Are the New York Knicks preparing an offer for Chris Paul?
The New York Knicks, led by Chris Paul’s former agent Leon Rose, are reportedly “readying initial offers” to try to bring the future Hall-of-Fame point guard to New York.
Brandon “Scoop” Robinson reported the Knicks have an offer lined up last week. Jonathan Macri of Knicks Film School confirms Scoop’s report and adds that forward Julius Randle and 2018 lottery pick Kevin Knox are involved in internal discussions as potential players going the other way.
Paul is due to make $41.4 million in 2020-21 with a player option for $44.2 million in 2021-22. The Knicks – who can create close to $45 million in cap space this offseason depending on where the cap lands – are one of the few teams in the league with enough room to absorb Paul’s salary this offseason. The fact New York wouldn’t need to send much salary back to Oklahoma City to make a deal work could put them in the driver’s seat in negotiations.
While Randle is due to make $18.9 million next season, his 2021-22 salary is only partially guaranteed for $4 million. Knox is entering the third year of his rookie scale contract that is set to pay him just $4.6 million in 2020-21.
Oklahoma City exceeded expectations this past season, mainly due to the leadership and performance of Paul. The Thunder won 44 games and reached the Western Conference playoffs. However, with the pandemic impacting league revenues and head coach Billy Donovan parting ways, it appears OKC is looking to shed salary and focus on rebuilding through the younger pieces on their roster.
SNY reported in April that people within the Knicks organization believe trading for the Point God would help jump-start the team’s rebuild. The Rockets tried to trade Paul to the Knicks in 2019, according to the Ringer, but the Knicks weren’t interested. The New York Post reported earlier this week that current team president Leon Rose, who was Paul’s agent at the time, was pushing for the move.