Here’s How New York Knicks Could Trade For LeBron James

LeBron James, Julius Randle, Lakers, Knicks, NBA Rumors
Dec 18, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots the ball against New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) in the second half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA Trade Deadline only two days away, we have reached the calm before the storm period. Smokescreens are being shared by teams looking to extract as strong of offers as possible from other franchises around the league and NBA rumors are swirling.

One of the most intriguing NBA rumors that have come about recently was that Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was the likeliest player to be on the move. Rich Paul quickly shut those rumors down, but it certainly stirred up a good amount of debate.

Los Angeles has been playing better basketball recently, riding a three-game winning streak that includes victories over the Boston Celtics and red-hot New York Knicks, both of which were on the road. Against Boston, Los Angeles won without James and Anthony Davis in the lineup.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: LeBron James, Julius Randle, 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks Updates

While the Lakers are going to seek out a trade before the NBA Trade Deadline, it would be shocking if James is involved in any of the moves they make. If they want to have any chance of winning the title this season, he will be on the roster.

Alas, discussing deals that could be made centered around James is a fun exercise. Virtually every team in the NBA should want him on their roster if they are looking to make a push for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

One of those teams could be the Knicks. New York is cementing itself as a legitimate contender in the NBA, but there are some people who believe they are still a player away from truly competing with the other upper-echelon teams in the league.

Acquiring James would certainly change that narrative. What could a deal for the future Hall of Famer look like? Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report suggested a blockbuster deal that has James heading to New York in exchange for Julius Randle, Evan Fournier and five first-round draft picks.

On the surface, that looks like a huge deal. Randle was named an All-Star for the third time in four seasons and was on his way to another All-NBA team nomination before a shoulder injury derailed his season. That is a boatload of draft capital as well, however, when taking a closer look, it isn’t as steep as it would seem.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: LeBron James, Julius Randle, 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks Updates

Only one unprotected pick, the Knicks selection in 2025, is included. The other four are all protected, some heavily, from other teams around the league. A 2024 first-rounder from the Dallas Mavericks will likely convey, but first-rounders from the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons are unlikely. A 2025 first-round from the Milwaukee Bucks is also included and would likely be a late first-rounder.

Certainly a strong offer, but given how Leon Rose has stockpiled his assets, going all-in on a potential James rental seems unlikely. Throwing in the towel and trading James is something that would be a hard sell to the fan base for the Lakers. A deal of this magnitude getting done before the NBA trade deadline Thursday would be shocking, but makes for fun debates.

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