On ESPN New York’s 98.7 FM’s “The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show,” co-host Smith mentioned a “95 percent possibility” LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony end up together if they both opt-in for the 2014-15 seasons. Not only that, but New York’s recent hiring of Derek Fisher could entice Kevin Durant to the Big Apple if he’s unhappy in OKC when his contract expires in the summer of 2016.
While Phil Jackson has already mentioned asking ‘Melo to opt-in for next season, it’s not a sure thing, especially when considering how much ‘Melo stands to make if he simply re-signs with the Knicks. Now, by way of ESPN New York, comes word from Stephen A. Smith the Knicks could land ‘Melo and LeBron James, if both end up opting in for next year — ‘Melo with the Knicks and James with the Heat — before teaming up in free agency during the summer of 2015.
Smith said on his radio show Wednesday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show” that Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James would like to play together and it’s a “95 percent possibility” that James and Anthony would end up together if both opted in to their contracts for the 2014-15 season.
“LeBron wants to play with Melo,” Smith said. “Melo wants to play with LeBron.”
Smith said that if both James and Anthony opt in this summer, “the New York Knicks would have a shot at getting LeBron James to come to New York.
Not only might the Knicks acquire ‘Bron and ‘Melo — making apostrophes and lazy writers everywhere happy — in the summer of 2015, but the following summer, two years from now, might mean another superstar is within the clutches of James Dolan and the Knicks.
A second report from ESPN New York raises the possibility of 2013-14 MVP Kevin Durant calling Manhattan home:
“He only wants to win a championship,” one league source familiar with Durant’s thinking said Tuesday. And Fisher’s presence could help lead him to New York if he decides to bolt Oklahoma City.
“It will definitely be a factor,” the league source said.
There is another, obvious link between Durant and New York City. His agency, Roc Nation Sports, is headed by Jay Z, one of the Big Apple’s most well-known residents.
So, just to recap what these reports are telling Knicks fans: there’s a possibility they land LeBron AND ‘Melo next summer if both opt in this summer, or the Knicks could — on the strength of their just-hired coach’s mentorship — woo Kevin Durant to New York the following summer.
This is forgetting the possibility Anthony re-ups for 2014-15, the Knicks stink while failing to grasp the Triangle — which took an astute basketball mind like Michael Jordan a full year before grasping his ability to perform within its complex confines — and Anthony leaves for Miami in the summer of 2015.
Plus, Durant is not the type of guy to spurn the Thunder fans just because he doesn’t have a title by the time he’s on the cusp of turning 28 in September of 2016.
We can’t wait to hear about how the Knicks might also sign Kevin Love, KD’s teammate Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant and whichever other NBA stars become available over the next half decade.
J.R. Smith is going to have a much harder time cracking the starting lineup if the Knicks simply become a one-city Team USA squad.
Will the Knicks ever land LeBron or Durant?
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