LeBron James has played with great teammates during his NBA career, but the King was also close to playing with other big names that would take him and his team to the next level. Back in 2017, a deal was in place to take Paul George to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 3-team trade with the Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets before the Pacers’ GM called it off.
Seven years before that, LeBron James tried to join who would become the youngest MVP in NBA history in 2011. Derrick Rose had a bright future with the Chicago Bulls; he was a rising star about to become the most valuable player in the league at the United Center. He would have had the chance to team up with LeBron James, as the King called him right after the Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2010 NBA playoffs.
Via the Daily Herald:
The James phone call to Rose was mentioned by ESPN reporter Scoop Jackson and confirmed by a league source. Rose has been taking things slowly since the Bulls season ended with a first-round loss to Cleveland, but he visits the Berto Center on occasion. The source said the James-Rose conversation did not last very long.
The Bulls will have roughly $20 million in cap room this summer, enough to sign the two-time MVP outright. They’re often mentioned as James’ best chance to win right away, since he could step into a lineup with Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng.
James will have other attractive options. New York has enough cap room to pair him with another big-time free agent such as Bosh. Miami could offer a unique pairing with all-star Dwyane Wade.
As we know now, LeBron would join the Miami Heat that summer, creating the famous Big 3 with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach. He’d face Rose in the ECF in 2011, beating the Bulls in 5 games. If that move came to fruition, we probably would have seen Bron and Rose dominating the East on their way to the Finals.