Chris Paul is among several players expected to be available on the trade market in the 2020 offseason to whom the New York Knicks have been linked. The veteran Oklahoma City Thunder point guard is one of several targets the Knicks may pursue, as they’re expected to be more aggressive in upgrading their roster this fall after suffering another huge disappointment in the 2019-20 NBA season.
With the team heading into an inevitable rebuild, there’s indeed a strong chance that the Thunder will consider moving Paul this fall. However, the Thunder aren’t expected to send CP3 to New York just to get rid of his massive salary. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Oklahoma City could demand a package centered on Kevin Knox in the potential deal that would send Paul to the Knicks.
“If Knicks president Leon Rose takes the leap for 35-year-old Chris Paul, he may have to give up on Kevin Knox, according to an NBA source. The Thunder are motivated to deal Paul and his massive contract after deciding upon a rebuilding campaign following Billy Donovan’s firing. Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti likely will want a first-round pick and a young prospect still on his rookie contract, multiple league officials believe. According to the source, that young player preferably would be Knox, the ninth pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, who is coming off a disappointing sophomore campaign.”
It’s hard to blame the Thunder for asking for a young player like Knox in exchange for Paul. Compared to last summer, Paul has increased his trade value with his impressive performance in the 2019-20 NBA season, in which he averaged 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Though he’s already on the near end of his career, he can still make a huge impact on both ends of the floor and could help install a winning culture on a rebuilding team like the Knicks.
If they succeed in acquiring CP3, the Knicks could immediately go after their next target – Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trail Blazers. Anthony may have expressed his desire to re-sign with the Trail Blazers in free agency, but Berman believes that Paul’s potential arrival in New York could alter his plans. Paul and Anthony aren’t just close pals; they are also former clients of Rose.
The acquisition of Paul and Anthony is definitely not enough to turn the Knicks into an instant title contender in the Eastern Conference next year. However, having both veteran superstars on their roster would give them a realistic chance of returning to the playoffs, which could make them an attractive destination for superstar free agents in the summer of 2021.