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Lamar Odom: ‘If Lakers trade LeBron James, they’ll be right back in contention’

James Foglio profile picture
Sports Editor
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Lakers star LeBron James - 'Playing basketball at this level, not in my DNA'
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Former Los Angeles Lakers star Lamar Odom believes trading LeBron James would solve a lot of the team’s problems. Thirteen games into the 2022-23 season, the Lakers are 3-10 and rank 14th in the Western Conference.

“If you trade LeBron, you know you’re doing more than rebuilding. If you did — probably going to put yourself right back into contention,” Odom said on trading LeBron. “You can get half a team. You’re going to get half a team.

I do call him God James, but God knows that the world evolves. And to keep the involvement of my purple and gold, it’s almost bigger than God James.”

Per a few NBA betting sites, the Lakers have the 19th-best odds to win the championship in 2023. Check out which sportsbooks are showing higher odds for the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers.

As of right now, the Lakers have only two first-round draft picks: one for 2027 and another for 2029. If the front office considered trading the four-time MVP this season, perhaps their future would be set for the remainder of the decade.

This drastic move would rest on G.M. Rob Pelinka, owner Jeanie Buss, and LeBron himself.

However, what is a soon to be 38-year-old LeBron worth in the NBA nowadays? Multiple first-round draft picks, a couple of second-rounders, and at least one superstar? That’s the ultimate question.

Lamar Odom says the Lakers will be ‘right back in contention’ if they traded LeBron James 

Through 10 starts this season, LeBron is averaging 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.1 steals. He’s also shooting 45.7% from the field and 23.9% from outside the arc.

Would James be interested in returning to Cleveland? Well, even if he wanted to, the 18-time All-Star might not be able to go back. Cavaliers G.M. Mike Gansey would probably refuse Donovan Mitchell and/or Darius Garland for the aging four-time NBA champ.

During the offseason, the Utah Jazz traded Mitchell to the Cavaliers for Ochai Agbaji, Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, a 2025 first-round draft pick, a 2026 first-round draft pick, a 2027 first-round draft pick, a 2028 first-round draft pick, and a 2029 first-round draft pick.

The Cavaliers would not be a suitable trade partner, at least one that benefits the Lakers. And Lamar Odom would agree on that one.

Equally important, for a LeBron trade, a playoff contender might have to destroy their own roster to acquire James. For many teams, it’s not worth it.

If the Heat managed to trade multiple first-round picks, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and possibly Bam Adebayo for James, Miami would go from being a pretty good team to a below-.500 pretender.

Furthermore, LeBron James also prefers to remain in L.A. Considering he wants Bronny and Bryce, his sons, to play on his NBA team, maybe a trade deal with the Los Angeles Clippers could work.

Since Bronny and Bryce live in Los Angeles with LeBron, the trade seems the most logical. The Clippers are definitely in a better spot than the other L.A. team.

Either way, it’s fair to say the Lakers are stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Lamar Odom has a point.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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