2. Lakers trade LeBron James to Warriors
The Lakers' season is teetering on the brink, but the forecast is even gloomier in San Francisco these days. The Golden State Warriors' dynasty is crumbling into dust. Stephen Curry continues his prodigious output, but his "star" teammates are fading fast. The Warriors have a few quality prospects to lead the next generation, but the front office is running out of time to maximize the remainder of Curry's prime.
If you thought Chris Paul in Golden State colors was strange, just wait for this. What if the best way to save Golden State is by bringing in their greatest rival? James has waged war with Curry on several occasions. We've all thought about what James and Curry might look like as teammates, but never has it been more logistically and logically sound. This would immediately boost Golden State's title odds. Meanwhile, the Lakers start their rebuild with movable contracts, a talented prospect with explosive upside, and a couple potentially valuable first-round picks.
The Warriors also take D'Angelo Russell (and his contract) to coax Los Angeles to the negotiating table. Golden State banks on a short but wide-open championship window centered on Curry and LeBron. Despite his titanic reputation, James' skill set is one of the most malleable in basketball history. He can operate as the Warriors' primary ball-handler while Curry and Klay Thompson fly around screens. Or, he can take a back seat while Curry leads the charge. Steve Kerr would have options schematically. Plus, it would surely be nice for LeBron to stay on the West Coast and play for a coach he actually respects.
The Warriors keep the 'old guard' together for one last run with an actual shot to compete. The Lakers' next move would be to offload Anthony Davis or to re-center the franchise around him. Either way, Chris Paul is off the books next summer, Andrew Wiggins can fetch value in a future trade, and Jonathan Kuminga is ready to blast off in the direction of stardom.