As the NBA playoff field dwindles down to the conference finalists, most teams are staring some big questions right in the face.
Will star free agents such as Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry and Blake Griffin stay put, or will they chase greener pastures and rings elsewhere? Is someone going to make a trade for Paul George? And just how in the world can you stop either the Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers?
Today, we're here to address that last doozy. The only way to fight a superteam is with a superteam — which we're defining as a squad with at least three All-Star candidates, for the sake of this exercise.
So here are five superteams that could form this summer to take on basketball's behemoths.
Chris Paul to the New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis
The Knicks can open up max cap space with a few simple trades, as long as they relinquish the rights to Derrick Rose and don't make any major mistakes along the way.
Convincing CP3 to come East would give New York a formidable trio — and no, I won't count Joakim Noah among this superteam's stars. You can't make me.
Odds of this superteam forming: .000001%
Paul isn't dumb. He's seen how awful of an executive Phil Jackson is. Until the Zen Master gets his pink slip, no big-name free agent is coming to the Big Apple.
Paul George to the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat
The far likelier outcome is George getting traded at the deadline, of course, once teams are getting worried he'll leave in free agency next summer. There could be a rush on his services this offseason, though, if Larry Bird hints he no longer believes the Pacers are in the running to re-sign George.
The Boston Celtics would have the best trade proposal with their stockpile of assets, and putting George next to Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford technically qualifies as a superteam by the slimmest of margins. Ditto for George with Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside in Miami, should Indiana get really desperate and take 50 cents on the dollar for the All-Star wing.
Odds of this superteam forming: 10%
Like we said at the top, George probably isn't going anywhere until the trade deadline, but you never know.
Carmelo Anthony to the Los Angeles Clippers with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan
You scoff at the notion, until you consider the fact Phil Jackson has no idea what he's doing as an NBA executive.
His civil war with Melo has become personal, clearly. Would you really put it past him to ship Anthony to the Western Conference for Jamal Crawford, a first-round pick, and a book entitled Zen and the Art of Sabotaging a Franchise?
With that in mind, it's kind of easy to imagine a world where Paul and Griffin re-sign in Los Angeles, then Doc Rivers manages to flip some loose change for Anthony in a post-free-agency trade.
Odds of this superteam forming: 15%
If you throw in the possibility of a Anthony-for-Griffin sign-and-trade, we're willing to increase the odds to 20%. Hashtag Free Melo.
Debby WongDebby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Paul to the San Antonio Spurs with Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge
CP3 can make a ton more money by re-signing with the Clippers — assuming he has no aspirations of winning an NBA title, anyway.
If he does want to chase a ring, though, he could do worse than heading to San Antonio to try to topple the Warriors alongside Gregg Popovich and The Klaw.
Odds of this superteam forming: 25%
The guess here is that the money talks for Paul, but we really hope he decides enough is enough in Los Angeles.
Dwyane Wade to the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love
Here's the scenario:
After coming back from a 3-0 Finals deficit to vanquish the Golden State Warriors and win his second straight title and fourth overall, LeBron James settles in on a yacht at a secret island location with his good friend, Dwyane Wade.
Over a bottle of Wade's wine, one or the other — they've forgotten; you know how wine can be — jokes they should put together a superteam of their own to battle the Warriors in 2018.
Wade lowers his glass, stares into the distance, and makes a call. In Chicago, a phone rings.
"It's Flash. I'm out."
He opts out of his contract for next season. At 12:01 a.m. on the first day of free agency, Wade signs for the veteran minimum in Cleveland.