When Kevin Durant announced he was going to sign with the Golden State Warriors, the general thought was: good luck, rest of the NBA. It seems like there would be nothing the NBA could do to stop the Warriors ... or was there?
See, the thing about Durant to the Warriors is that while Durant made his decision, the Warriors needed help from the rest of the NBA to clear the cap space to make a deal happen. Specifically, the Warriors worked out a trade with the Dallas Mavericks to send Andrew Bogut to Dallas to pave the way for Durant.
It was all settled. Or seemingly so. There was nothing anyone, even the King LeBron James, could do. That's what we all thought. Enter Dwyane Wade.
Wade -- one of James' best friends and his recent vacation partner -- made the shocking decision to leave the Miami Heat and sign with the Chicago Bulls. What does that have to do with LeBron James, Kevin Durant and the Warriors?
ENTER THE CONSPIRACY THEORY!
Step 1: Wade signs with the Bulls
Step 2: Hassan Whiteside reneges on his verbal agreement with the Heat.
With Wade gone and Kevin Durant not coming, maybe Whiteside would reconsider the deal he verbally agreed to with the Heat. That might be a long shot, but Whiteside stoked the fire minutes after the Wade news.
Hmmmmmm. Whiteside does seem like the type of guy who could change his mind quickly. He decided between Dallas and Miami within hours, after all.
Step 3: Whiteside instead decides to sign with the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs were in the running for Whiteside before he agreed to return to Miami. Sure the Mavs have since used their cap space, but all the deals are verbal until the moratorium ends on July 7 ... which is conveniently tomorrow. They could make a deal happen if Whiteside had a change of heart. Most notably, Dallas could back out of their deal with the Warriors and not acquire Bogut.
Dallas was infamously scorned by DeAndre Jordan, who verbally agreed to sign with them before changing his mind. For that reason, you might think they wouldn't care about breaking a verbal agreement. Without a trade partner for Bogut, the Warriors wouldn't have the cap space to sign Durant. The Warriors could still trade Bogut to another team, but many teams have since used up their cap space.
Step 4: Durant decides to re-sign with the Thunder.
With his path to the Warriors now blocked, Durant opts to re-sign with Oklahoma City. While there would be some fences to mend, it wouldn't be much of a process to welcome back one of the top three players in the NBA. It would be a strange move for sure, but if Durant doesn't want to be left dangling in the wind while the Warriors scramble, he could instead opt for the familiarity of being back in OKC.
Step 5: The Warriors also lose out on Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli.
When the Warriors agreed to a deal with Durant, they rescinded their rights to Barnes and Ezeli, making them unrestricted free agents. Golden State could still bring them back, but Barnes has already agreed to a deal and it would be more of a challenge now that they have withdrawn their qualifying offers.
Step 6: The Cavaliers acquire Mike Dunleavy and LeBron comes out on top.
To clear space for Wade, the Bulls agreed to a deal to ship Dunleavy to Cleveland.
After seeing Durant go to the Warriors, maybe James realized there was only one way to end this. So while vacationing with his best friend, he called in a huge favor. Wade did his friend a solid and came out with a huge $47 million deal in the process.
* * *
This isn't going to happen, for several reasons. Whiteside probably isn't leaving Miami, no matter what memes he posts between now and Thursday. If he did, the Mavericks probably wouldn't take him back. It's one thing for a player like DeAndre Jordan to break a verbal agreement, but it's another for a franchise to back out of an agreement they made. Nobody would ever trust them again. And for a third reason, it's likely the Warriors could still find a trade partner for Bogut somewhere else, especially if they included a more significant incentive than a conditional second round pick like they did for Dallas. And there's probably a fourth, fifth and sixth reason why this won't happen, too.
But man, it's fun to pretend like LeBron James is behind all of this.
* * *
Warriors go from Death Lineup to Megadeth Lineup
Be sure to subscribe to SB Nation's YouTube channel for highlight videos, features, analysis and more