This is a new Warriors regime, they have Stephen Curry, and they love to be active in all things.
But... even though we know Joe Lacob & Co. love to swing for the fences, I just don't see the Fightin' GSWs as major players in this edition of the quadrennial LeBron James Derby.
The Warriors-LBJ arguments and the angles are all well within NBA norms, but in my opinion you just have to make too many small-percentage presumptions about LeBron and Miami's motivations in this to make the Warriors a large possibility.
Or I could be wrong. Let's talk it out...
* Important starting point: Not many of us thought the Warriors had a serious shot at luring Dwight Howard last summer, and yet they got a meeting and by all reports Howard was intrigued by the pitch, though he ultimately chose Houston.
I never thought the Warriors could maneuver their payroll to make room for Andre Iguodala last summer, and yet — even as they were wooing Howard — they figured out a three-team sign-and-trade that got the deal done in a flash (and ate up a lot of their future maneuverability along the way, however).
So even when the proposals get as (apparently) starry-eyed as the Warriors possibly ending up with LeBron and Kevin Love to add to Curry and Andrew Bogut... well, reasonable minds can stand back and wait for the chaos to happen.
Hey, why wouldn't Lacob and Bob Myers at least explore the Double Home Run Scenario? They will, absolutely they will.
But I don't see the Warriors as prime candidates to land LeBron and I really don't see LeBron + Love to the Warriors.
For several main factors (for LeBron; the Love situation is separate, if it's not included in a LeBron + Love dream plan):
* The Warriors aren't under the cap at the moment and cannot do enough to get $22-24 million under it by July, so they are not a threat to sign James outright.
Miami was under the cap when the Heat signed James in 2010, which forced Cleveland to do a small sign-and-trade deal.
* LeBron might be intrigued about playing alongside Stephen Curry, but he probably is even more attracted to the idea of playing with Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan in Los Angeles under Doc Rivers or Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose in Chicago under Tom Thibodeau.
Or Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami, under Erik Spoelstra, a coach he knows and likes.
* Some of this presumes LeBron might take less than he's eligible to earn in order to get to the Warriors (or anywhere else).
And I just don't see that.
He already took a little less four years ago to fit with Wade and Bosh, and now James is in a pure Michael Jordan Situation — he is worth so much more than any team can pay him by NBA rules that it's ridiculous, so why would he take even a dollar less than the max he can get?
He's worth $40 million a year or more in a real open market. You're asking him to be a nice guy and take $10 million? That's bad business and LeBron has gone out of his way to stress that he is a businessman that the league has taken some advantage of.
And he's right.
* I don't think this is necessarily a deal-killer, but James went out of his way to show support for Mark Jackson after his controversial firing by the Warriors, so it'd seem a little odd for James to manipulate the system to go play for Steve Kerr and Joe Lacob.
He knows and has played against Rivers and Thibodeau. He knows and has liked playing under Spoelstra.
Kerr? James probably knows him, but has no idea what Kerr will be like as a coach.
* On the possibility of a LeBron + Love Scenario: Umm, how are you going balance both those deals financially? By trading David Lee to both Minnesota and Miami?
OK, if either Miami or Minnesota would take Iguodala's long-term money, that would help things for the Warriors, but I don't see either team overwhelmed by that prospect.
If Dwyane Wade opts-in with Miami for two more years, I'm not sure Miami would be cheery about adding either Lee (for two more years at about $30 million) or Iguodala (for three more years)...on a team that isn't going to contend for a title without LeBron anyway. (Since it just lost the title with him.)
—To try to put all those factors together...
There's one unfriendly Warriors commonality from the Dwight Chase last year: Even if James is as interested in the Warriors as Howard seemed to be, the Warriors cannot sign James outright, which significantly complicates the situation.
From what I heard, all things being equal, Howard liked the Warriors as much as he liked Houston, but he didn't like that the Warriors would've had to give up significant pieces in order to entice the Lakers to do a sign-and-trade.
(Probably Andrew Bogut + Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson or both.)
Howard wanted to join the Warriors at full strength, not minus several good players. Same thing happened with Kevin Garnett in 2007.
Houston had the cap space to sign him outright and therefore added Howard to their fixed roster — James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, etc. — without having to sacrifice any talent.
That was huge for Dwight. It'd be huge for any star free agent.
—This time around, with an even more spectacular free agent prize, the Warriors find themselves without the cap space to sign James outright.
So, even if the Warriors could convince Miami to get involved in sign-and-trade discussions, would LeBron be pleased with what it'd take to get the Heat to accept the deal?
(Remember, the last time he moved he went to a team that didn't have to give up anything to add him.)
Any LeBron deal would have to start with either David Lee or Iguodala going to Miami for salary balance, and if Miami is keeping Chris Bosh (opt-out decision TBA), there would be zero reason for them to want Lee or probably even Iguodala.
It would also have to include many other valuable players to entice Miami, and that would presumably have to start with Thompson and you can keep on naming all good Warriors players except Curry, because Miami would want more than just Lee/Iguodala + Thompson...
Why could Miami theoretically demand all that? Because the Warriors almost certainly wouldn't be James' top option. (Important separation point: It sounds like the Warriors are either Love's first or second option. That's what gives them more traction in a possible Love deal.)
So yes, James could threaten to sign with another team outright (say, Cleveland or the Lakers) unless Miami signs-and-trades him to a team that is not under the cap...
But if that happens, it probably wouldn't be with the intent to get him to the Warriors.
It would be the Clippers, most likely. And the Clippers have Blake Griffin to use in such a proposal — a young star forward Miami can theoretically build around.
The Warriors have Thompson, who has a lot of appeal, but he's not Griffin. And they're not the Clippers.
So on a lot of different levels, the Warriors trail many different teams at the starting line.
* Again, this doesn't mean the Warriors can't get an audience.
They have Curry. That's a good start.
They have Joe Lacob, Peter Guber, the draw of the Bay Area/Silicon Valley/the new San Francisco arena.
And they have Jerry West. Which is an interesting one, because James admires old-school NBA legends... hey, he signed with one in Miami last time, that'd be Pat Riley, who coached under West in Los Angeles, remains a good friend — and also is a true rival.