LeBron James Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant and LeBron James were teammates at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 18, 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Could they play together again with the Golden State Warriors? ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Every day there seems to be a different rumor regarding LeBron James’ impending free agency. The latest report involves the team that the world’s greatest basketball player is currently trying to defeat in the 2018 NBA Finals.

Just hours before the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Golden State Warriors in Game 3, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on “First Take” that James would at least have a conversation with the defending champions this offseason. Golden State has a 2-0 series lead and is looking to defeat James and the Cavs in the Finals for the third time in four years.

This isn’t the first ESPN report that’s indicated James could meet with the Warriors this summer. Chris Haynes reported in February that James would meet with Golden State out of respect for their winning culture if somehow the team could create room to give him a max contract under the salary cap.

Golden State is considered to be enough of a threat to sign James that they rank among his top six potential destinations for the 2018-2019 NBA season, according to the latest betting odds.

The Warriors would have to make major changes in order to acquire James, who has made it clear in the past that he won’t accept anything less than the max salary. Golden State’s only route to landing James would probably have to be through a sign-and-trade, which would likely involve dealing both Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Golden State hopes to keep Thompson and Green, who are set to become free agents in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Replacing them with the league’s top star, however, would be quite the consolation prize.

It’s hard to fathom that James would actually join his chief rival of the last four seasons. The Warriors would seemingly become impossible to beat with a lineup that includes James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry--the three best players in the entire NBA.

The Houston Rockets are listed as the betting favorite to sign James. Going to Houston might give James his best chance of keeping Golden State from winning another title. The Rockets took the Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference Finals and were forced to play Game 7 without the injured Chris Paul.

Houston doesn’t yet have the necessary cap space to sign James, and they’d have to get creative in order to fit the three-time champion on their roster. The Philadelphia 76ers have the second-best odds to sign James, in large part because they have salary cap space in addition to multiple star players already on the team.

James might choose to stay with Cleveland, though the remainder of the Finals could heavily influence that decision. Since beating Golden State in the 2016 NBA Finals, the Cavs have lost six of seven Finals games against the Warriors.