The New York Knicks have recently been linked to former All-Star Chris Paul. With the recent rumors let’s take a look at the team’s recent history of point guards.
The rumors about the possibility of Chris Paul arriving to the Big Apple have increased during the week. Though the 34 years old said that the New York Knicks are “trying to take some of that attention away from that Spike Lee stuff”, truth is that the idea of bring him to the team doesn’t sound crazy at all.
Without of doubt, one of the biggest needs for the Knickerbockers is a reliable point guard. Someone who can command the team and who has the ability to accurately run the system in order to put the team in the best position to get more wins.
Bringing in a stellar point guard is not something new for the Knicks, so let’s take a look back to the most notable point guards that have arrived to New York via trade or free agency in the last 20 years.
Marbury was 27 and had 8 years in the NBA under his belt when he joined the New York Knicks, and was one of the most notable point guards in the Association. During his five seasons with the team, Stephon played 287 games, averaging 18.2 points and seven assists per game.
Those are not bad numbers, however, with him as a commander, the Knickerbockers finished with a 151-239 record and did not have a winning season.
Steve Francis was the next big name who played for the Knicks. At 29, he arrived to the Big Apple in 2006 in exchange for Trevor Ariza and Anfernee Hardaway. Francis stayed with the team for one and a half seasons, and averaged 11.1 points and 3.7 assists in 68 games played for the New York Knicks.
Baron Davis was the next big name who played for the Knicks. At 32, he arrived to the Big Apple in 2011 as a free agent. He stayed with the Knicks for just one year, but his numbers were not as good as the team expected. Davis played just 29 games and averaged 6.1 points and 4.7 assist per game.
Mike Bibby was another point guard that came to the Knicks as a free agent. He was 33 and as well as Baron Davis, he stayed with the team just for one season and his impact also was not as good as Knickerbockers expected. Bibby averaged 2.6 points and 2.1 assists in 39 games in a Knicks uniform.
Rose played just one season for the New York Knicks, and despite having shared the court with Carmelo Anthony and with the rising star Kristaps Porzingis, the Knickerbockers finished that season with a 31-51 record.
In 64 games, Rose averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists per game, what place him as the second best player in this review, just one step behind Stephon Marbury, but as well as Marbury, Rose was not brought the results than the team was expected.
You might be asking about other notable point guards that have dressed in the Knicks uniform up during the last 20 years, and of course I have in mind another names like Jalen Rose and Chauncey Billips, but actually, those players are in another category, because they didn’t complete a season in the Big Apple. Anyway, let’s take a quick review of his numbers with the Knickerbockers:
Jalen Rose (2005-2006):
He came to the team in the Antonio Davis trade in 2005. In 26 games with the Knicks, he averaged 12.7 points and 2.6 assists per game. Rose was 28
Chauncey Billups (2010-2011):
He came to the team in the same trade as Carmelo Anthony. In 21 games with the Knicks, he averaged 17.5 points and 5.5 assists per game. He was 35.
After all that said, it is time to talk about Chris Paul. First of all we have to understand, as Lorenzo DeScala noted in his article “What Would It Take To Get Chris Paul To New York”, that if the Knicks want to bring Paul to the Big Apple they will have to give some draft picks in exchange.
However, that is something the team does not want to do, or at least that was the idea when Steve Mills was the Knickerbockers’ president, but with him and Leon Rose in as the new President, that thinking may be changed.
Right now New York has plenty of draft picks for the next few years, and giving away some of them in exchange for a proven point guard like Chris Paul could be a good business for the New York Knicks. Actually, some draft experts thinks that this year draft class is not as good as next year can be, so maybe give away one or two 2020 draft picks is not a crazy idea.
Another thing that the Knicks have to take into consideration is the cost and impact to the salary cap that bringing in Paul will have. He is projected to earn 41+ millions in 2020 and 44+ in 2021, so the Knickerbockers will have to let go of players like Julius Randle and Bobby Portis.
But maybe that will not be a bad move, because at the end, the most important thing in this moment is the development of young guys like RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, and to be honest, Chris Paul looks like a better mentor that Randle and Portis.
Anyway, there is nothing certain about this situation, we don’t know if the Thunder are open to trade Paul. Most important, we don’t know if he is interested in playing for the New York Knicks, so we will have to wait until the end of the season to find out what will it happen.