It is time to throw away the American inferiority complex with its place in the sport, where many blindly claim that technique should come above all in choosing and developing the best prospects and that the U.S. is not an international power because it cares too much about athleticism.
Far-Fetched Friday: LeBron Will Play for Golden State Warriors Before Retirement
By: Jake Lofgren
Approaching two decades in the NBA, at the age of 37, LeBron James is still dominating the league. The Lakers may not be in the playoffs, but that is not based on a lack of production from LeBron. In year 19, LeBron is averaging 30.3 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game, and 6.2 assists per game. There is no question that LeBron has still got it, but how much longer can he keep up this level of play? That is the real question.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we look at GOAT James.
LeBron is now very well known for this trend of joining a solid team, milking every last drop out of their roster/draft compensation, winning a ring, and dipping to another challenge. Still, two rings away from Michael Jordan, you can tell that LeBron makes a lot of decisions based on legacy. He wants to go down as the greatest basketball player of all-time, and absolutely nobody should blame him for that. So this late into LeBron's career, is he willing to risk playing another year for the dumpster fire that the Los Angeles Lakers were this season? Is it possible that the Lakers can restructure their roster to win a championship next season? The answer is very likely no, and with one year left on his contract, I think it's very possible that LeBron asks for a trade as soon as this summer.
Demanding a trade will send shockwaves around the league as everyone will figure out if their team has the trade assets to acquire one of the greatest players of all time. The team that is picking up the most rumors is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Which I guess makes sense right because a fun fact is that LeBron is from there. The Cavs also have a young and already playoff-ready roster that could use another star like LeBron to take their team up to the contender level. The Cavs could most likely give up a nice package to the Lakers that would include mostly draft picks and a few guys not named Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. If that is possible, it certainly does make a lot of sense. Although it does not make any sense to me, I do see many Cavs fans saying they do not want LeBron to return. Maybe the city of Cleveland is past that and wants to see what they can keep building with what they got. There could be fear of LeBron coming in and wanting to trade those three for established stars, and maybe the front office just isn't willing to pay that price for a 37-year-old. This is where the Warriors can swoop in.
There are many teams desperate enough and have the assets to trade for LeBron James. The first that comes to mind is the New York Knicks. In the modern NBA, it has become very clear that stars can force trades to specific teams. For example, Anthony Davis told other NBA teams not named the Los Angeles Lakers that if they traded for him when he was with the Pelicans, he would leave in free agency as soon as possible. LeBron could do something similar with the Knicks or any other franchise.
LeBron has recently said that one guy he wants to play with is Steph Curry. He always seems to pick him in the All-Star game draft, recently wished Draymond Green luck in the playoffs publicly, and has always shown his respect to that organization. The Warriors are also in a very unique position based on talent. The Warriors still possess Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green from the older era and now have the youth of Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, and James Wiseman. The Warriors are in a great position to be a contender now and for many years to come. Although a trade package of Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman, and a multitude of draft picks could easily be enough to acquire LeBron. LeBron would take Kevin Durant's old spot in the big four while still holding onto a young stud like Jordan Poole and other solid role players.
If not this summer, LeBron stays in LA or even gets traded elsewhere. LeBron will be a free agent next summer and can pick where he wants to play. But LeBron seems like he has unfinished business. The Warriors have draft picks and seem like the type of team to draft/sign LeBron's son, Bronny, who LeBron said publicly, he will follow to be able to be his teammate. Even without Bronny, LeBron, and Steph playing together feels inevitable to me. LeBron is running out of time, one way or another, and if somewhere like Cleveland does not work out, why not Golden State?
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