Rest assured, no matter the reason, the idea of trading James has been contemplated in NBA front offices as well as on talk shows.
To be clear, the Lakers have given no indication that they are considering what former NBA coach and current ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy is credited with first publicly suggesting: that to rebound from what looks to be a sixth consecutive losing season and sixth straight trip to the lottery despite James' addition last summer, the Lakers should "explore" trading the four-time MVP.
The subject of moving James, however, was contemplated by the Lakers, a team source said, weeks before Van Gundy aired it.
The idea of terminating the franchise's relationship with Paul by moving James at least crossed Buss' mind, the team source said, and Paul was made aware of that.
James does not have a no-trade clause in the four-year, $153.3 million contract he signed last summer, league sources say, but he does have a 15 percent trade kicker—his contract's value increases 15 percent and the raise has to be accounted for in making the deal work under salary-cap rules—which complicates, but does not preclude, moving him.