The summer of 2018 could be a wild one in the NBA and a significant part of that stems from the pending free agent decision of LeBron James. When James elected to flee Cleveland for Miami, he did so in epic fashion and when the best player in the world chose to return home after his four-year stint on South Beach, James’ decision was covered with bluster in every corner of the sports media world.
However, one reported concept would take things involving LeBron to an entirely different level of absurdity, and that idea emerged on Thursday morning.
Chris Haynes of ESPN brings word that, in addition to other avenues that James (who could essentially force his way to any organization given his gravity) could explore, the Golden State Warriors would be able to secure a meeting with one stipulation. That hiccup would be that Golden State, which has a vast amount of guaranteed salary on the books, would have to create a situation in which James would have a max contract before even getting in the room to discuss it.
The report cites word from Kevin Pelton that the best way for Golden State to create such space would be to work a sign-and-trade involving Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala, but, in all truth, that seems like a wildly unlikely scenario.
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.
Still, there is at least a passing chance that Golden State could shed enough salary to create a full max slot, though Haynes notes (and backs up general consensus) that “there is no indication that Golden State is evaluating such options to acquire the Cleveland Cavaliers star at this time.”
The mere thought of LeBron James joining his chief rival, potentially after yet another title win for the Warriors, would be enough to break any basketball fan’s brain and that makes this a sensational story. It has to be noted that even the tenor of the reporting makes this feel (very) unlikely but James teaming up with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and company is just crazy enough to fit in with 2018.