Enes Kanter begins recruitment of LeBron James
On Monday, Enes Kanter came out and proclaimed a challenge to none other than LeBron James. Growing out of a feud that began back in November, where James called himself the “King of New York,” Kanter challenged James to “prove it” on July 1st. Of course, the date points to when the free agency opens up, inviting James to play in New York. Kanter’s challenge comes after a poster soliciting James to New York went viral near the end of the regular season. Kanter’s invitation, however, may fall on deaf ears.
Current State of Affairs
LeBron James is currently in route to the Eastern Conference Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though his current team has been struggling, James has managed to volt them over the line and keep them in contention. If things go south with this team, however, James is expected to part ways with his hometown once again. Teams, such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers, have unashamedly attempted to lure James to their cities. The 33-year-old veteran has yet to slow down in his 15th season. Still hailed as the best player in basketball, teams are expecting James to bring them that same energy. However, the New York front office has yet to make any serious attempts at campaigning for James.
Slow and Steady wins the Race
The hesitancy on New York’s part is two-fold: cap space and awareness. New York simply does not have the money right now to sign a max contract for a player of LeBron James’ magnitude. The team is aware that it still has to deal with paying Joakim Noah another $50 million. Clearing space by waiving players, like (ironically) Enes Kanter, would be the only chance the team could have. Still, that is a huge a risk, especially if James decides to take his talents elsewhere. While it would be nice to have a player such as James in the Big Apple, New York must be reasonable with its next moves.
What’s on the Table?
New York is not dead in the water, per se. It just hired a new coach, David Fizdale, who will continue to execute the front office’s vision of a young, developed core. The team has a projected early first round pick in the upcoming draft. Kristaps Porzingis is recovering from a devastating injury, but he will return. While LeBron James would add a whole new level of talent and depth to the squad, New York isn’t necessarily pressed to acquire him. More so, James doesn’t seem to be all that interested in New York at the moment. He is focused on winning with his team right now, as he should be. Enes Kanter is free to continue to solicit players, if he chooses to, but New York is not and should not be in any haste to sign LeBron James.