LeBron James Reacts to Reports of Warriors’ Blockbuster Trade Attempt

Lakers star LeBron James and Warriors star Steph Curry

Getty LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors talk to each other after the Lakers beat the Warriors in double overtime.

The 2024 NBA All-Star weekend was a dandy affair, but the discourse around the basketball world continues to revolve around the possibility of LeBron James and Stephen Curry as teammates.

The hypothetical scenario of the two all-time greats linking up surfaced after ESPN dropped a bombshell report on Valentine’s Day 2024, suggesting that Warriors owner Joe Lacob contacted Lakers owner Jeanie Buss to inquire about the availability of James. The report further noted that, when Buss ran the idea by James and his representation, the star forward rejected it and expressed his desire to remain a Laker for the rest of his career.

LeBron James Claims He Was Caught Off Guard by Reports

James addressed the reports ahead of the 2024 NBA All-Star Game, and to the surprise of many, he claimed to have been caught off guard when they surfaced.

“It [the trade talks] didn’t go far at all,” James said on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” broadcast. “I actually heard about it when everybody else heard about it. Obviously, you know, Charles [Barkley] has been in the league, Kenny [Smith] has been in the league, Shaq has been in the league… and sometimes, there’s conversations that happen behind closed doors that you don’t even know about.”

“And until, I guess, if it’s real or not, then they’ll bring it to you,” James continued. “But it never even got to me, so I heard it when the reports dropped as well.”

Warriors Plan to Be Aggressive in 2024-25 Offseason

Although the Warriors didn’t succeed in prying James away from the Lakers, there’s widespread belief that the Golden State front office would resume their pursuit of “The King” in the offseason. James, who owns a player option worth $51 million for the 2024-25 season, could become a free agent this summer if he doesn’t re-commit to the Lakers before June 29.

In such a scenario, James could become a sign-and-trade target for the Warriors, who don’t have the cap space to outright acquire him but have several tradeable contracts to make the finances work. The idea of the Warriors resuming their pursuit of James was reinforced by Warriors ownership shortly after the February 8 NBA trade deadline.

In an interview with Tim Kawakami on February 14, Warriors owner Joe Lacob made it abundantly clear that his front office — led by general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. — had his blessing to go star-hunting in the offseason.

“We’re going to look at everything,” Lacob said. “When we acquired Kevin Durant many years ago, that was an incredibly aggressive move that we made. I think half our roster went away in order to accomplish [the deal]. Even though we had a really good team, we felt we could be better, and we [got better]. We went to three finals — should’ve won all three, we did win two.”

The pursuit of James notwithstanding, the Warriors have other difficult decisions to make this offseason. While Klay Thompson is set to become an unrestricted free agent, the Warriors must take calls on the non-guaranteed contracts of Chris Paul ($30 million) and Kevon Looney ($8 million) ahead of the 2024-25 season.

Fans of the Warriors could be introduced to a revamped roster next season.

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