NEW YORK- The Knicks are an eyesore in the NBA. It seems like an eternity since the Knicks were last in the playoffs in 2013. The coaching carousel was a mess until recently when the Knicks finally hired former Memphis Grizzlies Coach David Fizdale. He was he assistant coach for the Miami Heat. Now, the big apple needs a prime team. Convincing Cleveland Cavaliers Small Forward LeBron James to take the option to leave as written in his contract, would certainly put the team in a position to advance to the playoffs. James has an opt-out clause in his contract.
The Knicks are projected to have at least $25 million in cap space. They will attempt to clear out as much space for the king of basketball as possible. Perhaps the tantalizing prospect of playing in the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, will play a role in convince James to abandon his home state roots once again.
The Cavs restructured their team after the Kyrie Irving fallout which made things difficult for James throughout the regular season and perhaps during the first round of the playoffs. After building a team consisting of aging veterans such as Derrick Rose and Dwayne Wade, the Cavs looked slow and almost immobile. Cleveland made multiple trades to assemble a younger roster that is currently giving the Toronto Raptors fits.
Make no mistake, the chances of the Knicks convincing James to leave Cleveland and join them is currently slim to none. James is hardly in a position to revamp New York which has no guarantee of producing a top three Eastern Conference team anytime soon. The Knicks are better off coming up with backup plans. James has some of his best games at MSG and loves playing in New York. However, James does not like chemistry issues and losing. Those two factors will make it extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, for the Knicks to sign James. It would be more realistic to engage in trade talks with the Spurs about Kwahi Leonard. He would need to be healthy but at least the Knicks might pull off one good move this offseason.
The Cavs chemistry is improving drastically and they will likely face the Western Conference Champion again. Why would James leave a really good team and situation to start over? James knows Fizdale very well but the cards are still stacked against New York. The Knicks would probably need more star power than just James. James revamped the Cavs successfully but he had Irving and Kevin Love helping him out. Houston and Philadelphia would more likely sign James in 2018. The most likely outcome is the Cavs will advance to the NBA Finals and James will stay in Cleveland for at least one year.