We were thinking about Giannis playing for the Bucks only a few days ago. And now, LeBron?
LeBron appeared exhausted by the time the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the Western Conference Finals by Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. He broke his own postseason record for a half of scoring in the first half with 31 points on 11 of 13 shooting, but finished the game with 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists.
LeBron made a suggestion at the conclusion of his news conference that he might be thinking about retiring or at least making a significant change to his basketball career.
Could joining the Warriors be one of those possibilities?
There is no denying the friendship that has developed over time between Draymond Green and LeBron, who are both clients of Rich Paul. LeBron has openly stated that he would like to collaborate with Steph Curry at some point, most recently in April 2022.
Steph explained to 95.7 The Game in response:
“Well he got his wish he was captain and picked me the last two All-Star Games. I don’t know that suffices, but I’m good right now. I’m good right now.”
He is known as LeGM for a reason. The 38-year-old icon has enough clout to make his own decisions regarding his career after living up to the enormous pre-draft anticipation and surpassing Michael Jordan to become the NBA’s all-time top scorer for the previous 20 years. You would expect that both parties would at the very least start serious negotiations if he wanted to demand a trade to Golden State.
For what it’s worth, BetOnline.Ag has the Warriors as the sixth-highest favorite to sign LeBron this offseason if he decides to leave the Lakers, trailing only the Knicks (3/1), 76ers (7/2), Clippers (5/1), Cavaliers (7/1) and Suns (8/1). LeBron moving to the Warriors is considered possible by writers like Tim Kawakami of The Athletic and Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
LeBron has a few timetables that we need to take into account. In the NBA, even Superman has a shelf life.
He has only ever played in more than 55 games in a season once since joining the Lakers in 2018, when he participated in 67 games in 2019–20. He played only 56 regular-season games last year due to a foot issue.
His son, Bronny, has also stated that he plans to enroll at USC this autumn, which suggests that he might become a rookie in the NBA in 2024–25. James has a $50.7 million option for 2024–2025 and is scheduled to make $46.9 million next season. LeBron could take a year off, then travel with Bronny wherever he is playing for one final farewell tour.
James’ best chance of winning a title might be to team up with Curry, his lifelong rival. The Warriors have the salaries to complete the move even though it would be expensive and aren’t afraid of the home run deal (just look at Kevin Durant).
Any LeBron deal would undoubtedly include Jordan Poole and his $30.8 million salary, and the Warriors may possibly include Andrew Wiggins ($24.3 million) to make a deal work financially. Alternately, they may send over Patrick Baldwin Jr. ($2.3 million) or Ryan Rollins ($1.7 million), one of their 2022 draft picks, Moses Moody ($3.9 million), and Jonathan Kuminga ($6.0 million). It will cost a king’s ransom to capture James, even in the latter stages of his career.