1. Lakers trade LeBron James to Knicks
LeBron told the NY Post he "had [the] thought" of playing for the New York Knicks at one point during his career. Well, his career ain't over yet, and the Knicks are very much knocking on the door in the Eastern Conference. If the Lakers were to trade James, he would want to stay in a marketable market. Only New York can rival Los Angeles in terms of prominence and prestige.
The Knicks have been patiently waiting for the "right" star to cash in their chips. Well... even if he's 39 years old in the final year of his contract, with retirement right around the corner, it's hard to say no to LeBron. He is the star of a generation. He would immediately crank up the Knicks' profitability while making them arguable favorites in the (weaker) East.
Rather than watching Julius Randle hit a wall in the postseason, New York would be able to oscilate between LeBron and Jalen Brunson as halfcourt creators. OG Anunoby is stationed on the wing to hit spot-up 3s and handle tough defensive assignments. Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart are two of the NBA's premier role players. The Villanova gang gets to stay together, LeBron gets to play for a respected and proven head coach, and the Knicks firmly reassert their relevance in the NBA landscape.
Frankly, no team other than Cleveland (or maybe Golden State) would have a better chance of keeping LeBron past 2023-24. If he decides to stick with a contender rather than chasing his son to a developmental hot spot, the Knicks offer James a sustainable route to title contention for the remainder of his career. Brunson has proven his mettle as a leader in the clubhouse. Last season was proof that he can deliver in the playoffs. D'Angelo Russell is more salary dump than coveted asset, but he also addresses New York's desire for a greater playmaking punch off the bench.
The Lakers get to flip Julius Randle somewhere down the line. Evan Fournier is an expiring contract. Mitchell Robinson is one of the best rim protectors in the league when healthy. If Anthony Davis sticks around, the Lakers would be able to form quite the defensive frontcourt in 2025. Add in three first-round picks, and Los Angeles is set up for the future.