LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony teaming up? That banana-boat fantasy has drawn intrigue for years.
LeBron and Wade played together on the Heat and Cavaliers. Paul and Anthony played together on the Rockets.
But apparently three of them once nearly united.
Paul, via Bleacher Report:
Another story: Me, Bron and D almost had a chance one time. But we didn’t know who was going to wear No. 3.
Sometime in the past 15 years.
Despite Paul playing coy, we can make guesses about when and where:
Did Miami ever consider trading Chris Bosh for Paul? New Orleans traded Paul to the Clippers in 2011, the offseason after the first Heatles team lost in the NBA Finals. That was a window in which Miami could have considered a shakeup. Perhaps, New Orleans would have prioritized younger players than Bosh, but his value could have made a multi-team trade work.
In 2017, Wade signed a minimum contract to join LeBron in Cleveland. Earlier that summer, Paul opted in to facilitate a trade to the Rockets. But Wade-to-Cavs rumors were already percolating. Perhaps, Paul could have worked a trade to the Cavaliers, who were already looking into trading Kyrie Irving. The Clippers were interested in Irving.
The Rockets offered a possibility in 2018. Paul was already on the roster. LeBron and Wade were free agents. But Wade had already said he wouldn’t leave Miami again, and LeBron never seemed too interested in Houston. The Rockets also began that season with Anthony, so if this were the situation, Paul would have likely mentioned the fourth friend.
At various times in their careers, LeBron, Wade and Paul had the star power to dictate terms to many teams. Many executives would have jettisoned their whole roster just for a chance at those three. Maybe a big-market team like the Lakers or Knicks were a possibility. The Clippers could have traded Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to clear room for LeBron and Wade while Paul was in L.A.
Really, it could have happened anywhere.
Maybe we’ll eventually get the full story.