You're only 26 years old. Despite being internationally beloved for your 1 in 7 billion ability to manipulate a small orange ball into a hoop, you are facing the decision of a lifetime. You may think that choosing to take your appetite to Outback Steakhouse won't bother anyone, but unfortunately the president of Chili's, Mr. Warren P. Chili might want to strangle you. As you can see, all decisions upset some people, and despite it seeming like a great idea at the time, throwing a welcome party at Bosh's Pit for yourself and the Heatles ends horribly.
I can understand why you want to leave Cleveland. So where do you go?
Chicago? (You don't want to hide behind Jordan.) Miami? (Media will destroy you, Wade will have one more ring than you.) Nets? (C'mon)
How about those lovable New York Knickerbockers, eh?
You would single handily bring back basketball in the biggest, hoops-craziest city in the world, while being liked (not hated) by casual NBA fans. Oh, and you would get to enjoy the benefits that all of New York has to offer you. Who wouldn't be a fan of LeBron James in a Mike D'Antoni offense, he would average over thirty points a night. And how would opposing teams defend a LeBron/Amar'e pick and roll. That is downright scary. Felton could still be signed, but that would use up all our cap space, meaning that the Knicks would have to use most of the MLE for Mozgov. But a starting 5 of Felton, Danilo Galinari, LeBron, Amar'e, and Mozgov with a rookie Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler, and two Veteran Free Agents (Shaq and Craig "the Rhino" Smith), to support the bigs, that is one heck of a team.
Melo still gets traded to New York, but he will have to wait 2 years to join the BROOKLYN NETS. Melo for Favors, Troy Murphy, and Humphries makes sense. Could be a pretty sweet hypothetical rivalry, Brooklyn's Melo vs. New York's LeBron.
Would that team beat a veteran Boston squad or a Miami team with Wade, Bosh getting more touches, and a better bench? (Yes, run Celtics into ground, better than Heat). How about the Bulls? (Yes, we saw what LeBron did guarding Rose last year.) Does LeBron choke in the Finals with less hatred/booes the whole year plus being the definite crunch time guy? (No, but the Knicks would still probably win, because I think he would still have trouble, but handle it better).
Tyson Chandler would have to take a serious pay cut if he wanted to still play for the Knicks, because we would only have $5.25 million in cap room. However, this isn't a problem because we have Mozgov. Linsanity would never happen because, Felton would still be starting, and newly signed Baron Davis backing him up. Our backourt would improve with lockdown defender Iman Shumpert joining the mix. JR Smith would join the Clippers to avoid the crowded wing (LBJ, Gallinari, Shumpert, Field, Novak.) Jeffries and Novak would be picked up also as backups. The greatest need of the team would still be center and I could see us offering a multiyear deal to Chuck Hayes.
Now that team would be a true title favorite. The defense would be incredible. Try scoring on Felton, Fields, Shumpert, LeBron, and Hayes. In a league with only 6 or 8 quality wing defenders the Knicks would have 3. They would be above average at every starting position and bench position. We will never know what would have really happened, but the 38-year title drought, just might have finally ended.
Picture from images.nymag.com