Warriors Named Among Favorites to Trade for 4-Time NBA MVP

Getty (R-L) Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors hit the jackpot 14 years ago with Steph Curry. They now find themselves in position to trade for one of the few NBA players with equal value.

According to odds issued by PointsBet on Tuesday, May 23, the Warriors are tied with the New York Knicks as the third most likely landing spot for four-time NBA MVP and four-time champion LeBron James.

NBC Sports Authentic shared a graphic on Instagram depicting those odds just one day after the Denver Nuggets eliminated James and his Los Angeles Lakers from title contention by sweeping them out of the Western Conference Finals.

PointsBet listed the Warriors at +1500 to land James ahead of next season, the same odds that the Knicks hold. The Cleveland Cavaliers, James’ hometown team with which he has played two stints already, are the second most likely destination at +1200.

The Lakers remain the favorite to retain James, who is under contract in Los Angeles for two more seasons with a player option on the second, at odds of -700. There are also +500 odds listed that James retires given recent rumblings to that effect.

Draymond Green Expected to Recruit LeBron James to Golden State

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

GettyGolden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (right) and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers (left).

James said last summer he’d prefer to join the Warriors were he ever to move on from the Lakers and remain in the NBA. His comments came during Episode 4 of the fifth season of “The Shop,” a show that James produces for HBO.

“It would be Golden State,” James said. “I like the way Draymond talks to guys. I would love to get into a pissing match with Draymond. I love when somebody cuss me the f*** out if I’m not doing my [job]. I would love that with Draymond.”

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer revisited the possibility of James teaming up with Green in Golden State on Tuesday.

“How soon until Draymond Green begins recruiting LeBron to the Warriors?” O’Connor wrote. “No one needs a source to tell you those conversations will happen, if they haven’t already, given Draymond’s love for LeBron, the Klutch connection and his history of recruiting.”

Green was reported to have been instrumental in the recruitment of Kevin Durant, making an already super team in Golden State super duper and leading to three straight NBA Finals berths as well as two rings.

Steph Curry, LeBron James Can Help Each Other Win 5th Ring

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

GettySteph Curry of the Golden State Warriors (left) and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers (right).

More than James’ friendship and business relationship with Green, his motivation to head north to Golden State may be to cement his legacy.

James wants desperately to match the six titles that Michael Jordan won during his NBA career. While that number feels more and more out of reach after the Lakers’ exit from the playoffs on Monday, getting to five titles and tying Kobe Bryant remains a realistic possibility.

Pairing up with Curry as they both begin to wind down their careers is one of the best ways to achieve that goal. Curry also has four rings and another championship or two will vault him into the same all-time conversation that James occupies, if he isn’t there already.

“LeBron, now more than ever, needs an All-Star shot-creating teammate,” O’Connor continued. “Steph, who is no longer at his peak, could use a little extra push too. That’s why Golden State’s summer is so pivotal, as well. The union of Steph and LeBron seems like a match made in heaven, particularly as they enter the twilight of their careers.”

The only way for James to land in Golden State this offseason is via a trade, though the Warriors have the pieces necessary to make the money work if they center a deal around Jordan Poole. Jonathan Kuminga and several draft picks would also likely need to be a part of any deal to which the Lakers might realistically agree.