Team #5: New York Knicks
The Knicks are 4-3 and look to be ahead of schedule, which means they’re right on schedule to blow up their rebuild and bring in a superstar. James Harden is the best player available and would be the best player the Knicks have ever employed.
Let that sink in, no player in the history of the Knicks has ever been as good as James Harden. The team might not be a title contender right now, but with Harden’s love of the nightlife, two seasons in New York might be all it takes to convince him to finish his career in the Big Apple.
The Knicks have a roster full of moveable contracts and young players with sky-high potential. R.J. Barrett was an unmitigated disaster his rookie season but has looked better this season and could one day be an offensive focal point.
The Knicks would also have to depart with Mitchell Robinson and possibly Obi Toppin but this is a team that just hired Tom Thibodeau, a coach who is well known for his aversion to giving young players a long leash. While the Rockets won’t receive a slam-dunk young prospect, they’ll get a ton of players and picks that could help form their next championship core or be used to bring in the players that get them over the hump.
The other perk of bringing James Harden in is that it makes the franchise a much more appealing landing spot for free agents. There is chatter that James Harden has had issues with other superstars, but how many veteran free agents, who are quality players, would sign with the Knicks right now?
The answer is next to none with their current roster. The only way the Knicks can bring in solid veterans is if they overpay them. James Harden’s presence would give the Knicks the ability to use their financial might to bring in real talent instead of having to overpay players looking for one last big payday.
James Harden makes any team a playoff team and the Knicks have a seething desire to be relevant. They’ve started off the season better than expected but to keep it going they’ll need a true superstar player.
Next: Team No. 4