Proposed Trade of 2 Former Top Picks Sends LeBron James to Mavericks

A proposed trade from ClutchPoints sees LeBron James land with the Mavericks in a scenario involving two former top overall NBA draft picks

Getty A proposed trade from ClutchPoints sees LeBron James land with the Mavericks in a scenario involving two former top overall NBA draft picks

Rumors involving LeBron James and the Dallas Mavericks consumed the rumor mill on June 5 after The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Kyrie Irving was pushing for his championship star running mate with the Cleveland Cavaliers to join him in the Lone Star State — and in response, ClutchPoints’ Mike Cruz concocted scenarios that’d send “The King” to Dallas.

The more realistic of the pair of proposals involved two former No. 1 overall NBA draft selections: James and Phoenix Suns big man Deandre Ayton, who’d land with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The rest of the deal would see Los Angeles land Davis Bertans, Reggie Bullock, Josh Green, Jaden Hardy, the Mavericks’ 10th overall pick in 2023 and their 2027 first-round pick, and an unspecified number of future pick swaps. Phoenix would get Tim Hardaway Jr., Christian Wood (in a sign-and-trade), and Malik Beasley.

Such a deal would cost Dallas all of its current depth, though the front office may welcome that after a lottery finish during the 2022-23 season.

LeBron James to Mavs ‘Unlikely’ But ‘Anything Is Possible’

CBS Sports’ Jasmyn Wimbish believes that it’s “unlikely” the Mavericks land James during the offseason but also left the door open due to all of the possibilities that have been raised since the Lakers were swept out of the Western Conference Finals.

“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 prefaced before saying, “However, 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 tabs the Mavericks as a playoff shoo-in should they land James after falling apart at the seams at the conclusion of the 2022-23 campaign.

“While it would be hard to make happen, if Dallas miraculously figured out how to make that work, it would certainly help this team make it back to the postseason after a disappointing year in which they missed the playoffs,” Wimbish wrote.

‘Scenty’ Mavericks Tabbed to Make Big Offseason Splash

Back on March 29, Bill Simmons called the Mavericks on The Bill Simmons Podcast while predicting both James and Draymond Green would end up in Dallas.

“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.”

This was said before LeBron’s son Bronny James committed to USC on May 7. Still, with James now linked to the Mavs and Green having shown an increased appreciation for “The King” in recent years — punctuated by asking Steve Kerr for time off to see James break the league’s longstanding career scoring record on February 7 –, this possibility doesn’t look as far-fetched.

Should Dallas land James in a trade, it’s likely all of the team’s remaining assets will be drained. That’d mean that Green would have to ask for a release from the Golden State Warriors or another team that trades for his expiring contract.