Golden State Warriors Rumors: LeBron James, Kevin Love Should Join Forces with Stephen Curry

LeBron James to Golden State Warriors

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of LeBron James’ recent decision to opt of out his Miami Heat contract, speculation has run rampant regarding the future home of the King. This past season, James carried the ailing Heat to their fourth consecutive Finals appearance, only to run out of gas and be run over by the superior San Antonio Spurs in five games. Though James is still the best player in the world, an aging Dwyane Wade and ineffective Chris Bosh are not the complementary pieces James needs to compete for and ultimately win another championship.

Trade rumors involving Kevin Love have made headline news lately as well. The potential trade would send Minnesota Timberwolves starters Love and Kevin Martin to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Klay Thompson, David Lee and a Warriors future first-round pick. This trade would benefit all parties involved. The Warriors would add a perfect pick-and-pop partner for Stephen Curry, and the Timberwolves would add a future All-Star in Thompson and unload Love’s expiring contract. Get over it, Minnesota fans; Love is never going to re-sign with his current team.

If and when that trade goes through, the Warriors’ starting lineup would look something like this: Curry, Andre IguodalaHarrison Barnes, Love and Andrew Bogut. While that lineup would undoubtedly produce a competitive team, it probably wouldn’t be strong enough to get past teams like the Spurs, Oklahoma City ThunderHouston Rockets or Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference playoffs. Best possible scenario: a second-round exit.

Consider this: with the best shooter in the NBA (Curry) and the most versatile power forward (Love), why wouldn’t Golden State be an appealing landing spot for James? In 2015, the Warriors would owe Martin (from the Timberwolves) $11.5 million. In his dream scenario, Martin plays 22 minutes a game and averages 12 points on a team loaded with young talent. The Warriors don’t need a shoot first guard who plays less defense than the 2012 New Orleans Saints.

In order to make cap room for James, the Warriors would need to negotiate a sign and trade with the Heat. They would happily unload Martin, Marreese Speights and Jordan Crawford to create $20+ million worth of cap space in 2015. James immediately adds perennial defense to an otherwise defensively anemic ball club, except for Iguodala. He opens the floor with his court vision and would create incredible opportunities for both Love and Curry, who would see exponentially less double teams with James on the floor.

Adding James and Love makes Golden State the immediate favorite in the west and gives James some offensive help from the most prolific shooter in the NBA. Envision this lineup: Curry, Iguodala, James, Love and Bogut as the starters, with Barnes, Draymond Green and Jermaine O’Neal coming off the bench. That is a championship caliber roster.

In order for this scenario to be realized, the Heat must play ball. Pat Riley isn’t necessarily the type to participate in helping the competition earn the rights to his best player via sign and trade. Without the sign and trade from the Heat, the Warriors can’t clear enough cap space for the enormous contract James would demand and deserve.

Though it may be a long shot, the combination of James, Curry and Love immediately transforms the middle-of-the-road Warriors to not only tops in the west, but the entire league. Move over, the 2008 Boston Celtics, 2003 Spurs and 2011 Heat — there is a new big three in town.

Matt Barnes is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @mpb9792, “Like” him or add him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Around the Web

  • Jimmy

    Please stop. This ain’t fantasy basketball.

  • greg sf

    anemic defense?

  • greg sf

    the warriors had the 3rd best team defensive efficiency last year. what is this guy talking about? lmfao

    • Guest

      In 2012, the Warriors ranked 29th in defensive efficiency. In 2013, Iguodala’s first year with the team, they rose to 15th in team defensive efficiency and in 2014, you are close; they ranked 4th in defensive efficiency. Only with the emergence of Andre Iguodala did their defense rise through the ranks. As I noted in the article, besides Iguodala, the Warriors are a sub-par, even anemic, defensive team.

