The surging New York Knicks are the talk of the NBA and may continue to be if they pull off another deal before the trade deadline. One such deal is an absolutely wild hypothetical trade proposed by Bleacher Report. Their proposal would see the Knicks land a future Hall of Famer from the Los Angeles Lakers before the moratorium on deals begins. But how realistic is the trade? Let's take a closer look.
The Knicks land long-sought-after LeBron James from Lakers in wild proposed deal.
The mock deal suggested by Bleacher Report would send Evan Fournier, Julius Randall, and five first-round picks to the Lakers for LeBron James. On the surface, it's an absolutely massive trade proposal for arguably the greatest player in NBA history, but the deal is more complicated and far more intriguing than it might seem.
For starters, LeBron and the Lakers just recently played the Knicks and Madison Square Garden, and he raised eyebrows by conducting his postgame interview wearing a Knicks towel over his shoulder. ESPN's Brian Windhorst, who has followed LeBron throughout his career, stated that LeBron did so to send the Lakers a message that he would be willing to leave LA for New York if they didn't improve the roster around them.
Combine that with rumors that LeBron would ask to be traded ahead of the deadline and suddenly the proposed deal with the Knicks might not sound as far-fetched. Be that as it may, the mock trade wouldn't actually send out five picks to the Lakers. The reason is that New York owns both Washington's and Detroit's first-round picks but they are heavily protected and won't actually convey this season, or perhaps ever.
That effectively makes it three firsts and a 3-time all-star and former Laker Julius Randle for LeBron. Even then, that would be a great return for him, considering that he is 39 and can leave for nothing this summer. Ironically, the Knicks were reportedly shopping Randle for an upgrade and LeBron would certainly be one, albeit a short-term one.
Still, the Knicks would absurdly do the deal, especially considering that only one of the aforementioned firsts belongs to them, minimizing the risk. On the other hand, Los Angeles absolutely wouldn't unless LeBron himself demanded to be traded. That probably won't happen before the February 8th deadline but a sign and trade this offseason between the Lakers and Knicks may be possible. Grade B