Grade the Trade: Should Warriors consider a LeBron trade?
There are two ways to answer this question. The first is conceptually; should the Golden State Warriors be open to the possibility of adding LeBron James? The answer is almost certainly yes; he is playing at an All-NBA level, he is a proven winner in the playoffs and the Warriors should be something close to all-in to compete for another title during the tail end of Stephen Curry's absolutely prime.
The problems occur when you try to take that concept and make it a reality. LeBron James makes $49.51 million this season, making it a gargantuan task to match his salary in a trade, and then he makes $51.41 million next season. Any competitive team adding LeBron is likely resigning itself to being over the second tax apron next season.
The version of the deal pitched by SImmons and Beck doesn't get the Warriors to the right salary point. Would they toss in Kevon Looney? Or instead trade Chris Paul or Klay Thompson instead of Wiggins? That's possible, but unlikely, given the relationship between LeBron and Chris, or between the Warriors organization and Klay.
That all goes without even mentioning that the Warriors would be giving up two young, productive players and their best perimeter defenders for a 39-year-old forward who is sprinting at full speed along the edge of a cliff; at some point he will miss a step and, whether it's an injury or a decline in athleticism, suddenly not be special anymore.
If the Warriors truly thought they would be a title favorite after the move, and if the trade itself could be worked out, it's not entirely far-fetched. Yet the Warriors aren't in that strong of a position, and it's impossible for them to trust a path that involves stripping down assets to get older with a shorter window. This was a fun idea, but it's not happening even were it legal.