LeBron James has shown over the course of his career that he’d prefer to play alongside veterans rather than hope a younger player works out. As he only has so many years left in his prime, the thinking generally might be that he’ll want someone whose production is more predictable than Lonzo Ball, but as of now, it sounds like James will be patient.
This, via Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
All that said, LeBron did tell the Lakers on Saturday night that he likes Lonzo’s game and is excited to play with him.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 2, 2018
“All that said” is referring to how James might’ve felt about the Lakers’ additions of JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson and (most applicable to this conversation), Rajon Rondo, as well as the subtraction of Julius Randle. Apparently, he and the Lakers have maintained an open line of communication in some fashion since he agreed and potentially even before.
As has been covered very well at this point, in theory, Lonzo and LeBron fit very well on the court together. Hell, LeBronzo fits really well in text if we’re being completely honest with ourselves. Ball’s ability and instincts on defense allow James to rest a little on that side of the court over the course of an 82-game season. The only real question mark is the shooting, and if that doesn’t come around, well, frankly, a move can be made.
Which brings us to an important point given how the rest of the offseason has played out after James committed to the Lakers.
On December 15, all contracts signed this offseason become eligible to be included in trades. Thus far, outside of the rookie deals and James’ four-year commitment, every contract agreed to expire at season’s end, making them very easy to include in bigger trades. If Lonzo and LeBron aren’t working out, he can always be flipped for a point guard that makes more sense and can help the Lakers contend for a title more immediately.
I wouldn’t necessarily predict this would happen, but it’s an option.
For now, James is letting it be known that he and the Lakers are on the same page. That’s really all that matters even if the moves they’ve made don’t make all that much sense.