LeBron James almost took his talents to the Bay Area, according to recent reports that surfaced around last Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

Sources told ESPN that the Golden State Warriors made an effort to trade for James in the 24 hours before the deadline closed on February 8. The trade would have paired James with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The Warriors notably beat James when he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers in three NBA Finals last decade.

However, Rich Paul, James’ representative and CEO of Klutch Sports, denied the Warriors brass any realistic trade scenario, dousing the possibility of an earth-shattering move.

The effort to trade for James makes sense. Golden State is barely clinging onto a play-in spot in the Western Conference. Their record is 27-26, with only a two-and-a-half game margin over the Utah Jazz. Curry is phenomenal as always, leading the team with 28 points per game and just had a spectacular game-winning shot last Saturday against the Phoenix Suns.

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The Warriors are well aware that their trio of Curry, Thompson and Draymond Greene is nearing the end. Getting the most popular athlete in the NBA, maybe in all of American professional sports, would be a sign that Golden State is trying for one last gasp at a title run before they face an inevitable rebuild.

The news of this trade talk also reveals the commitment James has not only to the Lakers but to the Los Angeles area as well. His son, Bronny James, currently playing college basketball at USC, will most likely need another year or two of development. His immediate family resides in the area. James breaking up that foundation at a late stage in his career probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially because the Lakers are the type of franchise that is only a signing or trade away from championship contention again.

It will be interesting to see how both teams perform down the last stretch of the regular season. The future of the Lakers and the Warriors may depend on it.

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