With the Knicks recent signing of Amar’e Stoudemire, they just made this free agency period more interesting. The Knicks now have a recruiting tool in Amar’e Stoudemire, and are very alive in the LeBron James sweepstakes.
The Knicks, however, could also end up with the other big name in this class, Dwyane Wade. It is complicated but there is a very likely possibility that the Knicks will end up with either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, especially with their roster upgrade adding Amar’e Stoudemire.
With the Stoudemire signing the Knicks now can form a title contender around another superstar if they were to add either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade.
The Knicks, unlike the Bulls, Heat, and Nets can now sell LeBron James of the fact that he’s playing alongside a star. In fact, Stoudemire is a five time all-star in the midst of his prime, who perfectly complements James’ game, and will be by far the best player James has ever played alongside.
The other teams hoping to acquire James can only sell James on the possibility of playing alongside another star. Signing Amar’e Stoudemire makes the Knicks the only team that can sell both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade that they’ll have a legitimate 2nd star.
The question is how will the Knicks end up with either of the two big stars. Some dominos will certainly have to fall in order for it to happen, but here are the possible scenarios for the Knicks to end up with one of the two superstars.
Scenario 1: LeBron James and Chris Bosh sign with the Chicago Bulls or New Jersey Nets. Knicks then acquire Dwyane Wade.
If LeBron James and Chris Bosh were to pair somewhere other than Miami where they would form the super team without Dwyane Wade, it’s almost certain Wade signs with the Knicks.
With the two stars Wade wants to play with off the board, Wade will have to decide whether he wants to face them with a supporting cast of Carlos Boozer, Michael Beasley, and Mario Chalmers, or with a supporting cast of Amar’e Stoudemire, Danilo Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler.
Wade would assume the role of playmaker in D’Antoni’s offense and run the offense with Stoudemire the same way the offense was ran in Phoenix with Steve Nash. Wade and Stoudemire would be two dynamic scorers who would run the best pick and roll in basketball.
Wade and Stoudemire almost teamed up at the deadline when the Heat tried to get a deal done with the Suns and even offered Michael Beasley. However, the Heat didn’t get a deal done and were empty handed at the trade deadline.
Honestly it’s a very easy choice, Wade would join the Knicks and if all were to go as expected. James and Wade would clash in the eastern conference finals, both hoping to challenge the Lakers for the title.
Scenario 2: Wade and Bosh sign with Heat, Knicks sign LeBron James
This could be the more likely scenario due to the fact that Wade would rather stay in Miami. The Heat would form two thirds of the south beach super team, and LeBron James would have three decisions to make. He could stay in Cleveland and team with Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison. He could join the Bulls and play with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, and potentially Carlos Boozer or David Lee. He could join the Knicks and play alongside Stoudemire, Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler.
It would be a close call, but James would have the chance to play alongside a top big man in Stoudemire, and a shooter in Danilo Gallinari, those are the two players James needs to play with, a mobile big man who can score in the paint and run the pick and roll, and a shooter. Stoudemire and Gallinari certainly fit James’ needs.
The Bulls on the other hand don’t have a shooter, and Derrick Rose can only play to a fraction of his abilities because he and LeBron James’ styles are too similar.
The bottom line is that two of the big free agents left might want to play together, leaving one of them alone if he resigns with his old team. The Knicks however already have a core in place that is missing its biggest piece in order to contend for a title, a superstar.