The New York Knicks have already made waves this offseason. They inked point guard Jalen Brunson to a four-year deal that inched close to $110 million. In addition to that, they signed big man Isaiah Hartenstein to a two-year contract and brought back Mitchell Robinson on another deal.
They have a nice little squad coming together in New York, but there’s still more work to do. And though that might not involve a blockbuster trade, that type of deal isn’t out of the question because if there were any team to pull off a deal like that, it would be the Knicks.
Right now, Kevin Durant is the biggest name on the trade market, but he’s not the only one that oddsmakers are taking note of. According to Kyle Newman of OddsChecker, “Talk of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving wanting to be traded as a package deal paired with Irving’s desire to go to Los Angeles has oddsmakers thinking it’s possible” that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James could also be traded.
Oddsmakers have listed some potential destinations, and people can now bet on what his next team would be if the Lakers were to trade him.
“That includes the New York Knicks who are given +750 odds, or an implied 11.8% chance to land LeBron,” Newman wrote. That puts the team at the bottom of the list of five teams oddsmakers give at least +750 odds, according to Newman.
The other teams listed as favorites include the Brooklyn Nets (-175, or 63.6% implied chance), Cleveland Cavaliers (+200, or 33.3% chance), Miami Heat (+300, or 25% chance) and Utah Jazz (+500, or 16.7% chance).
Do Oddsmakers Know Something About James?
Newman argued that the existence of betting odds for James’ next team means oddsmakers must believe a trade is “a real possibility.”
“LeBron’s market is small. In fact, it’s the smallest for any player this year. For example, Kevin Durant’s market has 13 teams on it and Kyrie Irving’s has eight,” Newman noted. “For LeBron to have just five means there’s reason to believe the list is that narrow. The fact he’s on the odds market at all suggests that a trade may be more possible than people know at this point. Could we see LeBron traded for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving is arguably the NBA’s biggest blockbuster trade ever? Oddsmakers are saying it’s a real possibility.”
James, who’s been one of the biggest stars in the league since he entered it in 2003, has never been traded throughout the course of his career. If he were to be traded, it would undoubtedly be one of the biggest stories in NBA history.
For the Knicks, however, putting together a package for James would be extremely difficult, especially when considering what Los Angeles might want in return.
Potential Knicks Trade for James
James does not have a no-trade clause in his contract. Still, if the Lakers ever ended up trading James, it would happen only because he requested a trade. On May 5, NBA insider Brian Windhorst appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” and affirmed that idea.
“LeBron isn’t getting traded to a team unless LeBron deems it so,” Windhorst said. “I know he is under contract, he doesn’t have a no trade clause and they could trade him anywhere and by the terms of his contract he could have to go, but you can’t do that to a player of his stature and his status.”
In the unlikely event that James would be sent away by the Lakers, LA’s Anthony Davis also would likely ask to be traded. If both players were moved, that would mean that Los Angeles would probably hit the reset button, meaning they would want picks and young players.
Here’s what a potential trade could look like:
Knicks receive: LeBron James
Lakers receive: RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, Cam Reddish, Obi Toppin, unlimited first-round picks
The question here is whether or not the Knicks would think it’s worth it to trade away their young star for a near-40-year-old James. In all likelihood, they would try to get away with salary-filler and picks, but the Lakers would want more.
It’s unlikely that James ever gets traded, but according to oddsmakers, the Knicks are on the list if he does.