2 Trade packages the Lakers could’ve received from Warriors for LeBron James

The Lakers did not trade LeBron James, but what would they receive if they accepted the Warriors’ offer?

Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Klay Thompson
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Klay Thompson / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers stood pat at the trade deadline. There was no blockbuster move. The Lakers did not even make a small upgrade, despite LeBron James hinting he wanted something done. They believed in their current roster, but King James ignited other teams into believing he may be available.

The Warriors tried multiple avenues to convince LeBron to come to the Bay Area. The 76ers also called about trading for the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. James and Rich Paul rebuffed all offers as LeBron remains committed to the Lakers, but there was certainly interest in the 39-year-old superstar.

If the Lakers decided to trade James at the deadline, what might they have received? LeBron is still elite and one of the most popular players in the NBA. Any team would have to pay a hefty price to get King James. Here is a look at what the offers may have been for LeBron.

Warriors dump Chris Paul and Andrew Wiggins to land LeBron James

Golden State put Wiggins on the trade block (subscription required) before the deadline. The 6’7 forward was an All-Star in 2022 and a crucial piece of their championship team, but his play has slipped significantly. Wiggins is averaging just 12.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game this season. At one point, he was in the bottom five in the league in value over replacement player (VORP).

Golden State also had Chris Paul’s virtually expiring contract to play with. CP3 has a non-guaranteed year remaining on his deal, which gives his team flexibility. The Warriors would have loved to package Paul and Wiggins to get LeBron, but it would take significant draft capital to convince the Lakers.

LeBron for CP3 and Wiggins

To make the math work, Los Angeles had to send Gabe Vincent to the Bay Area. He has played just five games this season, and the Lakers certainly regret signing the veteran guard.

LA takes a significant step back in the short term to improve its draft capital. This move may be the start of a larger teardown for the Lakers. The Warriors would have loved the Lakers to accept this package, but it is likely not enough.

Golden State needed to bring one of their Big 3 to the table plus a young talent if they were going to convince the Los Angeles Lakers to part with LeBron.

Warriors offer Klay Thompson for LeBron James

Would Golden State give up one of the Splash Brothers to land LeBron? Thompson is still an elite shooter, but his play has slipped significantly this season. He is on a $43.2 million expiring contract and the two sides have been unable to work out an extension. There is mutual interest in staying together, but Klay is not part of the closing lineup on a nightly basis.

The Warriors had to explore a trade if it meant landing a significant upgrade like LeBron. Thompson makes $4.2 million less than James this season, so Golden State would have to add in another small salary to make the math work. The Lakers want one of their young talents. Moses Moody appears most likely to move with a couple of first-round draft picks.

LeBron for Klay

This gives the Lakers an elite shooter around Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves. Moses Moody has shown flashes with the Warriors but has struggled to nail down significant minutes. There is still plenty of potential, and the 21-year-old could blossom into a strong 3-and-D wing. The Lakers also land two first-round draft picks, which could be traded for an upgrade this summer.

This move makes Los Angeles worse in the short term but gives them more avenues to improve their roster in the post-LeBron era. The 39-year-old will not be elite forever. The Lakers need a plan of what to do without James, and this move could have helped them remain in contention.

The Los Angeles Lakers are committed to LeBron James. He stayed loyal to the franchise, but another massive decision awaits this summer as the GOAT decides what to do with his player option. Does LeBron stay in LA? Several teams hope the answer is no, but Lakers fans will just have to wait and see. 

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