According to Zach Lowe, any team trading for LeBron James will have to sacrifice some of its assets, but it eventually leads to the team getting to the NBA Finals.
James was signed by the Lakers as a free agent in the summer of 2018. While this was a free agent signing only, they were unable to land other free agents or trade for a superstar in his first season.
They tried to initiate a trade for Anthony Davis near the All Star break, but the Pelicans refused to let AD walk.
How LeBron James set up Lakers for playoff success
There is no doubt that James puts his teammates in the best position to succeed. He usually starts games on a passive note and does his best to get his teammates going. James does most of his damage as a facilitator and resorts to scoring as a last resort.
At the outset, he’s a high-maintenance asset who will require win-now moves and teams will have to disregard their organic rebuilds. This is the point Lowe alludes to in his popular podcast:
“When you get Lebron James..coaches will get fired, draft picks/young players will get traded to get him his help. But LeBron will take you to the Finals (barring any injuries). He will not lose in the Conference Finals, he will not have a blip in the second round..that’s the payout.” Zach Lowe said.
Big-picture stakes, trends to watch, Xs-and-Os deep dives, ugly dog analysis — it’s all here. https://t.co/tAxWmjsH2E
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) September 29, 2020
There is little doubting LeBron’s track record in putting his teams in position to succeed. He has been to 9 of the last 10 NBA Finals.
The only season he missed the playoffs was because he was out with a groin injury. It’s well-nigh impossible to find another player in his class at raising the floor of his team.