Alan Hahn has been saying for a while now, mostly in his weekly chats, that he believes that the Knicks may not take the cap space they’ve been working so hard to acquire all the way into free agency 2010. Today, he presents that theory again in an article in Newsday.
Hahn says that, rather than pursuing the all-in-on-Lebron scenario, one that could very well leave the Knicks holding an empty bag, given that the Knicks hold multiple large, expiring deals and some attractive young talent, Donnie Walsh might instead pursue a trade either this offseason or at next February’s trade deadline for a star player from a team that (1) fears it might lose that player for nothing in 2010 (Chris Bosh) or (2) has stagnated and wants to reshuffle the deck (Carmelo Anthony, Steve Nash).
While on some level it’d be so disappointing to see the Knicks forgo the opportunity to take their shot with Lebron (as you all know I think there’s at least a decent chance he’d spurn the Cavs and sign here), Hahn’s scenario is far from crazy. In fact, it’s the much safer play.
Most of what we all (Clevelanders and New Yorkers both) think we know about Lebron and his desire to either leave or stay in Cleveland is based on rampant, unfettered speculation about various bits of minutia that trickle into the media’s coverage of the whole 2010 saga. Sure, it’s fun to speculate (Dan and I have a whole meter devoted to it), but as Tommy Dee pointed out yesterday, no one can possibly know what Lebron has planned for the future because it’s likely that Lebron doesn’t even know at this point. And if he does know, he’s certainly not sharing with us.
Now, of course it’s possible that Lebron does have some semblance of an idea of what he wants to do, and that he’s let certain, trusted confidants in on his thinking (Sonny Vaccaro? Worldwide Wes? Leon Rose? Jay-Z?). It’s also possible, if he’s leaning towards leaving the Cavs, that those confidants have found ways to relate Lebron’s current thinking to the people that are well-positioned to faciliate Lebron’s move to a new team (Read: Donnie Walsh). We know that kind of stuff happens all the time. But we don’t know if it’s happening now.
Rest assured though, if the Knicks make moves this summer that effectively take them out of the running for Lebron in 2010, it will be because Donnie Walsh wasn’t given reason enough to believe that Lebron was coming here. And if that’s the case, he’ll have done the right thing by getting the Knicks some elite talent when he knew he could and setting them up to battle Lebron for titles (wherever it is he decides to play) in the years to come.