IQ 1000: New York Knicks took advantage of Bronny James, in exchange for LeBron James…

IQ 1000:

New York Knicks took advantage of Bronny James, in exchange for LeBron James…

New York Knicks in Prime Position to Draft Bronny James, Trade For LeBron? - Sports Illustrated New York Knicks News, Analysis and More

After the de facto first quarter of the season, the New York Knicks are in an intriguing spot capable of staging the long-awaited LeBron James family reunion.

One can argue that no round of NBA transactional gossip is complete until someone tries to link LeBron James to the New York Knicks.

James and the Knicks have been a favorite pairing among NBA fanfiction writers ever since he made his infamous “Decision” to leave his original employers from Cleveland in 2010. Set to turn 39 on Dec. 30, James continues to flourish with the Los Angeles Lakers but there could be one last transition of his power before he’s ready to retire, giving the Knicks perhaps a final chance to lure James to Manhattan.

LeBron James 'Super Excited' for Son Bronny's College Basketball Debut

Bronny James (fourth from left) watches his father LeBron arrive prior to his collegiate debutRobert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The key lies in the fate of James’ son Bronny, whose career at the University of Southern California is officially underway after he missed the first month-plus of the Trojans’ season due to a cardiac arrest episode in July. Despite the delayed debut, Bronny is expected to declare for the 2024 NBA Draft and the elder James has made no secrets about his desire to share the floor with his son before his professional career ends.

Bronny James, son of LeBron James, is released from the hospital after  suffering cardiac arrest | CNN

Early projections have Bronny destined for the late stages of the 2024 draft’s first round. ESPN analyst and former NBA front office prescience Bobby Marks discussed the situation on “NBA Today” earlier this week, particularly the final third of the opening 30 picks.

Here certainly teams that have multiple picks,” Marks noted. “You can look at teams like Indiana (Pacers), the Knicks, of course, we’re going to be focused on what happens with that Lakers first.”

Bronny James expected to make USC debut Sunday

“Remember, New Orleans has the Lakers’ first but can defer until 2025. So, if that pick is at 23 or 24 and the Lakers had that, would they take Bronny James to pair up with his dad? But certainly, for those teams up in the lottery, it’s hard for me to see a team picking him just for the lure of getting LeBron there with him.”

As it stands, LeBron James has a $51.4 million player option for the 2024-25 season at age 40.

Entering Thursday night action, the Knicks (13-10) currently hold their regularly scheduled draft pick at 15th overall as well as the 24th from Dallas, the final piece of the Kristaps Porzingis trade from 2019. That puts them in presumed prime Bronny territory and would allow New York to make the best pitch James could ask for at this stage of his career.

Bronny James Misses First USC Basketball Practice but 'Doing Very Well'

If any team could more or less afford to spend a draft pick on a project like Bronny in the name of enticing his superstar father to head back east, it’s the Knicks.

New York has more or less eschewed the draft over the past two seasons, instead using selection night to make numerous deals that both cleared financial space for additions like Jalen Brunson and stored unnamed rookie ammunition that could be used in a trade … like one for LeBron James, perhaps.

Of course, it’s very, very early to start looking at the draft, even if the Knicks’ recent play suggests there won’t be much elevation or falling on the board. But there’s an undeniable path to a potential James family reunion being staged in Manhattan, at least the way the draft board shakes out so far.

Ironically enough, the Knicks are due to face the elder James and the Lakers on Monday night at Arena. In the meantime, their road trip continues on Friday night in Phoenix (10 p.m. ET, MSG/ESPN).

LeBron James reveals Bronny underwent surgery following cardiac arrest, but  says he is 'doing extremely well'

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