LeBron James Joining the Warriors Would Kill the NBA
LeBron James joining the Golden State Warriors? As ludicrous as that sounds, it is a possibility. James will most likely decline his $35.6 option with the Cavs after the season, making him an unrestricted free agent. Although many teams will be lining up for a meeting with the superstar, the Warriors might be among the teams interested in adding James to their already star-studded lineup. ESPN.com's Chris Haynes reported that Golden State would have to shed enough salary to create a max slot to offer the future Hall of Famer, but sources told Haynes that LeBron would listen to their offer out of respect to their winning culture.
Clearing salary to offer LeBron a max deal is not as easy as it sounds. Players like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston would have be to dealt so the Warriors could free up the $35.3 million max slot. It would be interesting if James signed with The Dubs for the max offer and joined a lineup which included Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. As long as these three stayed healthy, the NBA might as well cancel the season, since Golden State could become the first team in league history to win all 82 games and steamroll through the playoffs.
Before we get too carried away with this scenario, there are other ways that James could join up with KD and Steph without killing the league. A sign and trade could give Cleveland back a star like Thompson plus a veteran like Iguodala and draft picks. It also gives the Cavs a chance to get something back for their franchise player rather than lose him to free agency for no compensation.
As fun as it might be to speculate that LeBron would join forces with KD and Steph to form the greatest three-headed monster in NBA history, teams like the Houston Rockets (Chris Paul and James Harden), the LA Lakers, the LA Clippers, and many more clubs will be lining up this offseason to pitch James. I honestly do not see him returning to Cleveland, especially with the turmoil he has been dealing with this season. I hope he stays in the East to keep some balance in the NBA, but past history suggests he will want to join forces with a superpower and those teams are all in the West.