The New York Knicks are seemingly one impactful piece away from being a surefire championship contender in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Could that piece in fact be Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James?
Next season, James will have a player option that he can choose to exercise, which would make him the most sought-after player on the open market. He’d also be a player that the Knicks could move mountains for in order to acquire, even at James’ advanced age.
As Stefan Bondy of the New York Post reported, the 2024 All-Star captain spoke on whether playing at Madison Square Garden in a home jersey has ever been a serious possibility for him, to which he replied:
“I’ve had that thought in my career,” James said.
LeBron James was close to signing with the Knicks as a free agent in the summer of 2010
Throughout his 21-year NBA career, whenever James has entered free agency, he has been the center of attention. His highly publicized free agency in 2010 had the Knicks positioned as one of five franchises, along with the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Jersey Nets that James was considering leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for.
Ultimately, James chose to take his talents to South Beach and join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat rather than Amar’e Stoudemire on the Knicks.
With the way James has revolutionized player movement in the league, he’s liable to start a new chapter of his career elsewhere, and that could very well be on Broadway, especially given his suggestive remark.
James has not lost a step and could tip the scales for the Knicks in their quest for a championship
James, 39, is averaging a customary 24.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game on 52 percent shooting from the field and 39.7 percent shooting from three, the latter being the second-best connect rate of his career.
James will warrant a large contract when the time comes, and if the Knicks are able to move Evan Fournier and the nearly $19 million he’s owed next season, as well as make other additional moves to clear cap space, they could position themselves to make a push for the future Hall-of-Famer.
James’ agent Rich Paul recently buried the hatchet with Knicks president Leon Rose, indicating that both parties may be on board to do business once more. This carries implications not only for the Knicks’ trade interest in Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray but also for James.
Though Paul emphatically stated that James is not looking to be traded, anything can happen in today’s NBA. As is always the case, keeping an eye on James’ situation with L.A. as it unfolds will be on every front office’s mind, including the Knicks.
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