Because it’s a day that ends in y, Bill Simmons has some crazy, harebrained prediction about the NBA. And even by his lofty standards, this one requires lots of leaps in logic.
On a recent episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast” that was aptly named “half-baked ideas,” Simmons threw out a possibility of not just LeBron James leaving the Lakers, but forming a wild superteam alongside Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and Draymond Green on the Dallas Mavericks.
In the interest of fairness, Simmons has gotten things right in the past. He was one of the first to lend credence to the notion of LeBron coming to Los Angeles years ago. And he does have his ear to the ground regarding talks inside the league.
But he’s also one to take some murmurs or “stuff,” as he called it, and make it bigger than what it is. Maybe there is some Dallas “stuff” in this scenario, but it’s hard to imagine that “stuff” is all that serious for a number of reasons.
Before debunking it, again in the interest of fairness, there are some breadcrumbs from multiple directions that lend a little bit of credence to this general idea. First, LeBron is a big Luka fan and has said multiple times that he would like to team up with him during his career. It’s not a particularly exclusive list, though, as he’s said that about a couple dozen people at this point.
With Kyrie, the connection is very obvious and very fresh in the minds of Lakers fans. LeBron went on TV and said he was disappointed the Lakers didn’t trade for Kyrie. The same goes for Draymond, who is a longtime friend and fellow Klutch client. The rumors of him coming to the Lakers have existed for a long time, though it’s largely centered on his relationship with LeBron.
So, individually, LeBron has varying connections to these guys and has either been or may want to be a teammate of them, based on various reports.
Now, having said all that and having tried to be as fair as possible, boy are there multiple things that would have to happen to make this possible, some more likely than others.
For one, the Mavs have to commit to bringing Kyrie back, and if you think you know what Kyrie is thinking at any point, you’re lying. And that’s even assuming they want him back considering how awful the team has been with Luka and Kyrie together.
Then, you have to assume Draymond wants to leave Golden State after spending his whole career there, and Dallas wants him and the two sides can even agree to a deal. If he’s leaving the Warriors, it’s likely for one final big payday and are the Mavericks going to line up to give him that?
AND THEN you have LeBron factoring into this somehow after that. There is no way you can roster a team with Luka, Kyrie, Draymond and LeBron on their expected contracts under the current salary cap. There are no attractive assets for the Mavericks to trade away, whether draft pick or player, to acquire LeBron or any other notable free agent in a sign-and-trade.
So, how do you get four guys on those contracts on the same roster? The simple answer is you don’t unless one of them is taking a pay cut. LeBron has never done it, Draymond isn’t doing it if he’s leaving Golden State, and even if Kyrie is the one to do it, it’d have to be a substantial pay cut to try to make things work.
Lakers fans watched for multiple seasons the Lakers try to put together a roster with three max-level free agents and fail. Somehow, now, there’s going to be a fourth max-level free agent in this scenario? And there’s a whole ring-chasing aspect regarding LeBron that I didn’t and won’t even dive into because the logic of his son’s college decision — where he’ll be a one-and-done before entering the NBA Draft — having any impact on his NBA career is insane.
It’s a wildly complicated scenario that isn’t realistic and did not deserve this level of explanation. Even Bill Simmons knows it’s not realistic, as he already started criticizing people for aggregating it despite quoting exactly what he said.
I gave this idea all the attention it needs. Don’t bother giving it any more oxygen now.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.