According to a recent report, Chris Paul did not show much interest when the New York Knicks tried to acquire him from the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier in the offseason, in hopes of ending a playoff drought that has lasted since 2013.
As reported on Monday night by Marc Berman of the New York Post, Knicks president Leon Rose had big plans when he first assumed the role earlier this year, as he hoped to make a move for Paul and also acquire Carmelo Anthony after his one-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers expired. However, neither of those plans came to fruition, as a source told Berman that Paul “was not feeling the Knicks” because he wanted to be on a team that plays close enough to his son in Los Angeles.
Instead of moving to the Big Apple for the 2020-21 season, Paul was traded to the Phoenix Suns for a package including Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ricky Rubio, both of whom have since been moved elsewhere. The 35-year-old will be providing experience to a young team that was previously led by shooting guard Devin Booker and center Deandre Ayton.
Anthony, meanwhile, chose to re-sign with the Blazers instead of returning to his hometown club.
As further noted, the Knicks were left with another collection of “one-year, stopgap players,” as well as first-round picks Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley as their key additions so far in the ongoing offseason. The team also had to bring back one of their point guards from last year’s roster, Elfrid Payton, after failing to land another top target in Fred VanVleet, who re-signed with the Toronto Raptors.
Per Bleacher Report, Paul played just one season for the Thunder after successful stints with the New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Houston Rockets. He did, however, get named to his 10th All-Star Game, averaging 17.6 points, five rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals and shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from three-point range. The veteran also was instrumental in helping Oklahoma City make a surprising run to the playoffs in the 2019-20 campaign.
While Paul is expected to help the Suns reach the postseason in his first year with the club, predictions for the Knicks aren’t too optimistic for the upcoming 2020-21 season, the publication added. Given their lack of progress in free agency and on the trade market, the site pointed out that any improvement will largely depend on the progress of their young core players, including Toppin, R.J. Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson.