Could the New York Knicks swing a trade for Chris Paul?
Future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul has been linked to the New York Knicks ever since his former agent Leon Rose took over as president of the team. Some recent chatter adds to that rumor.
In talking about the Thunder’s offseason plans, Royce Young, who is as clued in as anybody about Oklahoma City basketball, listed three teams that he believes could trade for Chris Paul: Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and New York.
“I look at three teams,” Young said when asked where Paul could get traded. “Bobby knows better than me, but I look at three teams as the most likely destinations: Philly, the Knicks, and Milwaukee. Those are the three teams that I think are logical places.”
Young listed the possible destinations while appearing on ESPN’s Hoop Collective Podcast with Brian Windhorst earlier this week.
The Knicks will enter the offseason with as much as $45 million of cap space, depending on what they do with numerous players on non-guaranteed contracts and team options. They will be one of the few teams who will have excess cap space to absorb large contracts in trade.
Paul is set to earn a whopping $41.4 million next season, with another $44.2 million due on a player option in 2021-22. Acquiring the 35-year-old All-Star would give New York instant stability at the point guard position and veteran leadership in the locker room, but would limit the team’s ability to acquire additional talent this year or next year using cap space.
Presumably, if the Knicks were to work out a trade for Paul, they would look to unload Julius Randle’s contract (set at $18.9 million next season) in the same deal or in a separate move. A report surfaced earlier this week that it’s the franchise’s “number one priority” to trade the forward this offseason.
Thunder beat writer Joe Mussatto wrote last week that the Thunder “isn’t likely to attach any draft picks to get Paul’s contracts off the books, especially after the season he had.” Mussatto also listed New York and Philadelphia as potential suitors for Paul.
SNY reported in April that there are people within the Knicks organization who believe trading for Paul would “jump-start” their rebuild.
On the heels of Young’s speculation, news broke on Tuesday that the Thunder and Billy Donovan have mutually parted ways, a flare signal into the NBA sky that the organization is committed to rebuilding, despite their recent season’s success.
“With reduced league revenues amid pandemic, there remains uncertainty on how long the Thunder might continue with key veterans in place before changing course on playoff contention,” Adrian Wojnarowski reported via Twitter. “The timetable on so many plans in the NBA remain fuzzy. This was an extremely amicable parting.”
Oklahoma City is set to lose Danilo Gallinari in free agency, another player linked to the Knicks, and the Donovan news only adds to the possibility that they will look to unload Paul and/or Steven Adams’ contracts.
Ian Begley of SNY recently speculated that if the Knicks were to swing a trade for Paul, perhaps that would entice Carmelo Anthony to join his friend in New York. The former Knick is coming off a playoff appearance with the Blazers, where he indicated he hopes to return.