    • Matt Barnes

      In 2012, the Warriors ranked 26th in defensive efficiency. In 2013, Iguodala’s first year with the team, they rose to 13th in team defensive efficiency and in 2014, you are correct; they ranked 3rd in defensive efficiency. Only with the emergence of Andre Iguodala did their defense rise through the ranks. As I noted in the article, besides Iguodala, the Warriors are a sub-par, even anemic, defensive team

      • James Wright

        Except this was tbe first year Iggy was on the Warriors. What kind of sports writer are you?

        • Matt Barnes

          For whatever reason, I thought this was his second year in GS. You are right. My apologies.

          • James Wright

            There is tbis thing you are writing on called the internet…. Its also good for looking up information when you clearly were ignorant to the facts… And Bogut ranked 6 in blocks per game, 2nd in defensive reb percentage, 5th in block percentage, and ranked 2nd in defensive rating according to basketball reference. Oh and Draymond Green ranked 6th in defensive rating. And 7th in steal pct. Curry ranked 11th in steals, and 12th in steals per game….. Only Iggy huh? Do you get paid for this? I should have your job.

          • Matt Barnes

            Focus on the point of the article. This article is not about the Warriors defense but rather the potential of LeBron James becoming a member of the team along with Kevin Love. Perhaps the adjective “anemic” wasn’t the best to describe the Warriors defense, but the point was that adding LeBron James makes any defense significantly better. Curry’s game is offensive minded rather than defense. Bogut and Green are not in the same class defensively as James. But again, this is a suggestion regarding the future of James and Love, not a criticism of Golden State’s defense. I appreciate you reading the article, even if we disagree on a small portion of it. Thanks!

          • greg sf

            please just make sure u do research and fact check before ur next article! If you want to be a good writer you need to back up ur statements with facts. The article was interesting but you are going to bug real warriors fans when they read it cuz it sounds like an ignorant east coast basketball fan comment.

          • Peter Samaras

            if steph and love played in LA or NY LeBron would already be there but I don’t think Oakland is his style unfortunantly, I think they would win 70 plus games for sure that would be cool to watch

          • greg sf

            Thankyou! how difficult is it to actually do some research before u write something? I never comment on these articles but ignorant comments like “anemic defense” are just a little annoying. and also as a warriors fan i would love to see lebron and love come west but that seems very far fetched.

          • James Wright

            Me neither. I had to create this bull sht acct just to call this guy out for just blurting out ignorant statements… Journalism 101, do your research before you write your article…. Im a Dubs fan too… And while i dont see love/lebron happening… I think the smarter move is to try and get Channing Frye for the mid level exeption. Has a history with Kerr/Gentry. Stretch 4 like Kerr wants… Then take Jordan Crawford and deal his restricted contract. Maybe get Ramon Sessions to agree to a sign and trade. We have the trade exeption that gives us about 10 mil in wiggle room, since Sessions/Crawford contract won’t add up

          • greg sf

            Ya i was actually looking at Channing Frye also. I remember watching him in college at Arizona and with the right system I think he could be a very good role player on the warriors. Who knows what the warriors will do but I finally have faith that management will make the right decisions!

          • James Wright

            Or vice versa and sign Sess to mid level, and Frye the trade exeption… Money looks to work better that way. Since Sessions is a FA anyway, and Frye is under contact, but says he will opt out… Sessions was only making 5 mil this year anyways, which is what the mid level is about… Frye is due to make 6.5 i think next year

          • greg sf

            Joe Lacob, Bob Myers, Jerry West! I think these guys have proven they can build a winning team. I am just excited to see what they end up doing.

          • Peter Samaras

            yeah at first I thought I was seeing things but no it actually did say that lmao

      • Ray

        I watched nearly every Warrior game last season, it was hardly Iggy’s impact that changed the Warriors from near last in defensive efficiency to near the top. They played team defense, were tops in steals by playing passing lanes. Andrew Bogut had the lowest opponent fg %, Klay Thompson was a top off guard defender. But without a doubt Lebron would make them even better. I just have a hard time believing losing one guy, Iggy would drop the warriors from near the top to near bottom in defensive efficiency. Like if you agree.