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According to Shaquille O'Neal, trading LeBron James must not be an option for the Lakers

With reports about the possible LeBron James trade in the future, Shaquille O'Neal warns the Lakers not to do it
Shaquille O'Neal warns the Lakers against trading LeBron James

Shaquille O'Neal warns the Lakers against trading LeBron James

The boos during Sunday's loss to the Pelicans said it all; the Lakers Nation has had enough. 

With the Purple and Gold (27-33) sitting ninth in the West, as Anthony Davis continues to deal with an ankle injury, the cloud of skepticism is looming over the team's playoff chances. At this point, even getting there would be a success. But going into the season, the fans' expectations were much higher than that.

One thing we know about Laker fans; no matter the circumstances, they're not the ones to settle for less. But given how this season is going, they might have to. If (and when) that happens, Shaquille O'Neal has given his warning -- don't go to extremes.

To trade or not to trade

The organization's trade deadline actions, or lack thereof, indicate that a roster overhaul is off the table. Barring any major moves this summer, going into the 2022/23 NBA season, the team should remain pretty much the same. 

Even if they find the way to get rid of Russell Westbrook and his $47 million contract -- a player option he's bound to exercise -- breaking up the superstar duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James still seems like a stretch. However, talks about it are intensifying by the day.

Ever since the All-Star Weekend, when LeBron talked about the possibility of returning to Cleveland, the narrative about Lakers taking the matter into their own hands and trading the 37-year-old is building up. According to Brian Windhorst, some are even willing to take it a step further.

"People in the league who have a lot of experience say they should trade LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Trade ’em both."

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"My position is I'm riding with LeBron until the wheels fall off," Windhorst continued. "If I make the mistake of hanging on too long. I'm way more willing to make that mistake than go back into the wilderness."

Shaq warns the Lakers

Most people are still with Windhorst; you don't just get rid of a guy of James' stature, regardless of his age or the underwhelming performance of the collective. 

Winning championships is the ultimate goal, and acquiring superstars is the way to do it. This season aside, both LeBron and AD are still Top 10 players in the association. Betting on their bounceback is still a much safer option than once again going young. 

The latter is the route the organization had taken prior to the LeBron era. In the end, they used all those promising assets to acquire Davis. Now, no one knows for sure, but history teaches us that the same would probably happen again. 

The name of the game is winning titles. 20-year-olds usually don't get you there; all-time greats do. That's why giving up on one would be the wrong move for the Lakers, and Shaq warned them about it. 

"If you trade LeBron, you’ll never win again."

"You have to make a decision," Shaq said. "If you put LeBron around the right guys, they are definitely going to win. I think whoever put the team together needs to step up and try and fix it.”

In terms of bringing in new guys, that ship has sailed. Other than hunting for someone in the buyout market, the Lakers' hands are tied. However, despite the ongoing skepticism, the season is far from lost. With 22 games left to play, the Lakers can still get back on track and secure the postseason campaign, even without the Play-in. Once they get there, anything can happen.

But no matter how it ends, trading LeBron won't be the answer.

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