But, the Lakers still have James, who nearly definitely came short of his goals for his first season in LA, but still represents the team's foundation for the future and the main reason most fans probably aren't rushing for a refund.
With 15 games to play, L.A. trails the Utah Jazz by 6½ games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
This may have been a bit of a wasted season for LeBron, but his performance on Tuesday night was a good reminder that even as he approaches the twilight of his career, he's still one of the most exciting players around.
"Definitely, I'll be watching it if we're not in there, and it looks like our chances are slim to none after each and every game, and so many teams in the West are playing well", James said.
"This won't be the last time I'll be in the postseason, that's for sure".
Despite the Lakers' plan to scale back James' minutes for the remainder of the season - with the 32-minute range being a guidepost - coach Luke Walton was prepared to sub James back into the game with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and his team up by 10, sending him to the scorer's table to check in. I think he wants to get back at it.
It won't be easy to answer this question, and in order to do so there are few areas where we need to revisit with this team, which includes: pre-season expectations, the roster and in-season occurrences. The Lakers played the past two games without Kyle Kuzma, who returned for the start of the five-game road trip. Los Angeles went ahead for the first time since making the first basket of the game when Kuzma put in a layup for a 66-64 lead with 8:48 left in the third quarter. The Bulls lost that game 131-108 and now they're 4-4 when LaVine is out.
"We've got to learn from the Pistons", Bulls coach Jim Boylen said.
Later, he took advantage of a three-man breakaway with a spinning, off-the-glass alley-oop thanks to an assist from Josh Hart. So, no, Jeff Van Gundy, the Lakers probably shouldn't trade James. He's one of the all-time great winners that our game has ever seen.
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