Four games into the season, some NBA observers already want the Los Angeles Lakers to trade LeBron James.
On Thursday, former head coach George Karl declared that his former team, the Denver Nuggets, should acquire the superstar.
One small problem: The Lakers can’t trade James during the 2022-23 season.
James signed a two-year extension in August. He’s ineligible to be traded since the second season clears a 5 percent raise.
That thought was fun while it lasted.
This fact will hopefully squash any more calls to trade James throughout the season. However, the conversation could get loud this offseason if the Lakers don’t improve.
The Lakers join the Orlando Magic and Sacramento Kings as the NBA’s only winless teams. Before fans turn their sights on winning the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes, the New Orleans Pelicans can swap 2023 first-round picks.
Denver has finished each of the last three seasons with 46-48 wins. While the Nuggets got knocked out of the first round last postseason, they’ve since welcomed back Jamaal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. from injuries.
Hypothetically speaking, the Nuggets would probably have to move Murray and/or Porter and other valuable assets to pair LeBron with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic. It’s a long shot that’d strip the roster of any depth.
The Nuggets handed the Lakers their fourth straight loss on Wednesday. While something needs to change in Los Angeles, trading James is out of the question.