National Basketball Association
Why the Knicks are a good fit for LeBron James if he leaves the Lakers
National Basketball Association

Why the Knicks are a good fit for LeBron James if he leaves the Lakers

Updated May. 1, 2024 8:21 a.m. ET

LeBron James was not willing to discuss his future following the Los Angeles Lakers' Game 5 defeat to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night, which ended their season. And that doesn't come as much of a surprise.

"The King", who's been known to have an affinity for suspense, was fresh off a 30-point, 11-rebound, nine-assist performance that was made null by a soul-crunching game-winner from Jamal Murray. It's understandable that his gaze was not pointed towards future endeavors.

But that's not stopping the basketball world from pondering what's next for James. "First Things First's" Nick Wright had some ideas for a new destination that he felt would benefit James from both a basketball perspective, and a legacy one: the New York Knicks.

"From a trade perspective, a basketball fit perspective … and it is the best storyline perspective, the New York Knicks," Wright said Tuesday on the show. "That team has not won a championship in 51 years, they have not been to the Finals in 25 years. They have a legitimately excellent team right now that I think –- with respect to the Knicks and what they're building – is not quite championship caliber right now. … They have the assets, I think they have a need a power forward right now because I don't trust Julius Randle come the postseason. … For the first time, the Knicks are, basketball-wise an attractive option for anybody."


For Wright, James' ability to impact winning at a championship level is not up for debate.

"There's no question," Wright said, "LeBron does not impact winning as much as younger LeBron, or peak LeBron. But let's ask it in a different way. How many guys in the league right now impact winning more than LeBron James? … What do I want LeBron to do next? I'd like him to come to the Knicks. Yes that's a little selfish cause I live here. It also would be an unbelievable final act. … That's where he could win a championship, he would help get them over the top, it's an iconic franchise, and it would truly add to his legend."

But Wright was not completely one-track minded in his thinking. He laid out other viable options for James if he decides to depart from L.A.

"The Sixers," he said, "who have a ton of cap space, make sense. The Cavs are an interesting one, they could make sense. But what do I think is gonna happen? I think he's gonna stay with the Lakers. I think he's going to leverage his spot with the Lakers to get them to draft Bronny in the second round, to get a three-year full max with a no-trade clause, and see if they can make a few moves, and he can stay at this level, and they can be back in it again."

And in case James needed any extra incentivization to join New York, Wright asserted that it'd help his standing in the GOAT debate.

"By they way, [you could] get all those Knicks fans that never liked Jordan to begin with on your side in the GOAT debate. That's like an electoral college thing, it's like flipping Texas. All of a sudden, the math is different forever."

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