Pacific Notes: James, Spencer, Kings, Jones

As the Lakers regroup from a miserable 2021/22 season, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wonders if aging superstar forward LeBron James would benefit from taking a page out of Kevin Durant‘s book and requesting a trade away from Los Angeles on his current expiring deal.

O’Connor writes that, if the Lakers are unable to trade for James’s old running mate Kyrie Irving, the team could consider trying to trade for Pacers veterans Myles Turner and Buddy Hield or Jazz guards Patrick Beverley and Jordan Clarkson. O’Connor opines that James should wait to sign an extension with Los Angeles until next summer, after seeing what moves Los Angeles makes to try to return to title contention.

Later, O’Connor reviews potential landing destinations for James should he (hypothetically) demand to be traded, including the Suns, the Knicks, the Trail Blazers, and a few familiar locales.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • In an interview with Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, Warriors training camp invitee Pat Spencer discussed his decision to move on from a decorated four-year lacrosse career at Loyola University Maryland. The 6’3″ guard subsequently played a season of NCAA basketball as a graduate-transfer student at Northwestern for the 2019/20 season. Following his tenure as a Wildcat, Spencer played in Germany and with the Wizards’ NBAGL affiliate the Capital City Go-Go. “I can’t really articulate what I love so much about basketball,” Spencer said. “It’s always been my first love, with lacrosse a close second.”
  • Sleep Train Arena, the former home court of the Kings for 28 seasons, is being demolished to make way for a new 730,000-square foot hospital, plus 3,000 new residences, a theater, shops and trails, per Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee. Sacramento moved to the newly-constructed Golden 1 Center in 2016, as a condition of the club’s sale to majority owner Vivek Ranadive in 2013.
  • The specter of a possible Suns trade for Kevin Durant could linger through the start of the regular season. Greg Moore of the Arizona Republic thinks Phoenix president James Jones should determine a definitive deadline when he will stop considering a trade for Durant, to avoid having that uncertainty linger for several more months.
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