The 2017-18 NBA season is far from over for Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, but his impending free agency continues to become one of the hottest topics in the league. The 33-year-old small forward is expected to be targeted by several NBA teams who dreamt of contending for the title next season. Do the New York Knicks have a chance of signing James?
After officially hiring David Fizdale as their new head coach, the Knicks are reportedly preparing to open salary cap space to sign LeBron James in the upcoming offseason, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Fizdale and James have a good relationship and worked together in the Miami Heat for four seasons.
When the Memphis Grizzlies decided to fire Fizdale, James expressed his frustration and offered some encouraging words to the Knicks coach. Before he became the official replacement for Jeff Hornacek, there is a growing belief that James would join the team that would hire Fizdale. However, as Berman noted, the Knicks, as currently constructed, may not be an attractive free agency destination for the All-Star forward.
To make things more complicated, their best player, Kristaps Porzingis, is still recovering from a torn ACL. Though there is an improvement regarding his rehabilitation, Porzingis’ return for the 2018-19 NBA season remains uncertain.
As everyone knows, LeBron James is very unlikely to join a team that is currently in the middle of a rebuilding process. James is expected to pick a team where he can play alongside at least two superstars in order to strengthen his chance of winning more NBA championship titles. Though the Knicks have David Fizdale, their current roster is not in any way better than the Cavaliers right now.
Even if Fizdale convinces the Cavaliers superstar to give the Knicks a chance, creating salary cap space to give James a maximum contract won’t be simple. As Berman noted, the Knicks will be needing to convince Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn to opt out this summer. If both centers agree to become free agents, the Knicks would also have to trade Courtney Lee to a team who have enough salary cap space to absorb his contract.