Even if sending LeBron James to the Warriors in a trade is extremely unlikely, the following is a scenario that may play out if the Lakers exhaust all of their other possibilities.
After the Denver Nuggets swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, LeBron James made headlines by stating that he was considering retiring from professional basketball. Some analysts did not believe James’ comments and suggested that he was either trying to put pressure on the Lakers front office to add reinforcements to fortify the squad for a potential title drive next season or that he was simply trying to take back control of the narrative following his first-ever sweep of an opponent. Others believed that James was trying to take back control of the narrative following his first-ever sweep of an opponent.
Despite this, there were many who just couldn’t help but let their imaginations run wild. What would happen if LeBron James, who is now 38 years old, decided to join forces with Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors to create yet another superteam? Kevin O’Connor, a contributor to The Ringer, believes that the occurrence of this event is not completely outside the realm of possibilities.
If there is even a remote possibility that LeBron James would ask to be traded, the Los Angeles Lakers will have a difficult time keeping hold of the future Hall of Famer. After the end of the upcoming season, James will have the option to get out of his contract, and Bronny James, LeBron’s firstborn, will be eligible to play in the league in 2024. Therefore, James, should he choose to keep playing, will likely soon be able to opt out of his contract regardless in order to play with his son.
When it comes to the Warriors, more than any other club, they are aware that flags will fly forever. Since Stephen Curry is already 35 years old, it is highly likely that he will gamble everything he has in order to make the most of the few elite years that are left in his career. The addition of James will make it possible for the Warriors to become an even more popular club throughout the world. They will attract more attention than ever before thanks to the fact that they will now feature two of the finest players of this generation on their roster.
But do the Warriors possess a sufficient amount of assets to persuade the Lakers to part with their face of the franchise?
In this mental workout, we are going to try to figure out what the ideal offer would be for the Warriors to make to the Lakers in order to land a blockbuster trade including LeBron James.
The Warriors send Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, and Donte DiVincenzo (with an option to play) to the Lakers in exchange for LeBron James and Mo Bamba in the first round of the 2026 draft for the Warriors.
In order for the Warriors to even convince the Lakers to listen to their offer, the Warriors will have to give up Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins unless the Lakers accept Klay Thompson as the cornerstone of the trade. LeBron James is projected to make approximately $46 million during the upcoming season. The Warriors can make as many attempts as they like to package Poole with players such as Gary Payton II, Kevon Looney, and Moses Moody, but the Lakers will require Wiggins in return if they decide to trade away James. The Lakers will have a glaring vacuum at the wing position if they do not have Wiggins.
The Lakers will also make an offer for Jonathan Kuminga, but the Warriors are likely to reject it since they want to keep the talented young player for themselves. Because acquiring James will be a move that places an extraordinary emphasis on short-term gain, the Los Angeles Lakers will, at the very least, want to hold on to a player who has the potential to thrive in a world without Stephen Curry.
Even though he is nearing the end of his professional career, acquiring LeBron James will be extremely expensive. James demonstrated that despite the fact that it is obvious he has slowed down since his prime, he is still able to have an impact on winning at the greatest level. Due to the great basketball IQ that James possesses, he will fit in perfectly with the Warriors’ offensive strategy, which is based on the movement of the ball. It will be a sight to behold to watch LeBron James collaborate with the likes of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, all of whom have a high IQ for basketball.
On the other hand, considering James’ age, this is an extremely high-risk investment. It will be difficult for the squad to move on without Andrew Wiggins, who is their greatest perimeter defender. However, the Warriors had trouble putting pressure on the rim during the playoffs of the 2023 season. The Warriors were unable to create any easy buckets during their season-ending loss to the Lakers in Game 6 of the second round. This led to their elimination from the playoffs. They will be getting one of the best players in league history when it comes to hitting the paint as a result of the acquisition of James.
With James and Curry’s influence, the Warriors should have no trouble acquiring senior players who are prepared to accept a pay cut in order to assist the Los Angeles Lakers in winning another championship for the franchise. This is despite the Warriors’ heavy cap position. This should help the Dubs with their depth problem, which was extremely obvious for the course of the previous season.
For their part, the Los Angeles Lakers have the ability to trade LeBron James to any other team that is interested in acquiring him. If James ever makes the decision to seek to be traded to the Warriors, his demand will be granted because of the legendary stature he has earned over the course of his career.
In exchange, the Lakers will receive two players who will assist them in remaining a club that is at least somewhat competitive around Anthony Davis. In light of the manner in which D’Angelo Russell concluded the postseason, the Lakers will be able to get a replacement at the position of D’Angelo Russell by obtaining Poole, even though this will come at a significant financial and contractual cost.
The Lakers should be able to keep their postseason hopes alive with a core consisting of Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Austin Reaves, Anthony Davis, and Rui Hachimura for the upcoming season. If Donte DiVincenzo exercises his opt-in, the Los Angeles Lakers will have additional depth at the guard position, which is especially important in the event that Dennis Schroder leaves the team. It’s possible that the Dubs will be far into their rebuild by the time the Warriors’ first-round pick in 2026 comes around, making it a very attractive prospect for the Warriors.
The idea that LeBron James and the Warriors could maybe form a partnership is completely absurd. If this deal goes through, it’s possible that the internet would crash, which is one of the craziest things that’s ever happened in the NBA. It’s hard to imagine anything crazier than this hypothetical scenario happening in the NBA.