LeBron Can’t Be The Knicks’ First Move

If LeBron James is going to join the Knicks this summer, he’ll only do it if the Knicks make some other moves first. As fond as many of us are of Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler, Bill Walker, and Danilo Gallinari, those guys aren’t making the King’s mouth water.

I’ve said before that if the Knicks are going to make a splash this summer with free agents, they have to upgrade their roster significantly BEFORE free agency. Much as Kevin Garnett was lukewarm about joining the Celtics until they added Ray Allen to a Paul Pierce-led group, it would make sense that LeBron wouldn’t want to commit to leaving a 60 win team unless he had some assurance that his new team would be capable of the same feat.

Buzz Bissinger, who co-wrote a book with LeBron called “LeBron’s Dream Team” feels that the lure of New York is very strong for LeBron, but that he won’t jump ship unless the Knicks give him a reason:

LeBron does love Ohio. He loves playing in Cleveland and he loves Akron. Like everyone else, I have asked LeBron what he is going to do and he has flashed me that exquisite smile. I am not privy to any special information, but my gut tells me he will leave the Cavaliers whether they win the NBA championship or not. He has aspirations beyond basketball. He wants to be a billion dollar athlete. He likes challenges and bright lights. There is nothing like New York and the goal of making the Knicks champions again is an incredible one. So I say he goes to the Knicks, IF THEY GET THE RIGHT SUPPORTING CAST. And as you know that’s a big “if” when it comes to the Knicks.

So it’s to that end that the Knicks need to think about making a trade around draft time. It’s why we’ve been trying to think up trades for guys who are under contract, like Tony Parker or Rip Hamilton or Baron Davis. And it isn’t just LeBron. If the Knicks are serious about any of the major free agents they have to show that they mean business by getting someone in New York who is better than anyone they’ve played with before.

Who do you want to see the Knicks trade for before free agency starts to convince key guys to join the squad?


  1. Italian Stallion

    The problem for the Knicks is that they don’t have many assets to trade. The only conceivable assets are Chandler, Douglas, and Lee (as part of a sign and trade later).

    I don’t think many teams are going to want Curry’s contract or to dump salary until the trade deadline when they may already know if the season is lost anyway.

    We gave away Hill and the 2012 pick to get rid of Jeffries. That really depleted us given that we had no pick for this year and very little talent on the team because of prior salary dumping moves.

    What can we get for Chandler and Douglas? Not much I think.

    I think we are going to have to hope that Lebron negotiates other talent to come here if he decides he wants to play in NY.

  2. Will H

    I think LeBron knows that IF he came to NY, a supporting cast would want to come, too. Plus, you are offering him a chance to mold the team the way he wants, as well.

    Sorry, but Baron Davis, Tony Parker and Rip are… well, R.I.P.

    What about Iguadala and Dalembert for Curry’s expiring and Lee (S&T)?

    Assuming we can’t get CP3 and Okafur from the Hornets

  3. Ed

    If Minnesota lands the 1st or 2nd pick, Rubio should be attainable. Hopefully DW can swing that without giving up TD, IllWill, and of course Gallo. If this happens, then Bosh or even Lee at less than max could be attractive enough for the King knowing that Currys 11M will turn into Carmelo in a year or less. I like the idea of CP3 but don’t think we have what it takes to make that trade.

    • Italian Stallion

      There are a few players like that, but who in their right mind would give up anything for guys like Harrington, Duhon etc…

  4. Jon

    Of those three guys, on the court I think Rip is the best fit with Lebron. I’m not sure I agree that he’s washed up either, though there is certainly some risk in acquiring him.

    TP and Baron need the ball in their hands a lot and we know that won’t fly with Lebron. Rip, on the other hand, is a perfect compliment to the things Lebron does best and a boost to the things he does worst. He’s one of the best players moving without the ball in the whole NBA and he could be amazing with a passer as deft as Lebron. And he’s made a career out of taking and making big shots in big moments. Given what we’ve seen of Lebron during this series against the Celtics, sure seems like the Cavs could use Rip right now.

  5. Jake

    A supporting Cast will be much easier to put together than it seems most people think. The Cavs have been a 60 win team for two straight seasons in large part because of their supporting cast, and they play in Cleveland. Before Lebron, the Cavs were perhaps the least attractive team to play for in the league. Add Lebron and they became a top destination. The combination of New York (where players want to play regardless of Lebron, Bosh, etc.) and two max players will be enough to pull additional pieces, and most likely make New York the most popular destination to play for in the NBA.

    Also, by the trade deadline, with Curry’s expiring contract and maybe one more player, if the Knicks aren’t already a very competitive team, they should be able to obtain a great player a la or Rasheed in 2004, Gasol in 2008, and Jamison in 2010.

    And if the Nuggets are a disappointment by the deadline (which based on their playoff “run” could very well be a possibility) there may even be a shot at getting Carmelo before the end of next season… just a thought.

  6. Traps

    You know, I’ve really warmed on the idea of Rip Hamilton. But you have to give it everything you got to get Rubio first.

  7. slumdogballer

    That was some unbelievable ending to the Cavs/Celtics series. No foul with 40 seconds left to go? The quit never was more obvious I guess.

    At least Lebron congratulated the Celtic players. Only MO showed up for this last one. None of Lebron’s teammates came to play. Jamison was terrible.

    Rondo is spectacular. …now if he could get a consistent mid range jumper..wow.

    Lebron looked drained and something serious must be up with his elbow for his jump shot to be so off. Suprisingly, he looked mortal tonight.

    So now that Lebron’s season is over there will rampant speculation as to where he will go. Main suitors: NJ, Chicago, Miami, NY, Clips.

    It should be an interesting ride.

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