CLEVELAND, OH (WKYC) — Another day, another LeBron James free agency rumor — although this one is the juiciest yet. According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar would be willing to meet with the Golden State Warriors in free agency this summer should he opt out of his current contract as expected.
Per Haynes, who previously covered the Cavs and now covers the Warriors, James would have interest in Golden State due to his respect for the franchise’s winning culture. The Warriors — who James’ Cleveland teams have faced in each of the past three NBA Finals — are heavy favorites to win a second straight championship this season.
James’ distant relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is well-chronicled, and the instability in Cleveland’s front office has been of concern to him, but the Warriors’ strong organizational structure and the prospect of more championships would be an enticement that most veteran players would consider.
James and his business team have been known to covet structure, if he were to leave his hometown team. With Golden State, an ultra-aggressive general manager in Bob Myers, the ownership group as a whole and coach Steve Kerr are the epitome of that.
Thanks to the NBA’s salary cap, the prospect of James outright signing with the Warriors wouldn’t be simple. Between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala, Golden State has its cap space tied up with the league’s highest payroll and James is reportedly still seeking max contract money.
Haynes speculates that could lead to a potential sign-and-trade, with the Warriors sending Thompson and Iguodala back to Cleveland in exchange for James. Haynes also writes that the 4-time MVP hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the Cavs next summer either — although that headline admittedly carries a little less juice.