Earlier this week on Colin Cowherd’s “The Herd”, NBA journalist Nick Wright brought up the idea of a possible dream team in New York, saying that the Derrick Rose trade opened up the cap space to sign LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul next offseason, all while keeping Carmelo Anthony.
While the prospect of this may sound absurd, LeBron is on record saying that he’d love to play with those guys at some point in his career. And every one of them is older than 31, so time is running out if they want to compete for championships together.
Though it’s still probably a longshot to happen, it does look like the stars are aligning in favor of the Knicks, for once.
For one, LeBron, Wade and CP3 will all be free agents at the end of next season. That leaves Carmelo, who signed a 5-year 124-million dollar contract in the summer of 2014. This may seem problematic, but the Knicks will still have the most cap space in the league in the 2017 offseason.
New York will have only 3 players under contract this time next year, Melo, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle O’Quinn.
Those contracts add up to a grand total of $34.8 million, nowhere close to the projected salary cap, which is just under $100 million.
Unless they’re all willing to take a serious pay cut AND leave out Carmelo, the Knicks are the only option.
The only problem now is that Wade and LeBron may not be willing to pull the trigger and leave their current teams, especially the ladder.
But as much as LeBron seems to love the city of Cleveland, he hates owner Dan Gilbert just as much, enough to leave his team again.
In the infamous letter Gilbert penned after LeBron made the (logical) decision to leave the Cavaliers the first time, he referred to “The Decision” as “cowardly betrayal” and said that he didn’t want his kids to grow up like “the self-titled former king”, as Gilbert referred to LeBron.
It was noted by multiple journalists that James didn’t once look Gilbert in the eye during the week-long triumphant celebration.
In his original letter that LeBron wrote announcing his return, he put an emphasis on bringing Cleveland a championship, not staying there for the long-term. However slight it may be, consider leaving again a possibility.
With Wade, he’s pretty much a Heat-lifer, even sporting that slogan on a t-shirt in a few of his social media posts. The only thing that could possibly drag him away from Miami is the prospect of playing with three of his closest friends, and the idea that LeBron previously took a reputation hit to leave the team that drafted him in an attempt to win a title, and going to New York would just be repaying the favor.
That leaves Chris Paul. He’ll be the easiest to pry away from his current team, as he’s not winning anything anytime soon on the good but not great Clippers. If Wade and LeBron somehow find their way to New York, consider Paul a lock to join them.
While most of this is fantasized, and the odds of it happening are close to zero, they have stated that they’d one day like to play with one another. If that holds true, they’ll have to do it soon, and the Knicks are the only franchise that could pull it off.