Should the Lakers trade LeBron James?

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LeBron James is now on a minutes restriction for the Los Angeles Lakers, who are poised to miss the playoffs in James’ first year in the Western Conference. The bulk of NBA writers are now backpedaling after unequivocally claiming that James was worth a guaranteed 40 wins, even out West.

Meanwhile, the dysfunction in LA is obvious.

They’re a team run on brand and brand alone, with an underwhelming court product that is not championship-level by any measure. And in the face of LeBron’s brand, the Lakers have immediately let him have the right of way despite their own purported stature in the basketball community. James has come first, and with it has been a series of bad front office moves that, while initially pleasing to LeBron, were obvious mistakes to anyone watching.

Now there’s real rumblings about what can actually be done to fix LA’s problem, particularly as it’s unclear whether stars outside of Anthony Davis really want to join James. Kawhi Leonard apparently does not.

To that end, the most radical suggestion has been to simply trade LeBron.

That was the idea put forth by Jeff Van Gundy this week, who said he felt as though exploration into the idea was necessary. Van Gundy suggested sending James to the Los Angeles Clippers for cap space, which would give the Lakers a better chance at signing Kevin Durant this summer.

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