Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar LeBron James sent the NBA world into meltdown on Monday night, placing huge speculation on his future with comments made after his team’s Western Conference Finals loss to the Denver Nuggets.
After beating the Golden State Warriors in the Conference Semifinals, James and the Lakers had n answers for the Nuggets in a 4-0 sweep that sees Denver reach the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.
Could the tantalizing thought of LeBron James and Stephen Curry playing together at the Golden State Warriors actually come into reality?
After doing all he could with 40 points in Game 4, James confirmed that he would weigh up his future including the potential of retirement. Speculation has been rife about where his plans may lie, including the idea that he’s simply putting pressure on the Lakers’ front office, or that he could retire for one year before returning to play in the league with his eldest son Bronny.
Another thought is that James wants out of LA, and The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor has floated the possibility of the 38-year-old demanding a trade to the Warriors.
"“Interest between LeBron and the Warriors could be mutual. LeBron is BFFs with Draymond and he’s already said that Steph Curry is the current player he’d most like to play with. Last year on The Shop, LeBron’s business partner, Maverick Carter, pushed him to share the team he’d most want to play for other than the Lakers and LeBron said it’d be the Warriors (or the Heat).”"
James and Curry are arguably the best two players of this century, having combined to win eight championships since 2012. Long-time rivals including four-straight Finals matchups between 2015-2018, the thought of James and Curry playing together is a tantalizing prospect.
Curry is the best shooter of all-time, and James is perhaps the best downhill scorer we’ve ever seen. Not only are they both two of the best to ever play, but their styles would blend beautifully not to mention their high basketball IQ that helps make them who they are.
If Golden State want to completely abandon their two-timeline plan, there would be no more more courageous way of doing it than sending all their young talent to LA for someone who will turn 39 at the end of the year.
The Warriors could send Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Patrick Baldwin Jr. and picks to the Lakers in exchange for James who has a $46.9 million deal for next season, and a $50.7 million player option for 2024-25.
A potential trade could leave Golden State with a five-man lineup of Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, James, and Draymond Green, with Kevon Looney coming off the bench. Sure, they’d be mortgaging the entire future, but it would be very fun at the minimum and potentially pay off with another championship or two should it be successful.