5 Unpopular trades the Lakers should explore this summer

The Lakers should take a hard look at these trades in the offseason.

Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Austin Reaves
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Austin Reaves / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Trade LeBron to embark on a retool

Fans would be angry, and LeBron James might even get upset if the Lakers traded him this offseason. The GOAT has a $51.4 million player option for the 2024-25 campaign. All signs point to him opting in and exploring an extension that keeps him in LA for multiple years. James will make a massive salary if he stays with the Lakers, which is risky considering he turns 40 in December.

The franchise rewards their stars, but fans remember how Kobe Bryant’s final contract went. The legend was must-watch, but the team missed the playoffs in each of his final three years as Bryant made nearly $30 million per season. It started a six-year playoff drought, which is the longest in the franchise’s history.

Do they want a repeat at the end of the LeBron era? The Lakers could avoid it by trading him this summer. King James would draw significant interest and have a ton of value. LeBron would want to choose his destination, but several teams would give up a massive haul to land him. Consider this unlikely, but an avenue the franchise should explore.

The Los Angeles Lakers will be forced to make difficult decisions this offseason. Expect them to make some unpopular moves in hopes of getting back into contention. Stay tuned to find out what direction the franchise goes.