Entering the 2019-20 NBA season without a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster, the New York Knicks are expected to miss the Eastern Conference Playoffs for the seventh consecutive year. As of now, the Knicks are focused on the development of their young players and finding ways to improve their roster over the summer. Though the season is far from over, the Knicks are already being linked to several NBA players who are expected to be available on the trade market during the 2020 offseason, including Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
According to Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report, acquiring Paul from the Thunder should be one of the Knicks’ top priorities this summer. The idea of bringing Paul to New York would definitely raise the eyebrows of several Knicks’ fans. With his age and deteriorating performance, he is clearly an odd fit with their young core.
However, based on his impact in Oklahoma City, Bailey believes that adding a “culture-setter” like Paul would greatly benefit the Knicks’ young core of RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Allonzo Trier, and Frank Ntilikina.
“But Paul proved to be a culture-setter while producing like a top-10 player for the Thunder this season. And no one is in need of a culture reset quite like the New York Knicks. Get Paul around youngsters RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox or whoever else might be left after the trade. Let them see how he works. Let him set them up for easier looks than they’ve seen. Let CP3 run this show for the last two years of this deal. See if he can legitimize the Knicks, an organization that has struggled immensely over the last 20 years.”
When he first arrived in Oklahoma City, most people viewed Paul as an aging veteran who consumed a huge chunk of the Thunder’s salary cap space. However, as the 2019-2020 NBA season continued, Paul proved to be a valuable piece for the team. Not only did he help the Thunder become a playoff contender in the deep Western Conference, he also became a great mentor to the team’s young point guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Paul could provide the same impact for the Knicks and help them install a winning culture in their young core. However, to acquire him from the Thunder, New York needs come up with an interesting offer. Aside from giving them salary cap relief, the Knicks should be willing to include a young player or a future draft pick in the trade package.