The New York Knicks are hoping their 2017 season will end way better than the previous year. But, it’s what the offseason could bring that has fans excited. The 2018 NBA free agency period will be one full of suspense and surprises. For Knicks fans, the main surprise could be the addition of LeBron James. Yes, you read that correctly, James could end up in the Big Apple if he chooses to according to Fox Sports NBA analysis Chris Broussard.
As good as that sounds, the Knicks will be making a major mistake by offering LeBron James a contract.
The Knicks are in the middle of a rebuild of sorts. Not the route in which the Philadelphia 76ers took, but they are moving on after trading away the face of their franchise. With Kristaps Porzingis as the new leader, adding LeBron will not make much sense unless the goal is to sell more tickets and when have the Knicks ever had that problem?
Adding LeBron might mean more wins but even a Cleveland Cavaliers team with James, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, and Dwyane Wade has struggled this year. Despite his numbers and lack of injuries throughout his career, LeBron continues to age. Do you remember a time when no one thought of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, or even Dirk Nowitzki in regards to age? Every player sooner or later must face Father Time and LeBron (33 by next season) is no exception.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 16, 2017
The Knicks are a mess when it comes to contracts
LeBron, if he decides to opt-out in 2018, will cost a team over $35 million per year. The Knicks will be fools to pay a single player that much money with their current payroll being held hostage by players who offer little production. The Knicks must figure out what to do with Joakim Noah ($17 million) and Courtney Lee ($12.2 million). While those contracts may not stop the Knicks from signing LeBron, they must think of other players. LeBron, while still one of the best in the NBA, cannot win a ring with just he and Porzingis.
The Knicks will need to surround Porzingis and LeBron with players willing to play their role and that’s not what the Knicks currently have on their roster. To be the best, you must pay the best and James Dolan may refuse to. While the sound of LeBron’s name being yelled from the PA speaker as the home team is introduced sounds great, it must not be done.
LeBron has managed to escape serious injury throughout his career, but he’s 33-years old and in his 14th season. LeBron has played on rebuilding teams, won championships with future Hall of Fame players and yet, he’s supposed to come to NYC just because he loves Madison Square Garden? I admit, the bright lights are a lure, however, if the Knicks have any plans of building a solid core, LeBron must not wear the Knicks uniform.
LeBron may improve the game of Porzingis, but what happens if the Knicks don’t win? Is Scott Perry really willing to pay a player $35 million to leave after one season and start the rebuild over again? I say that because LeBron is a business person and understands how to manipulate a contract. He can sign a two-year deal with the Knicks but have an opt-out clause for the second year, leaving the Knicks holding an empty bag at the end.
The marriage sounds good, however, the breakup will cause a ripple effect the team might not be able to repair for a few seasons. Right now, the fans are hungry for success and feel as if LeBron is their meal ticket. No, Porzingis is the key. He’s young, willing to listen, and he’s good for the salary cap. LeBron is the exact opposite. He’s Carmelo Anthony with a championship ring. Stay away Knicks, stay away. Don’t believe me, ask Pat Riley and Dan Gilbert.
[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]