The NBA playoffs are in full swing but the Los Angeles Lakers are always lurking on the periphery of discussion because they are the Lakers. After a report broke yesterday that Phil Jackson was advising the franchise in their search for a new head coach, Los Angeles earned a spot in the B block of today's First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, as well as guest debater JJ Redick.
Smith didn't waste any time and got to his point immediately: he believes the Lakers have to at least consider trading LeBron James. He's the only player of any real value on the roster; Russell Westbrook's stock couldn't possibly be lower after last season and Smith says Anthony Davis is in a similar boat after yet another injury-plagued season. If the Lakers plan to remain relevant over the next decade, they need to get younger and better. Trading LeBron is the only way to do that this offseason.
This argument certainly has its merits even if it'll never happen outside of NBA2K. But Smith dug deeper and rattled off a couple of destinations for LeBron that would net the Lakers a great return. Among those destinations? The Utah Jazz, who will probably blow it up to some degree this offseason and have an electric young scoring guard who would be great in the bright lights of Los Angeles by the name of Donovan Mitchell.
For just a moment, let us bask in the imaginary waterfall of content that would appear if LeBron James got traded to the Utah Jazz to team up with Rudy Gobert. Los Angeles very well might burn down. Fans would riot. The Lakers would be widely panned as an unserious franchise. We aren't dumping on Utah (we'll leave that to Smith himself) but out of all the possible landing spots Smith listed (Cleveland, Miami), the Jazz stand out as a completely out of right field option. LeBron has no connection to Utah. He'd probably refuse to go! And LeBron James in a Jazz uniform would be a truly bizarre timeline.
This is the kind of content usually saved for the offseason, but Smith has blessed us while playoff basketball is ongoing. A generous content king.