Even though he has been with three different franchises across four different stints, and is the catalyst of the player-empowerment era, LeBron James has never been traded. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has no problem leaving in free agency but he has never tried to leverage his situation to force a trade to another team.
For the first time in his career, a LeBron James trade actually seems like is in the realm of possibility. The Lakers are struggling and on paper, if the team can get assets for half a season of LeBron (who has a player option after the 2023-24 season) then it will be best in the long run.
But would LeBron hand over that kind of control to the Lakers? LeBron has controlled every single aspect of his destiny thus far in the NBA and has baked-in no-trade clauses in the past. Could the Lakers even trade LeBron without his permission if the team wanted to?
Does LeBron James have a no-trade clause with the Los Angeles Lakers?
No, LeBron does not have a no-trade clause on his current deal with the Lakers. LeBron's current deal is a two-year extension that he signed with the team in August of 2022. Since LeBron signed an extension, and not a new contract, he was ineligible for a no-trade clause.
That being said, if the Lakers wanted to trade LeBron there is absolutely nothing the NBA's all-time leading scorer could do to stop it. He would be packing his bags and would be playing for whichever team sent the Lakers the most assets.
While LeBron cannot stop a trade in that regard, he does still have power over the organization. He is LeBron James after all and his agency, Klutch Sports, has had an obvious impact on the moves the Lakers have made. After all, Anthony Davis is a Klutch client and trading LeBron may risk Davis demanding out as well.
The trade rumors around LeBron first started from a surprising, yet accurate, journalist. Those rumors gained enough steam that LeBron's agent, Rich Paul, publicly said that LeBron would not be traded and that he is not asking to be traded.
But at the end of the day, that is not LeBron's call or Paul's call. If the Lakers really wanted to roll the dice and trade LeBron, they could.