Report: Trading LeBron James 'crossed Jeanie Buss' mind' amid Lakers trade talk leaks

When ESPN analyst and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy suggested that the Lakers consider trading LeBron James, much of the sports world scoffed.

According to Bleacher Report, he wasn’t the first to consider the idea.

Report: Buss wanted to cut ties with Rich Paul

Ric Bucher reported on Thursday that the drama around Anthony Davis trade talk at the deadline, plus the leaks believed by some to have come from James’ agent Rich Paul, so infuriated Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss that the idea of trading James “crossed (her) mind.”

From Bucher’s report.

“Paul denied to B/R that he leaked the Lakers' interest in Davis, but Buss suspected otherwise and was furious. 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.”

Davis trade talks left Lakers a mess

Of course the idea of trading away the cornerstone upon which all Lakers hopes are built because of anger with his agent is absurd.

That the thought would have crossed her mind is also believable. The idea of Buss getting so fed up with the failed Davis talks that it would prompt irrational thoughts is not beyond the pale.

Buss reportedly resorted to blaming the media in the ugly aftermath of the failed trade, relying on fake news taunts to deflect the reports that the Lakers were basically offering everyone not named LeBron in talks for Anthony Davis.

The Lakers have since gone into full tank mode, with talk of resting James while not rushing Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram back from injury.

Related: Los Angeles Lakers President Jeanie Buss

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Los Angeles Lakers President Jeanie Buss
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Los Angeles Lakers President Jeanie Buss
Jeanie Buss, Los Angeles Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations, poses for a portrait in the Staples Center before the NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs in Los Angeles, February 3, 2011. Buss is executive vice president of business operations for the Lakers, one of the world's best known sports franchises. She is the daughter of team owner, Jerry Buss, and sister to executive vice president of player personnel, Jim Buss. As important, she is the girlfriend of coach Phil Jackson. She calls juggling her personal and her business life one of the most challenging issues she faces, day-to-day. Picture taken February 3, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Nov 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss presents Anthony Sadler with a jersey before the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center. Sadler was one of three americans that helped to foil a terror attack on a train traveling form Amsterdam to Paris in August. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson (R) smiles with Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Jeanie Buss (C) during a ceremony to retire jersey #34 in honor of former Los Angeles Lakers player Shaquille O'Neal during halftime of their NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Los Angeles April 2, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Nov 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss (left) presents jerseys to Anthony Salder (center left), Spencer Stone (center right) and Alek Skarlatos (right) before the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center. Sadler, Stone and Skarlatos helped to foil a terror attack on a train traveling form Amsterdam to Paris in August. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Jeanie Buss, Los Angeles Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations, poses for a portrait in the Staples Center before the NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs in Los Angeles, February 3, 2011. Buss is executive vice president of business operations for the Lakers, one of the world's best known sports franchises. She is the daughter of team owner, Jerry Buss, and sister to executive vice president of player personnel, Jim Buss. As important, she is the girlfriend of coach Phil Jackson. She calls juggling her personal and her business life one of the most challenging issues she faces, day-to-day. Picture taken February 3, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Former Los Angeles Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal (2nd R) hugs actor Jack Nicholson (R) as he poses with former coach Phil Jackson (L) and Executive Vice President of Business Operations Jeanie Buss, during a ceremony to retire jersey #34 in honor of O'Neal during halftime of the NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Los Angeles, April 2, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL ENTERTAINMENT)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Jeanie Buss, President and part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, watches warm up before the game against the San Antionio Spurs at Staples Center on February 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 25: (L-R) Charissa Thompson, Larry David and Jeanie Buss attend a basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images,)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 31: IOC President, Thomas Bach poses for a photo with Los Angeles Lakers part owner, Jeanie Buss before the Charlotte Hornets game at STAPLES Center on January 31, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Part-owner and president of the Los Angeles Lakers Jeanie Buss speaks during the 12th Annual Lakers All-Access at Staples Center on January 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Former NBA player Shaquille O'neal holds up Lakers' owner and president Jeanie Buss during the 12th Annual Lakers All-Access at Staples Center on January 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Phil Jackson (L) and Jeanie Buss attend a basketball game between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Los Angeles Lakers executive Jeanie Buss (L) and former NBA player James Worthy attend the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission's 10th Annual Lakers All-Access Event at Staples Center on November 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Los Angeles Lakers president of business operations Jeanie Buss and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player Yasiel Puig attend the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission's 10th annual Lakers All-Access event at Staples Center on November 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 2: Former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal poses for a photograph with Executive Vice President of Business Operations Jeanie Buss and former NBA coach Phil Jackson before a game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. O'Neal will have his jersey retired at halftime of tonight's game. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29: (L-R) Hublot Beverly Hills Boutique President, Greg Simonian, Los Angeles Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations, Jeanie Buss, Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and CEO of Hublot, Ricardo Guadalupe are seen at center court during a presentation naming Hublot the official timekeeper of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 19: NBA player Kobe Bryant (L) and Executive VP of Business Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers Jeanie Buss attends his hand and footprint ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theater on February 19, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
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Is it that absurd?

While the idea of trading James out of spite for Paul is absurd — likely the same conclusion Buss eventually reached if the thought did indeed cross her mind — the thought of trading James is not.

James is officially aging and appears to finally be on a physical decline, if even a slight one. If some contending team blew them away with an offer that included premium young talent, the Lakers would be foolish not to consider it.

But those offers are not likely to come. The price would be too high to pay for a player who will be 35 next season.

So we’ll all get to watch the drama unfold once again in the offseason, when a LeBron James-led Lakers team that missed the playoffs tries to pick up the pieces and build a contender.

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