The Los Angeles Lakers can't seem to win without LeBron James. That was proven when they couldn't even beat the Cleveland Cavaliers --possibly the worst team in the NBA this season. That sentence explains what is wrong with the Lakers and what is wrong with any team that has LeBron as their star.

The Cavaliers became the worst team in the NBA when LeBron James left town. The Lakers look like one of the worst teams with LeBron on the bench injured.

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With LeBron, the Cavs were in four straight NBA Finals. With James, Los Angeles moved up as high as fourth in the Western Conference rankings.

Without him, they can't win and now reports from ESPN indicate that they won't be making a big splash trade by the NBA trade deadline this season to help the team improve around LeBron James.

Why the Lakers won't make a big trade this season

Brian Windhorst of ESPN has said that the Los Angeles Lakers won't make a big trade this season -- even though they should.

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Windhorst pointed out that the Lakers need a lot more shooting, including guys who can actually hit free throws regularly. He also said that they need rebounding, but they won't bring in a star this season in a trade to help LeBron James.

The reason for this is simple. The Los Angeles Lakers won't make a deal that increases their salary cap hit because they want to save their money to make a run at a max salary move in the 2019 offseason.

The Lakers reportedly want to talk to Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard before they even think about making a huge move.

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If they can bring in Durant or Leonard (which is unlikely because why would they want to play second fiddle to LeBron), then they would have all they need to create a championship team around LeBron James and remain protected in case of another injury down the line.

What if the Lakers did make a trade?

Now, there are plenty of NBA trade rumors floating around when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers. Everyone loves to talk about Anthony Davis, but the truth is that the New Orleans Pelicans won't even think about trading him this season.

They might trade him next year if he makes it clear he won't re-sign with them, but they don't have to make a move now.

The best player that Los Angeles has to trade is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and he inexplicably has veto-power, so that will be hard to do.

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Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma are all supposed to be talented young stars but they can't win a game right now, which lowers their trade value in every game without LeBron James.

The names that the Los Angeles Lakers could trade for are not exciting enough to make a move now. When Bradley Beal is the best possibility outside of Anthony Davis, they might as well wait until they can talk with an impending free agent rather than lose one of their young talents for a bloated contract.

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