The Duel

5 Most Likely LeBron James Trade Destinations

By Paul Shapiro
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets / Matthew Stockman

Cover Photo: Getty Images

LeBron James is arguably still the best player in the NBA. But after a rough first season in Los Angeles, one that ended with the Lakers missing the playoffs, team president Jeanie Buss seems to be considering trading the future Hall of Famer.

It might not be coming directly from Buss, but if she's considering it, here are five potential trade destinations for The King.

5. Boston Celtics

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Getty Images / Maddie Meyer

LeBron in a Celtics' uniform might be strange, as the two teams have one of the most storied rivalries in NBA history, but it could be the best match. The Celtics have an array of quality young players, like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and more than enough draft capital to pull off a deal for King James.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers

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Getty Images / Jason Miller

A reunion with the Cavs makes sense here. They have young pieces and a top-10 draft pick to send the Lakers' way, and sending LeBron back home would be a nice bookend to his Hall of Fame career.

3. Brooklyn Nets

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Getty Images / Al Bello

The Nets have seemingly done everything right leading up to this NBA offseason. With two max spots available if they renounce D'Angelo Russell's rights and trade Allen Crabbe, plus two first-round picks in 2019, Brooklyn could be a solid fit as a trade partner for the Lakers. Giving up a first-round pick or two, plus a young player like Caris LeVert, could be a jumping off point for trade talks.

2. New Orleans Pelicans

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Getty Images / Harry How

Shipping LeBron to the Pelicans would at least net the Lakers an All-Star. Similar to the DeMar DeRozan-Kawhi Leonard swap last offseason, this potential deal could send both organizations in a positive direction heading into the 2020 NBA season.

1. New York Knicks

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Getty Images / Sarah Stier

LeBron at The Garden could be the best fit of them all. He's considered the Knicks during both of his free agencies and, if Kevin Durant's injury is worse than the initial reports, James could seamlessly fill one of the team's two available max spots. The Knicks could send their top-5 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to the Lakers along with another young player or two. Plus, LeBron has ties to head coach David Fizdale from their time with the Miami Heat.

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