LeBron James’ potential free agency has been a hot topic since last summer, and while teams like the Lakers and Rockets have been brought up as possible destinations, there’s one team that’s pretty much been considered unthinkable.
The Golden State Warriors.
But now, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, James could potentially opt out of his current contract this summer, then meet with the Warriors in the hope of forming a Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, LeBron James foursome. Via Haynes:
If the Golden State Warriors can create a max salary slot this offseason, the defending NBA champions could position themselves to secure a meeting with LeBron James, league sources told ESPN.
There is no indication that Golden State is evaluating such options to acquire the Cavaliers star at this time.
Out of respect for the Warriors’ winning culture, James would listen if Golden State explored ways to clear the necessary cap space, sources said.
… James’ distant relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is well-chronicled and the instability in the front office has been of concern to him, but the Warriors’ strong organizational structure and the prospect of more championships would be an enticement that most veteran players would consider.
James and his business team have been known to covet structure if he were to leave his hometown team. With Golden State, an ultra-aggressive general manager in Bob Myers, the ownership group as a whole and coach Steve Kerr are the epitome of that.
In order for Golden State to free up the necessary room, Haynes outlines a few moves they would have to make. First, they would likely have to acquire James through a sign-and-trade, in which they would give up Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala. They would also need Durant to take less than his current salary of $25 million and would have to shed Shaun Livingston’s contract.
It seems pretty far-fetched at this point, particularly if the Warriors win another title this June. With a core of All-Stars and MVPs all under the age of 30, it wouldn’t make much sense to compromise that for a 33-year-old about to enter his 16th NBA season.
But this is LeBron James were talking about, so nothing is ever off the table. After all, when the idea of Durant joining the Warriors was first floated, most considered it a long shot … until it wasn’t.