What If Lebron Doesn't Come?

Winsford BelleContributor IJune 15, 2010

Knicks blogs these days have only been harping on whether or not superstar Lebron James will come to New York in the offseason. I understand plan A (whether Walsh will refer to it as that or not) was to clear enough cap space to entice James and another superstar to come to the Knicks, but what if he doesn’t come?

He has plenty of other options, including staying in Cleveland, joining Derrick Rose in Chicago, going to Jay-Z and the Nets, or even the Clippers. So what do the Knicks do if he doesn’t come?

Aside from James the other top names available are Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and Joe Johnson. There are plenty of other players available, but if the Knicks are looking for a star, they have to sign one of these guys—unless they plan on working out a trade for a player like Chris Paul or more surprisingly Carmelo Anthony.

I do not see Wade signing with the Knicks. He has never given any sign that he is interested in New York and from all indications he likes Miami. Most sources have said he would like to stay put with the hope Miami can bring in another top player this off-season. If Wade does leave, it will most likely be for Chicago, his hometown and a team that is already set up pretty well.

Putting a trade aside and taking Lebron and Wade out of the mix, I think the Knicks best option is to sign Joe Johnson.

Bosh is good, but he has failed to prove he is good enough to lead a team to the playoffs or a championship. He has missed the playoffs the past two seasons and the two years he made it his team was eliminated in the first round. Personally I don’t think he is that much better than David Lee and if Lee could be signed for 10-12 million I would rather that than the 18 million they would have to pay Bosh. Plus I doubt Bosh would come to New York without Lebron signing anyway.

Amare has proven to be dynamic, but he has health issues and is worse at defense than Lee is. As for Dirk, there is no way he leaves Dallas for New York unless a really good player is coming with him.

Joe Johnson has proven he can lead a young team to the playoffs. He is a professional in the locker room and is the scorer the Knicks need for down the stretch. In addition there is a chance the Knicks will be able to sign him for less than the maximum.

With the extra cap space they could sign a proven point guard like Raymond Felton, or trade for Darren Collison from the Hornets as it is believed he will be available. They could send Curry’s expiring contract alongside Wilson Chandler for Collison and Emeka Okefor solving their issues at both point guard and center.

They might even have enough left to re-sign fan-favorite David Lee. Lee has been working on his 3-point shooting and improving his defense, if all goes well he could slide over to power forward and play at an All-Star level.

If they could pull these moves off the Knicks would sport a starting line-up that consisted of Collison at point guard, Joe Johnson at shooting guard, Danilo Gallinari at small forward, David Lee at power forward, and Emeka Okafor at center. They would also have Bill Walker, Toney Douglas and their two second-round picks on the bench.

There are a lot of options out there and this is just one of the possibilities. Not only would this be a very good offensive unit, but a top-notch defensive one. I truly believe the Knicks can assemble a team like this, and it can easily lead the Knicks back to the playoffs, and possibly even a championship. It just goes to show you that there is more to talk about than Lebron.

by Evan Slavit at the Sports Fan Blog Network