Grading a wild trade pitch that sends LeBron James to the Warriors

Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors and LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors and LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages
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Trying to keep up with the changing situations around the NBA this season is an exhausting task. The Golden State Warriors are leading the way; in the past week, Jonathan Kuminga has publicly expressed his dissatisfaction in Steve Kerr and then spoke glowingly of him; Klay Thompson had his own heart-to-heart with Kerr; Chris Paul fractured his hand; and Draymond Green was reinstated and dropped a bombshell of a tell-all podcast.

Yet even if the Warriors are leading their way on drama and shifting storylines, they aren't the only one. Many of the headlines are filled by their rival to the south, as the Los Angeles Lakers are no stranger to drama this season. Most recently, a losing streak culminated in rumors that the players no longer believed in head coach Darvin Ham or, perhaps, even the roster around the two stars.

Why LeBron James could possibly be traded

That turmoil led to some speculation that, if things didn't improve, LeBron James could ask for a trade. He is certainly no stranger to jumping ship ahead of a bad situation, but he also doesn't tend to pull that lever during a season. Even so, the mere possibility got the rumor mill churning.

Any potential deal involving LeBron James would need to be to a contender; he is 39 years old and won't be interested in anything less than playing for a title. That's a narrow list of teams, and it gets even smaller when you eliminate any team that can't realistically match James' prodigious salary.

One team that appears to check those initial boxes would be the Warriors; it may be a stretch to call them a contender, but a team with LeBron, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson is not someone that opponents want to see in the postseason. That's a combined 16 titles between them.

What would a trade look like? Bill Simmons and Howard Beck proposed one construction on the Bill Simmons podcast. Let's see the deal they pitched and evaluate whether it would make sense for either team.