishment. The home court for this team in Manhattan is Madison Square Garden, and this franchise enjoys an illustrious past and fierce rivalry with Chicago Bulls.

The team boasts many iconic players, such as Patrick Ewing and Willis Reed, and its distinctive logo depicts Father Knickerbocker dribbling a basketball.

In February 2011, the Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony via trade with the Denver Nuggets, creating an outstanding one-two scoring punch along with Amar’e Stoudemire. These two helped lead New York into the playoffs but ultimately fell victim to Chicago Bulls in Round Two; nevertheless, through this process, an impressive young core was formed, including point guards Jason Kidd and Isaiah Thomas.

8. Houston Rockets

The Rockets represent one of the league’s most attractive markets and are managed by a franchise renowned for going above and beyond for stars. Although they could assemble a beautiful package that might entice James, their market and insistence on keeping Harden make them less desirable destinations than some other teams on this list.

Covington may or may not be leaving the Rockets soon, but his trade value, should they switch up their small-ball approach, makes him an appealing prospect for teams such as Brooklyn Nets or Philadelphia 76ers, who have been linked with them in recent weeks.

The Cavs would likely consider offering James another shot, though they wouldn’t want to part with any of their young players, and it’s unlikely he’d welcome returning for yet another tour in Cleveland.

9. Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers are one of the NBA’s most underrated franchises. Boasting an exceptional group of young talent and perennial playoff entrant status in the Western Conference, they remain an underappreciated squad.

Damian Lillard is on a quest to bring championship glory back to Portland. Inspired by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s success with the Milwaukee Bucks, Lillard wants to do what Giannis Antetokounmpo did: capture one for his hometown team.

However, the Lakers may need to upgrade their defense to keep pace with the top teams in the league, and LeBron James would fit right in. Unfortunately, this trade is unlikely – approximately 0.2% realistic across multiple universes – but it would still make for an exciting move on both sides. Reportedly, the Lakers are interested in trading LeBron, but unlikely they’d get top dollar in return for him.

10. Toronto Raptors

Ujiri’s leadership of the Nets over his decade as CEO has seen them resist pressure to quickly make drastic changes and turn to outside help for assistance, opting to let young talent develop instead of making quick fixes that fail in time. It has paid dividends.

Mr. Brown could improve his team with further acquisitions, although the Raptors don’t possess much leverage to make significant moves within their organization. For instance, even signing an established star like Jakob Poeltl would leave only Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and O.G. Anunoby to fill their backcourt bolster.

One possible trade target for the Raptors could be Houston guard Eric Gordon, who would pair nicely alongside Lillard. Gordon is known for being an efficient three-point shooter who also serves as a floor spacer – though any trade for him might cost as much as Harden does for Toronto.

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