As LeBron James remained mum about his future, he raved about New York Knicks rising star Jalen Brunson – the kind of player who can attract superstars like James to play in the Big Apple.
“Jalen’s phenomenal,” James told reporters when asked about Brunson. “He’s phenomenal. Super happy for him, super proud of him. First-time All-Star. Seen his emotion after the last game I think that’s just super cool. Super dope, very humble kid,” James said. “I played against Rick [Brunson] as well. So kind of weird in that sense.”
Brunson earned his first All-Star berth this season with another leap, averaging 27.1 points on 41.7% 3-point shooting and 6.4 assists — all career-highs.
The Knicks have won their last nine games with Brunson taking his game to another level, putting up 32.6 points.
LeBron James Considered Playing for Knicks in 2010
If not for Dwyane Wade’s pull, James could have been a Knick in 2010.
“During my free agency period in 2010, it was one of the teams that I looked at,” James said. “So I’ve had that thought in my career.”
James eventually spurned the Knicks and formed a superteam with Wade and Chris Bosh. Their Big 3 reached the NBA Finals thrice and won two titles.
The Knicks only had three postseason trips during that span, led by James’ friend Carmelo Anthony, but never reached the NBA Finals.
James, 39 sparked trade rumors by posting an hourglass emoji following the Lakers’ blowout loss to the Atlanta Hawks on January 31. His agent, Rich Paul, denied those rumors.
“LeBron won’t be traded, and we aren’t asking to be,” Paul was quoted telling ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on February 2.
James declined to clarify the context of that tweet when reporters pressed him. Asked if he already knew what to do with his $51.4 million player option for next season, he replied “No.”
It was an answer that will only fuel more speculations about his future with the Knicks having a ready-made championship roster waiting for that big star to pair with Brunson.
Klutch-Knicks Meeting Could Impact Trade Deadline Moves
Raising more hope for a potential James’ relocation to New York down the road is the crucial sit-down meeting between his former agent, Knicks president Leon Rose and Paul, who previously worked together at Creative Artists Agency.
According to New York Post’s Stefan Bondy, “The hope is to move forward with a business relationship.”
Aside from James, Paul also represents some of the players linked to the Knicks ahead of the February 8 trade deadline — Utah’s Jordan Clarkson, Portland’s Malcolm Brogdon and Atlanta’s Dejounte Murray — continue to be on New York’s radar with trade deadline less than a week away.
The last time the Knicks employed a Klutch Sports client ended on a sour note.
Cam Reddish did not see eye to eye with Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau and never earned a regular rotation spot. Reddish’s brief Knicks tenure ended with a trade deadline move to Portland for Josh Hart, a CAA client who is thriving alongside his former Villanova teammates, Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo.
Before Reddish, Nerlens Noel was the last Klutch Sports client who played for the Knicks. Noel bitterly left and sued Klutch Sports during his Knicks stint that ended in an amicable settlement in January last year.
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