The return to Cleveland brought a championship to the Cavs and made LeBron James welcome in his hometown once again. The writing on the wall indicates that when LeBron’s contract ends following next season, he’s heading west and taking his talents to Tinseltown.

In that final season before he becomes a Free Agent, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have two options:

1 – Add Pieces, Challenge The Warriors Again

The Indiana Pacers are a year away from losing Paul George (also likely to Los Angeles), and they’re looking to get something in return when he leaves town. There are talks that he may join the Cavs, but that would mean Cleveland would be leveraging a considerable portion of their future on the idea that adding Paul George would be sufficient to help them defeat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals next year, regardless of what the Cavs might have to give away to obtain the All Star from Indiana.

2 – Trade LeBron James

If the Cavs could find a landing spot amenable to LeBron James, they might be able to convince him to get rid of the No Trade clause in his contract in able to make a deal happen. LeBron’s return to Cleveland showed that he is capable of making a team a contender to win the Eastern Conference, so finding a landing spot isn’t as simple as just looking at the teams who qualified for post season.

One major item on the wish list should be that the team is in the Eastern Conference. Thus far all three of the teams LeBron has played for have been in the East, and if he wants to ensure yet another consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, especially if he’s only going to be on his next team for 1 season, he will want to stay away from having to defeat the Spurs and/or the Warriors to get there.

He will probably need a huge market city to play in, to make the money and investment from the other team worth making the move. Their ticket sales will likely sky-rocket, the increased revenue helping offset the costs of getting him there.

For these reasons, the New York Knicks would be a great one-season landing spot.

Look at the pieces he would have around him. They would be perfect for the former MVP. They include all the pieces he would need to pose a legitimate threat to the Golden State Warriors, and he NEEDS pieces to defeat Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and crew.

LeBron James doesn’t need an All NBA level Point Guard in the starting 5 with him. Kyrie Irving is an incredible player, arguably one of the top 5 in the NBA, arguably the best at his position, but the problem is that LeBron James loves to have the game run through him. He takes over much of the traditional responsibilities of a Point Guard, so why worry about having someone in that position who takes up one of the Max Contract spots on the team? It’s a waste.

Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The friendship between Carmello Anthony and LeBron James is well documented, so that would be something about the Knicks which would appeal to him as a landing destination. Carmello fits well into how LeBron plays the game, and would be the welcoming recipient of the Assists James typically tallies on a nightly basis. The scoring Anthony provides would take considerable pressure away from LeBron, who looked visibly stressed on nights Kyrie didn’t pull his weight in the playoffs.

With the need for scoring basically covered by LeBron and Carmello, the big concern at this point would be for LeBron’s new landing point to have talent on the defensive side of things, and that’s where the Knicks have a huge opportunity. The pieces are there, they just need the proper motivation and opportunity.

The biggest thing Joakim Noah brings to the table is his ability as a defender, showing that in a huge way in 2014. Not only can he help the team in this way, but he can also serve as a mentor to Kristas Porzingis to be considerably improved in this way as well. Derek Rose has all the skills necessary to be a great defender as well, but the problem he and the two aforementioned big men have to deal with are the motivation to put in the effort, and the other responsibilities they’re facing.

LeBron James added to the roster makes them better defenders.

There’s no way any of those guys are going to give partial effort with LeBron around. He demands it. But he also brings the Knicks into a position where they will be rewarded if they put in the effort. Had those guys given 100% effort on defense in 2017, they might’ve won 45 games instead of the 31 that they ended up earning. But there was no way that team was going to legitimately contend for the NBA Finals. They weren’t going to beat Cleveland in the playoffs, so they didn’t give their full effort. Porzingis didn’t have the opportunity to take focus away from the offensive side of his game to get better on defense. Noah and Rose knew that if they worked hard, they still weren’t going to make it deep into the playoffs.

Now they will.

And besides having pieces already in place who can help LeBron be successful in The Big Apple, there’s a chance that they could bring in someone like Paul George to add another huge piece to the team, and one which might stay on and sign a huge contract moving forward. LeBron could be the missing piece for one season to help bring in a huge name, but they could find other ways to entice that star to stay.

Those other reasons are things that would also help attract LeBron to the Knicks in the first place. Madison Square Garden aside, there are huge opportunities to grow a player’s individual “brand” in New York that don’t exist anywhere else aside from Los Angeles. And in the Eastern Conference, with LeBron either on the same team or moved out West, there are no other Super Teams that stand in the way as immovable obstacles standing in the way of reaching the NBA Finals.

Though trading away LeBron James might seem like an insane idea, it’s one that the Cleveland Cavaliers should certainly look into. He’s going to be in Los Angeles in 2019. He recently purchased a house there, and by house, I mean a $20 MILLION dollar mansion. That type of investment doesn’t scream “summer home”, not even for someone at LeBron’s level. The Cavs have already watched him leave town once with nothing gotten in return, why do it again? They just fired their General Manager, perhaps their owner who has already publicly spoken poorly of LeBron James back when the MVP left town the first time has already given indications to his front office that they will soon be parting ways with LeBron.

What better landing spot than the Knicks?