You knew this was coming.
Donnie Walsh completed a trade that will get the Knicks far enough under the salary cap this summer to sign two maximum level free agents. Ever since the downward revision of the salary cap estimate, the LeBron conversation has centered around him joining a “supporting cast” already in place. Specifically Gallinari, Chandler, Lee, and Hill.
Well, Hill is gone, and Lee might be gone at some point, but in their place, LeBron can pick any of the 2010 free agents he wants. That means another max guy, or several non-max guys. The idea that he can come and reshape the roster as he sees fit makes a big difference.
I also recognize that the Cavs got better at the trade deadline as well, but nobody talks about the kind of risk they took by bringing in Jamison. If the Cavs don’t win a title this year, they won’t have the cap space to improve any more than they just have. In addition, going forward, they are going to get worse, as Jamison ages and his salary increases through the summer of 2012.
Quibble all you want about the draft picks (and the Knicks lost only one), you can always buy another one. You can only buy a LeBron once.