The Lakers Reportedly "Contemplated" Trading LeBron James

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Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 07, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.

That seems a bit extreme, don't ya think?

There's rumors, and then there's this: Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher states a team source says Lakers owner Jeanie Buss contemplated trading LeBron James to terminate the team's relationship with agent Rich Paul because of mishandling of trade talks with the Pelicans and Anthony Davis.

The Lakers were 25-22 when Ball was injured January 19 in Houston, but they have lost 14 of their last 20 games to fall out of playoff contention in the West, seven games behind the Clippers for the eighth playoff position. I'm just happy that I'm going to be healthy.

"I'm very, very motivated", said Ball, who also suffered a knee injury late in his rookie season. Bosh had to retire because of blood clotting issues.

The conversation must have gone well, because things reportedly are better between Paul and Buss.

Let's take a step back. The Duke product averaged a career-best 18.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game this season, but he had thrived since the All-Star break, averaging 27.8 points and 57 percent shooting in six games.

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The struggles the Lakers have had this year are only part of it. LeBron is also 34, and he missed 17 games due to a groin injury.

The team has shut down Ball for the remainder of the season after doctors re-evaluated the guard's left ankle, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Lakers are 15-8 with James, Ball and Ingram all in their lineup, but they've largely struggled whenever one of the trio is out.

James opted out of the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer and signed a four-year, $154 million deal with Los Angeles.

The Lakers (30-36) fell into 11th place in the Western Conference with their fifth straight loss against Boston.

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on from the bench after he was hurt against the Golden State Warriors during the second half of their NBA Basketball game at ORACLE Arena on December 25, 2018 in Oakland, California.

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