Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has, once again, made waves with comments about a potential partnership with the Golden State Warriors. On the most recent episode of his show, The Shop: Uninterrupted, he was asked which of this year’s NBA playoff teams he would jump to if he wasn’t starring in La La Land. This was his response:
“If it was one team that I know I could make an immediate impact in the postseason
and we could be very special, yeah, it’d either be Miami or Golden State.”
The King then proceeded to wax poetic about the cussing it out with Dubs star Draymond Green, saying “I would love that.” And while there’s no doubting that they would make for an incredible pairing, it’s James’ union with Stephen Curry that hoops fans really want to see.
To that end, here’s one possible trade that would see LeBron make his big move to Steph and Draymond’s house on the Bay.
Lakers Make a Move for the Future, Dubs Go All-In Now
As a means to get Steph and LeBron on the same side — which was previewed to spectacular effect during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game — we’re proposing the following mega-deal between the Warriors and the Lakers:
- Los Angeles Lakers receive C James Wiseman, G/F Andrew Wiggins, G/F Moses Moody, an unprotected 2026 first-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick (via CHA)
- Golden State Warriors receive F LeBron James and PG Kendrick Nunn (opt-in)
This one could be a tough sell where Lakers fans are concerned, but it’s exactly the kind of move the club’s front office should be pondering. As it stands, Los Angeles is outside of the playoffs, older than dirt and paying a ridiculous premium for that combination. In other words, they need a reboot in the worst possible way.
So, stockpiling high-level prospects and draft assets while clearing money should really become their modus operandi.
By making this move with the Dubs, they get back a former No. 2 pick — possibly with superstar upside — in Wiseman, a highly thought-of wing prospect in Moody and an All-Star in Wiggins, who would come off the books after next season. And with the biggest domino having fallen, Rob Pelinka would be free to tear it down and really start building something sustainable for the long-term.
Also: that 2026 first-rounder could become incredibly valuable as Curry, Green and Klay Thompson age and the Warriors transition to their next phase.
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Why The Dubs Do It
There’s no doubting that this dual-timeline approach to roster building is rocking and rolling for the Warriors right now. However, they’re no longer the juggernaut that they were a few years ago. And the Steph-Klay-Dray core can’t be expected to perform at such a high level forever.
With that being the case, Golden State needs to take advantage of what the trio can do now and put it in the best position possible to bring home another title or two.
LeBron showed no signs of slowing down this past season, averaging 30.3 points — the second-best mark of his career — 8.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.3 steals per contest with shooting splits of 52-36-76. That kind of production alone would, as James said, “make an impact.” And the different lineup permutations you can concoct with a player of his size and skill level are mouth-watering.
As the Lakers were basically center-less for parts of the ’21-22 campaign, then-coach Frank Vogel experimented with LeBron in the pivot and hit pay dirt. Now, imagine the Dubs “death lineup” transformed with Steve Kerr using him in the same way alongside Green, Thompson, Steph and Jordan Poole.
The Warriors are also getting a high-level scoring point with time on his side in Kendrick Nunn, who can act as the go-to guy in the second unit.
No doubt, trading away so much for a year or two-to-three (assuming he re-ups) of LeBron hurts a bit, but for a truncated period of time, Golden State would burn more brightly than just about any team we’ve ever seen.