LeBron James is reportedly holding out hope that he can team with Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul for at least one season before they all retire. James, 31, and Wade, 34, can hit free agency this summer, but the 30-year-old Paul’s locked in with the Clippers through next season and Anthony, 31, doesn’t have an opt-out in his deal until the summer of 2018. “I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together,” James told Howard Beck of Bleacher Report just before the All-Star break last month. “At least one, maybe one or two seasons — me, Melo, D-Wade, CP — we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that.”
It would be extremely difficult for any team to fit the quartet on its roster within the salary cap, even with the projected increase that is set to take effect this summer. If James truly wishes for this to occur, he would likely be the player who would need to make the largest financial sacrifice. Unless Anthony and Paul were willing to agree to buyout arrangements with their current teams, which is a highly unlikely scenario, LeBron would need to be the player who takes the hit. Wade isn’t a max player any more, unless Miami is feeling deeply sentimental come this offseason, so any sacrifice of income he made would pale in comparison to what James would likely need to give up to make this theoretical grouping of star players a reality.
There also remains the question of where the quartet would play. The only franchise that I could realistically see making this work in the immediate future given the players’ current salaries is the Cavaliers. Cleveland could theoretically trade Kevin Love to the Knicks for Anthony and ship Kyrie Irving to the Clippers for Paul, though in both instances the Cavs would be taking on more salary than they shipped out. It’s also not a given that Los Angeles and New York would agree to such deals, though the Knicks taking on Love in exchange for Anthony isn’t as far-fetched to me as the Clippers flipping Paul for Irving. Then it would be up to Wade to leave Miami, a city where he has played his entire NBA career, for the much colder climate of Ohio, and he’d have to take a pay cut to do so.
Which brings me to the topic(s) for today: Do you think that LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade will ever play together? If so, what team do you think they would suit up for? Would this grouping of stars guarantee an NBA title?
Take to the comments section to share your thoughts, trade ideas and opinions on the subject. We look forward to what you have to say.