Written By: Matt Vereb

Imagine you are Donnie Walsh, President of the New York Knicks. Your team plays in the most prestigious arena in the world. Ever since Patrick Ewing retired, your team has been awful. However, the best basketball player on the planet will be available via free agency during the Summer. This player also loves New York, regularly attends Yankee games, and has sneaker designed with Yankee pinstripes. If you haven’t figured it out our mystery athlete yet, look no further than 6’9 small forward, LeBron James. If I’m Walsh, I’m doing everything in my power to get James to sign on.

Let’s rewind to the 2009 NBA draft. The Knicks selected University of Arizona Junior Power Forward, Jordan Hill with the 8th Overall Draft pick. This move signified that the team was ready to move on from David Lee. Lee’s contract expires after the season. Hill was one of the top power forward prospects. He has tremendous upside, but his 2010 production has been minimal. Hill is only averaging 4.3 points, 2.6 rebs, and 10 minutes per game. Remember, the 2009 draft is one of the key drawing points in attracting LeBron James. Hill has not made an immediate impact on Knicks. LeBron wants a situation where he can win now, not waiting for Hill to mature.

Let’s move our focus towards, Lottomatica Roma PG Brandon Jennings. Jennings was a herald high school basketball product that had many scholarship articles. Jennings originally committed to USC, de-committed from Arizona, and then chose to play basketball overseas in Italy. Roma guaranteed Jennings a $1.65 million contract and Under Armour signed Jennings to a $2 million sponsorship deal. Jennings was able to sign endorsements while his fellow draft mate spent a year in college. In Italy, Jennings averaged 5.5 points with 2.2 assists per contest. Italy plays a more conservative type of game which does not garner many shots per player. Playing in Italy was just a means to an end for Jennings.

Jennings was drafted 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks and has shined ever since. Jennings is averaging 17.2 points per game with 6.2 assists. Jennings had a 55 point scoring barrage November 14th against Golden State. Jennings has become a front runner for Rookie of the Year.

Let’s go back to the draft. If the Knicks draft Jennings, they profile his skills for a season in hopes of luring James. Jennings has the potential to be a special player. Jordan Hill? We don’t know yet, but LeBron will make a free agent impact only once in his career. The time is now. Imagine James and Jennings running up and down the courts at Madison Square Garden for the next 10 years. NBA championship aspirations floating in Knicks fans heads. It’s nice to dream right?