To call Monday’s report about Kyrie Irving asking the Mavericks to trade for LeBron James illogical would be quite the understatement. The Lakers aren’t trading LeBron and if they are, it won’t be to Dallas.
There are numerous reasons for that sentence to be true, but none more so than the fact that the Mavericks don’t have anything attractive in a trade. A host of miscues in trades even before the team dealt for Kyrie meant they had very few things to offer in a trade.
After acquiring Kyrie? It’s barren. Kyrie could ask for a trade all he wants, but it’s not going to make any of the trade assets Dallas has any more attractive. And that’s the stance the Lakers are taking.
Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported on Monday afternoon that, in a hypothetical scenario where LeBron demanded a trade, the Mavericks would not be a team they would consider a deal from.
If James were to demand a trade, and the Lakers were to entertain offers, it would take more than a package of, say, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dāvis Bertāns, Josh Green, Jaden Hardy, the No. 10 pick in the 2023 draft and another future first to get a deal done. The Lakers simply aren’t interested in what Dallas could offer in a trade, according to multiple team sources.
The Lakers could get a premium for LeBron even at his age and with his contract. There are a lot of words to describe that trade package from Dallas, which is realistically the best they could offer, but premium would not be one of them.
The only possible trade that would move the needle at all would be one for Luka Doncic, and that’s a no-go for Dallas almost certainly. It also defeats the purpose when you want to create a Big 3 if you’re trading one for the other.
It’s such a complete non-starter of the Lakers trading LeBron to the Mavericks that’s it’s hard to even really discern what the motives here were. It isn’t any sort of leverage play because there’s nothing here to leverage. A trade is wildly unlikely, and it hardly feels like a scenario worth even considering.
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