New York Knicks: Pros and Cons of trading for Chris Paul

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 20: Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts to a foul during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 20, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 20: Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts to a foul during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 20, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 06: Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 06, 2020 in New York City. Oklahoma City Thunder defeats the New York Knicks 126-103. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

PRO: Knicks in position to punt cap space

While acquiring Chris Paul would be costly to the Knicks in terms of cap space over the next two seasons, that might not be such a bad thing.

Many Knicks fans want the team to remain invested in their young core of prospects, and they can do that, but it means they need time to develop. Both Mitchell Robinson (22) and RJ Barrett (20) are a few years away from reaching the age where they can be expected to lead the Knicks into the playoffs on their own. The same applies to the three draft picks New York could potentially add to their roster this offseason. Not to mention, Leon Rose could use some time to evaluate the futures of Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox.

While the Knicks develop their young core, Chris Paul can provide a bridge to when they are ready to take the next step in becoming the faces of the franchise. His contract is allowable as long as the majority of the roster is being paid at a relatively cheap rate.

Should the Knicks decide to wait in extending Mitchell Robinson, he is due less than $4 million over the next two seasons. He would become an unrestricted free agent at the same time when Paul’s salary comes off the books. Meanwhile, Barrett would still be in his rookie contract, as would their 2020 lottery pick.

Once the Knicks get through this season and Paul’s contract becomes an expiring one, they also gain flexibility in perhaps moving him again. And most importantly, they still have existing salary (i.e. Julius Randle) matched with desirable assets (draft picks, young players) to help swing a trade for another All-Star player to pair alongside Paul.

Next. 1 FA target from every Central division team. dark

In other words, just because Paul takes up a lot of cap space over the next two seasons, it doesn’t mean the Knicks can’t improve their roster through player development, trades, and patience.