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?