The NBA Draft is finally here, and other than wondering who the Cleveland Cavaliers take with the No. 1 overall pick, the biggest thing on my and many other minds is where will LeBron James go? While a decision wouldn’t be made by him until after July 1, tonight looks to shape the NBA moving forward as it usually does, but this time it will come with the ulterior motive of trying to lure the best player in the world to their team.
As an Ohio native, I’ve wanted LeBron to come back to Cleveland since he left. Not because I felt spurned or any animosity towards him not bringing a championship here, but because he’s my favorite player and I want a more likely chance to see him play. I would be overjoyed if he came back to Cleveland, but I don’t see that happening with all the evidence Cavaliers ownership has shown of their ineptitude to build a great franchise. There are many places LeBron could end up, with the Miami Heat seeming to be the most likely, the Houston Rockets on the outskirts and Cleveland grasping onto that sliver of a chance his hometown’s sirens song is enough to bring him home. While I and all of Ohio (regardless of what the naysayers claim) would welcome him back with nary an ounce of hesitation, the place I would like to see him go the most is the Golden State Warriors.
I know I’m in the court of popular opinion here, but I look at that team and wonder what the possibilities could be with a lineup that dominant. While I do feel adding Kevin Love to the mix would nearly guarantee a championship (even more so than the Big 3 in Miami initially did), I think they could contend quite easily without Love. If LeBron were to go to California, could you imagine the impact of a starting five that looks like this: LeBron James, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala? You would have a defensive team capable of shutting down anyone, with LeBron and Iguodala being defensive savants and Thompson being an underrated All-Star level defender, while also having perhaps the most dangerous scoring tandem in the league in James, Curry and Thompson.
While Love coming in would make them even more dangerous, I would only make that kind of a move if it meant trading away David Lee and a pick or two and keeping Thompson. I know there are a lot of people who feel that adding Love and losing Thompson would make for a pretty even or potentially more beneficial move than keeping Thompson and passing on Love, but I’m not part of that group. I think Thompson is a young talent who makes the Warriors a terrifying team with the other pieces involved in this scenario, while having Love in there makes them a dangerous team. Love is a great player and a top-five player in the league, but we’ve not yet seen him play on a team with other superstar level talent (Ricky Rubio is great, but not a superstar caliber player). Who knows what he’s capable of when he’s having to play second, or more likely third fiddle to other players who are better or nearly better than him. If you don’t give up Thompson in bringing in Love, then pull the trigger and create a team that will wipe out the rest of the league.
LeBron needs to go to the Warriors, convince Love to force the trade and have the Minnesota Timberwolves take a lot less than what they initially were asking for, get all the players in Golden State to take less money so they can maintain the level of talent they would now have and show the league what a legitimate super team can do. Going to the Western Conference and dominating, regardless of the talent his team has, would prove he’s one of the greatest players ever. He would be playing in the most difficult conference against the most talented players the league has to offer and tearing them apart.
So please, LeBron, I’m begging you: Go to the Warriors and help create the scariest team the league has or will ever know. And when you’re done racking up championships, come home for your retirement tour.