The last time Stephen Curry teamed up with LeBron James during an All-Star Game, he dropped 50 points on the way to breaking the exhibition game’s 3-point record before James sunk in the game-winning shot.
That’s as far as the two may ever come close to sharing the hardwood as part of the same team. It’s hard to imagine either of these superstars letting go of their current franchises just to play together. But there is a ridiculously slim chance as opposed to a downright ‘No’.
This is the NBA, and anything can happen. The possibility of LeBron James and Stephen Curry suiting up for the Warriors can’t be ruled out.
An argument can be made whether James will still don the purple and gold. Much of it depends on how their offseason pans out. The Los Angeles Lakers were an absolute disaster this season and while the Golden State Warriors search for their seventh title, James & Co will go about taking a long, hard look at their future.
The 37-year-old minced no words while talking on ‘The Shop‘ when he said he wanted to play with Curry. However, the Dubs star laughed it off saying “he was good”.
"Well, he got his wish. He’s picked me the last two All-Star games. I don’t know if that suffices, but I’m good right now.Whenever you get the interest or curiosity of what it would be like to play with arguably an MVP caliber dude like he is — one of the greatest of all time — cool. Like that’s amazing. We all can live in that fantasy world though."
Aside from the mutual respect, the two players share for each other, Curry was perhaps accurate when calling this a pipe dream. “Fantasy world” was probably a lot milder. Our very own Tony Pesta wrote earlier that he wouldn’t get his hopes up, and for good reason — it’s pretty much a headache to move pieces around a roster that’s set and sorted.
But then, what if it does indeed happen? What if…Stephen Curry and LeBron James play together for the Golden State Warriors?
Starting off with why James may, despite the incredulous possibility, still swap jerseys. Everyone knows how bad a season Los Angeles had. They ended 33-49, and this was a side that saw a blockbuster trade that blew up in their faces.
Much of the blame was on Russell Westbrook. Couple this with the injuries, the overall build of the roster, the botched gameplay, and the inability to close out games, the Lakers were just pummeled by every other team this time.
But James was his usual self averaging 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in 56 games. He still has gas left in the tank.
With much of the focus on how the offseason goes, and despite what the front office says, it’s not set in stone that he will come back again for a second championship with the Lake Show. And if he does decide to opt out, what attracts him to the Warriors?
There’s Curry, but there’s also Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala who boast of championship DNA and experience. Add James to the mix, and they have a unit that redefines the superteam concept in the NBA.
But there are a string of questions that need answering:
(i) Where do the Warriors fit James?
(ii) Will he start in the first five or spearhead the second unit?
(iii) What does it mean to have Klay, Stephen Curry, and James in the line-up? Will it clog up the offense?
(iv) Is James’ versatility a plus and ensures there won’t be a scenario of what happened with Westbrook and the Lakers?
And that’s just half the issues if James somehow manages a trade to the Warriors. To acquire him would also mean Golden State giving away a significant chunk of their quality roster (some may say it’s worth it), but will that happen?
Curry has a five-year, $215 max contract extension and is signed with the Warriors through the 2025-26 season, meaning the only way for this fantasy to be realized is if James decides to make the move.
James becomes a free agent in 2023 but is also eligible for an extension this offseason as well. Even if he doesn’t ink it, he would have to take a significant pay cut to join the Warriors. He has earned the max every season since rejoining Cleveland in 2014.
The best Golden State could offer him would be the taxpayer mid-level exception unless extreme changes are made.
Despite the challenges and the compromises, there is no doubt that these two sharing the same locker room spells doom to the remaining 29 teams in the league. James has defied age, while Stephen Curry still has the legs to collect at least another three rings in his decorated career.
And, this is the NBA where anything can happen. So LeBron James for the Dubs? Not holding our breath, but not ruling it out either.