LeBron would reportedly listen to Warriors during free agency

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 23: LeBron James /

Will LeBron join one of the greatest forces in NBA History?

Since last summer, LeBron James’ free agent future has been weighing heavily on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets are the most mentioned teams in rumors if LeBron were to leave, but another franchise out west has reportedly entered the conversation. According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, James would hear the Golden State Warriors out during his free agency period.

Clearing cap space is biggest goal. The 33-year-old may decline a $35.6 million player option with Cleveland. After watching the Warriors win two out of the last three titles, James has also parted with guard Kyrie Irving. Not to mention, James may be looking to join a team already polished enough to win a championship.

Equally important, major moves need to happen in order to complete the transaction. In simpler terms, Golden State needs to implement pay cuts. Haynes says the Warriors would most likely need to acquire James in a sign-and-trade.

To make the numbers work, Kevin Durant has to decline his player option and most likely make less than his current $25 million a year. At the end of the day, the bench may be filled with players making the league minimum. According to Basketball-Reference, the current Warriors’ payroll stands at $137,494,845.

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To be clear, all of these ideas look great on paper. However, all are easier said than done. Would the NBA block a James trade to Golden State? Competition would be unevenly concentrated. The Western Conference may win the title for the next decade. As of now, Boston is the only team out east showing a strong future. Washington and Toronto aren’t getting any younger.

Granted, this NBA season is far from over. The 2017-18 champion will certainly influence James’ free agent decision.