This really wasn’t an expected story, given it’s just now February, but ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported that LeBron will consider the Warriors in free agency.
Seriously! It’s on ESPN.com and everything. Here’s an excerpt:
Out of respect for the Warriors’ winning culture, James would listen if Golden State explored ways to clear the necessary cap space, sources said.
This offseason, James is expected to decline his $35.6 million player option and become an unrestricted free agent for the third time in his career, although re-signing with Cleveland is not out of the question.
Is this a likely scenario? Probably not. It’s more likely a leak timed to try to put pressure on the Cavs to make roster moves for this year, because their current team is a bit broken. The Warriors would have to jump through a few different hoops to make it happen, including finding different landing spots for Klay Thompson:
A sign-and-trade scenario would be the most realistic way for Golden State to acquire James. The Warriors could build an offer around Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala to match salary and tempt the Cavaliers into making a deal, according to ESPN’s Kevin Pelton.
Oh, and the league’s second-best player would also have to take another pay cut:
To make a sign-and-trade possible, Golden State also would need Kevin Durant to decline his player option and take even less than his current annual salary of $25 million, in addition to moving Shaun Livingston’s salary to a team with cap space.
Still, just imagine how the fantastic, beautiful results should LeBron somehow end up playing with Steph and KD next season. Not the basketball (though that would certainly be something; if they wanted to they could win 75 games), the takes. Imagine the takes! This report alone is going to fire up the #NBAContent machine for a few days. There will be segments on every single debate show today (pity anyone with an eye doctor appointment), all featuring the usual blather about whether the Warriors are ruining the sport, how Jordan would never consider teaming up with rivals, whether Klay is going to struggle the rest of the year, etc.
These are just the February takes! We aren’t even at the All-Star Game yet and we’re already getting some choice cut offseason takes, and the best part is that it’s not going to happen. There’s no way LeBron goes to the Warriors. (Well, it’s a nonzero chance, because who knows, but it’s not a big chance.) But if we get to the summer, and LeBron does indeed take a meeting, the collective take temperature will rise steeply.
If he does somehow decide to sign with Golden State? NBA Twitter might melt.
It’d be glorious and awful all at the same time.