7 NBA dream trade deadline targets (and what they'd cost)

Trae Young, Luka Doncic
Trae Young, Luka Doncic / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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1) LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James may be seen as one of the more unlikely trade candidates at the deadline, but his team's struggles should make it a non-zero percent chance that happens. With fewer than 35 games remaining for the Lakers, them .500, and 9th in the Western Conference, the Laker season isn't going according to plan and LeBron could always demand a trade just before the February 8th deadline.

With LeBron having a player option for next season, the Lakers would have no choice but to trade their best player or risk losing him for nothing. Even if LeBron does play the rest of the season out for the Lakers, there is a decent chance that he will leave Los Angeles anyway in hopes of playing with his son Bronny James once he is drafted.

Of course, there is also the chance that the Lakers make a deal or two ahead of the deadline to improve their chances of making the playoffs. L.A. did the exact same thing last trade deadline and went on a tear, finishing strong and making the Western Conference Finals. Another big trade could theoretically lead to the same result but with the West highly competitive, it may not have the same impact as it did a year ago.

Ultimately, you shouldn't hold your breath for LeBron to demand a trade before the deadline, but the Lakers are struggling, and his contract situation doesn't necessarily foreclose the possibility of that happening.