LeBron James ending up on the Dallas Mavericks alongside Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, following a blockbuster report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania that Irving reached out to James to team up, is an “unlikely” scenario according to CBS Sports’ Jasmyn Wimbish.
“Given the hurdles that Dallas would have to clear in order to make this happen, it seems unlikely for now that LeBron ends up on the Mavericks with Irving and Doncic,” Wimbish wrote.
The possibility wasn’t completely written off by the NBA writer, though. Wimbish sees the hoopla surrounding James’ post-Western Conference Finals Game 4 proclamation that he’s considering retirement as Pandora’s box being fully open regarding No. 6’s future.
“With James saying that he’s considering retirement following L.A.’s second-round loss to the Denver Nuggets last month, anything is possible,” Wimbish wrote.
Bill Simmons Predicted LeBron James Joining Mavericks
On the March 29 edition of The Bill Simmons Podcast, host Bill Simmons floated the possibility of James leaving the Los Angeles Lakers and Draymond Green leaving the Golden State Warriors to join Irving and Doncic on the Mavericks.
“I think (Green) ends up in Dallas,” Simmons prefaced before saying, “With Kyrie and with Luka and then LeBron tries to figure out a way to get there eventually. I don’t know, I’m just feeling a Dallas scent. There’s some Dallas stuff that feels ‘scenty’ to me.”
Of note, this was said by Simmons before Bronny James committed to play for USC during the 2023-24 NCAA men’s basketball season on May 7. Simmons had explained how the young James’ decision would be the impetus for Dallas forming the aforementioned superteam.
“If (Bronny) goes to somewhere outside of L.A., that’s gonna make me think ‘Hmm, I wonder if (Lebron) maybe will,'” Simmons prefaced before saying, “Because LeBron’s gonna want to ring chase at some point soon. He’s not gonna end at four (rings). He knows he needs at least five. If he feels this Lakers thing isn’t gonna work, he’s gonna start ring-chasing.”
Analyst: LeBron James to Mavs ‘Nothing to Worry About’
Silver Screen and Roll’s Jacob Rude doesn’t see the Mavericks rumors involving James as anything to be taken even remotely seriously.
“This certainly does not feel like something to worry about, because the Mavs have absolutely nothing to make this trade work,” Rude prefaced before saying, “They already have a rather barren cupboard with just Kyrie and Luka Doncic on the roster and not attempting to make any other trades. There isn’t even enough to put together some sort of fake trade on the trade machine that makes it even passable.”
James has a $46.9 million cap figure that Dallas’ front office would have to attempt to match in a trade. Packaging the salaries of Tim Hardaway Jr., Davis Bertans, and one of Maxi Kleber or Reggie Bullock makes the money work, but the Mavericks don’t have a tradeable draft pick until 2026 at the earliest.
Even if they did, such a package would likely not be deemed enough by the Lakers’ front office to part with the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.