The popular consensus is that LeBron James will end up back in Miami.
But at least the Knicks have made his list of suitors.
The Knicks, Heat, Nets, Rockets and Cavs are teams that James would consider playing for, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard.
The problem for New York? The Knicks are severely over the salary cap and would need to make significant moves to create enough space to sign James as a free agent.
The Knicks are currently committed to $68.5 million in player salaries for next season. The salary cap is expected to be set at $62.9 million. So the Knicks would have to shed approximately $26 million to make a competitive offer for James. And, in this scenario, they’d have to sign James before re-signing Anthony, because if they re-signed Anthony first, it would take away the allotted cap space.
That’s why any scenario involving James to the Knicks is highly unlikely at this point.
Not only would Phil Jackson have to find a taker for a player like Amar'e Stoudemire, but he’d also have to ship him to a team with the cap space to absorb the $24 million he’s owed in 2014-15.
On LeBron to the Knicks, Broussard writes:
“This is far-fetched because New York would have to work a miracle to clear the cap room to sign James. But if it's any consolation to Knicks fans, they're at least on James' radar.
Obviously, this would require Anthony re-signing with New York. The Knicks would then have to find a taker for Amar'e Stoudemire, or perhaps the combination of Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani. They would also have to trade them to teams beneath the salary cap so they don't receive anything in return. Philadelphia could be a potential partner in a trade for Stoudemire, and Dallas would have interest in Chandler.
Still, James and Anthony playing together in New York next season is a near impossibility.”
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