It’s pretty obvious that the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets are doing whatever they can to free up as much salary cap space as possible for 2010, when LeBron (and Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade) hits the free agent market.
The Nets’ draft-day trade for Yi Jianlian was seen as more than a basketball move, but also one to draw the Chinese NBA viewership to the Nets, which would obviously be something for LeBron to consider given his business interests overseas. And just this morning, the Knicks’ two-year contract offer to free agent Chris Duhon is keeping in line with the rumors that NY isn’t going to offer anymore more than a two-year deal, again trying to keep their cap free in 2010. (What other team would offer a 25-year-old point guard who’s shown promise only two years?)
So if you’re LeBron, fast-forward to 2010: assume the Knicks and Nets both have copious amounts of money to give you. Assume the Nets have already made the move to Brooklyn, are playing in a brand-new arena, and that your man Jay-Z is still involved with the Nets. Assume Manhattan is still the business and advertising capital of the world. Assume both teams are, let’s say, borderline .500-level on the court.
If you’re LeBron, do you want to play for the Knicks or the Nets?