With Leon Rose currently serving as the president of basketball operations, the New York Knicks are expected to be more aggressive in building a roster that could boost their chances of ending their playoff drought in the 2020-21 NBA season. Though the development of their young core remains their No. 1 priority, they could also look for quality veterans that could help them become a more competitive team in the Eastern Conference next year.
The 2020 NBA free agency may not be as star-studded as the previous off-season, but there would be plenty of intriguing targets on the trade market for them this fall.
One of the NBA players who is currently being frequently linked to the Knicks is veteran point guard Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
According to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, the Paul-to-OKC deal is one of the few moves that the Knicks could make this fall to reach the 2021 NBA playoffs. To acquire Paul, Hughes suggested that the Knicks could offer a trade package that includes Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox II, and Reggie Bullock to the Thunder.
“The structure of this deal is highly flexible, as the New York Knicks can either renounce rights on several additional players to take Paul into cap space, or include those guys in the deal if the Thunder carve out room in other ways and want, say, Elfrid Payton,” Hughes wrote. “At a bare minimum, the Knicks have to include Ntilikina and Knox to get any interest from the Thunder. Both prospects have obvious flaws—Ntilikina doesn’t have an offensive game, and Knox lacks defense and scoring efficiency—but they’re both young and should get better with time.”
Despite his age and massive contract, bringing Paul to New York really makes a lot of sense to the Knicks. Paul may not fit the timeline of their young core, but the way he turned the Russell Westbrook- and Paul George-less Thunder into a legitimate playoff contender gives hope that he could also do the same with the Knicks next season.
Aside from giving them a future NBA Hall of Famer as their mentor, the most important thing that Paul could do is to install a winning environment in New York.
Meanwhile, the proposed trade deal is a no-brainer for the Thunder, especially if they push through with plans to rebuild the team around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Though they both failed to live up to expectations from their respective draft slots, Ntilikina and Knox are still young enough to prove that they really belong in the NBA. Being in a new environment where they would be less pressure and controversy would allow them to focus more on the areas that they need to improve with their game.