After the debacle that was Paul George immediately letting the world know he wouldn’t be signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, instead re-signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder on the first day of the free agency period this offseason, after months of sure-fire rumors, LeBron James is the lone All-Star on the Lakers roster.
The rest of the Lakers is a mish-mash of young up-and-comers such as Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, and a group of misfits, such as Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley.
History has proven to us that it’s almost impossible for LeBron to win when he’s the lone All-Star on his squad, and even though he’s carried teams to the NBA Finals before on his back alone — 2007 springs to mind — at 33-years-old, it’s going to be hard for James to take the Lakers to the Finals out in the West.
With their young assets, the Lakers have an opportunity to make a mid-season trade for another All-Star to pair with LeBron if things go pear-shaped, and according to Bill Simmons on his podcast, he’s seen signs that point towards the Lakers making a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers for Damian Lillard.
Referencing Vegas setting Portland’s over/under win total for next season at 42 wins, he thinks Vegas anticipates the Blazers to trade Lillard to LA for a combination of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lonzo Ball.
Being as Lillard is from Oakland, not too far from Los Angeles, the rumored trade would be somewhat of a homecoming for Dame, and would provide LeBron with another All-Star on his quest to take the Lakers to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
Check the Bill Simmons Podcast. The Portland Trail Blazers material starts at 1:46:56.