Since his hiring, Knicks' President Donnie Walsh has been feverishly working to get his team ready for the summer of 2010, where one of the most coveted free-agent classes of all time will become available.
With phase one of the plan complete, free up cap space, take a look at some of the best free agent combo options the Knicks will have this summer.
Clearly the most talented combo, signing both of these players is wishful thinking for the Knicks.
However, LeBron James will be the team’s No. 1 target this summer, and while Bosh has laughed off Knicks rumors, teaming up with LeBron while getting a taste of the bigger market may be enough to change his mind.
LeBron alone would bring the electricity back to the Garden, but it would be Bosh and LeBron together who would make this team an instant contender.
With things looking up for both the Cavaliers and Raptors, it may very well take an opportunity for these two to play together in order to steer them away from their current contending teams.
This combo may be unconventional for not including a big man, but it still makes sense. Johnson would ease into his old coach’s system, whereas LeBron may be exactly the player meant to thrive in such a system.
If the Knicks fail to score a big man this summer, signing LeBron and J.J. would still provide them with a lot of versatility. LeBron can play four positions, while J.J. can play three.
Both could run the floor by themselves, while at the same time, involving teammates. LeBron’s passing skills are widely regarded as his stronger attribute, and Johnson has played point guard in various Hawks’ lineups.
If the Knicks can somehow manage to re-sign David Lee, the three could team up to form a formidable starting lineup with the likes of Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari.
I could see this coming to fruition as an attempt to lure LeBron to New York. If LeBron is unsure about the Knicks as contenders, D’Antoni could reel in Stoudemire first as part of persuasion for LeBron.
Stoudemire and Joe Johnson are both players who should gladly want to return to D’Antoni’s system, but Stoudemire is certainly the one more likely to leave his old team for an unproven winner. The appeal of the reunion with his old coach, as well as the bigger market, should entice Stoudemire, who would then be hard at work recruiting King James.
Okay…last LeBron scenario, I promise!
Similar to the above suggestion, if the Knicks are unable to secure a second “marquee star” behind LeBron, perhaps he could coerce former teammate Boozer to join him in New York.
There is already recognized chemistry between the two, and that was before either of them developed into All-Star talents.
There has been talk of Boozer in orange and blue in the past, and the possibility of Bosh and/or Amare Stoudemire resigning with their respective teams could open up the door for Boozer and lead to a reunion with LeBron James.
Should the Knicks lose out on all marquee talents, this may become the most logical option. Two players whose careers D’Antoni jumped started could join forces once again in New York.
While this combo may not contain as much star power, it’s an automatic upgrade from anything Knicks fans are currently used to. It may also give the Knicks more flexibility in regards to filling out the rest of the roster.
Joe Johnson would also become the starring attraction in D’Antoni’s system, something we did not see in Phoenix.
Judging by his success in Atlanta, such a move would likely elevate the Knicks to another level.
The Knicks are in line to make the biggest summer splash in team history. The team needs improvement, and frankly, any number of free agent combos would provide that.
Nevertheless, the more notable the free agent, the better. Bringing in bona fide stars would confirm management’s hunger for contention as well as make up for the fans’ suffering thus far.