Stephen A. Smith Says Lakers Should Trade LeBron James

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Could the Lakers actually move on from star forward LeBron James during the offseason?

If you were to ask ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, trading James might be the only way for the Lakers to turn their fortunes around. Smith made his argument on Wednesday’s edition of First Take and said that James might be the only Laker that has value on the trade market.

“It’s the only chance you have to be immediately respectable if you’re the Los Angeles Lakers,” Smith said of trading James.

Smith pointed to the current nature of the Western Conference, in which there are at least six teams that he said have a chance to make some noise in the playoffs next season. None of those include Los Angeles as currently constructed, Smith said.

Guard Russell Westbrook and forward Anthony Davis are names on paper, but between Westbrook’s declining play into his 30s and Davis’ frequent injuries, the window to compete seems shut for Los Angeles. James, even at 37 years old, would likely garner more of a return on the trade market for those reasons.


The Lakers’ fall from grace has been well-documented this season, with Los Angeles going 33-49 and finishing 11th in the Western Conference. Head coach Frank Vogel was fired after the season and a coaching search is currently underway, with Phil Jackson reportedly involved in the search process.

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.


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  1. Why do you feel the need to regurgitate what Smith does every day? We came here to get away from that blowhard and all the spares at ESPN.

    You are better than that. It’s like Fox News has something on Joy Behar everyday. Samething.

  2. I disagree with just about everything coming out of Stephen Smith’s mouth, but I actually agree with him on this one. Yes, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    LeBron has been terrible for the Lakers and they got rid of all their young players, and acquired an expensive, very fragile one, in return. I’m a long-time Lakers fan who just can’t watch them any more, but it will take years for them to fix this mess. Ditching Lebron and Davis while they still have some value would be a step in the right direction …

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