The Golden State Warriors and the LeBron James are not going to coming to an agreement any time soon unless a few extreme things happen.
The Golden State Warriors are not going to sign LeBron James next summer. It’s unlikely that the Warriors–who seem to be positioning themselves to make a run Anthony Davis–that the superstar would join the super team. There are numerous reasons why neither party would be interested in making it happen.
The Warriors are pretty stacked at the forward positions. With Kevin Durant and Draymond Green holding it down, there just isn’t that much room for a mid-30’s LeBron James. Someone would have to come off the bench and that would probably cause, at the minimum, an uncomfortable tension.
James would take a huge hit to his legacy, one that he probably wouldn’t recover from. He’s chasing Michael Jordan as the greatest player of all-time. Having already lost five NBA Finals series while building handpicked star-studded teams, James is fighting an uphill battle. While he’d surely secure a few more rings, it would be hard to justify the move to the masses.
Still, we like to have fun. So what would it actually take for the Warriors and James to have a legitimate interest in each other? Well, a lot would have to go wrong for both them.
Let’s look at James’ perspective. His Cleveland Cavaliers would have to fail miserably while no. 23 gives his best effort. I’m not talking about an NBA Finals loss–which is devastating–I’m talking about an early exit.
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The Cavaliers are a poorly run organization that relies on James far too much. Golden State–like Chris Haynes’ article points out–provides stability. They have plans, unlike Cleveland.
If NBA money isn’t James’ top priority, he could take less in Golden State because of the business opportunities that the Bay Area offers. Again, it’s unlikely he’ll leave his home (again). An unprecedented playoff failure with a hopeless future could drive him to explore other options.
While the Warriors have given no indication that they would be interested. They have Durant, who is, arguably, better than the Eastern Conference superstar. They’re a championship team with an unparalleled culture and chemistry that could get disrupted with James and everything that he brings with him.
The Warriors were preparing to add Durant for years. Their heartbreaking Finals loss in 2016 increased their sense of urgency. They went out and did whatever it took to bring him on.
Golden State losing the 2018 Finals could force them to make a move, especially if they fall to the Boston Celtics. A loss to the Gordon Hayward-less Celtics would mean trouble for the Warriors, especially with Andre Iguodala‘s and Shaun Livingston‘s contracts. But here’s where it gets even worse.
A loss would be a cause for a concern. A loss to a team that has the chance to trade for Anthony Davis would be a major problem for Golden State. There are probably a handful of players that bother the Warriors and Kyrie Irving and Davis are two of them.
The Warriors would be underdogs, lessening the backlash of a union with James. They wouldn’t be coming together to continue to terrorize the league–they’d be coming together to take it back from the Celtics. If James positioned himself against Irving, the media and the fans would eat up the storylines.
This isn’t going to happen. Golden State won’t move Klay Thompson. They’re preparing to make a run at Davis in the future. They won’t break up their championship team for an aging player who demands total organizational control and won’t commit to something long term.