New York Knicks: Should Chris Paul be an offseason trade target?

NBA Oklahoma City Thunder Chris Paul (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NBA Oklahoma City Thunder Chris Paul (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Exploring whether the New York Knicks should target Chris Paul during the offseason and if it would make any sense for the team.

A few weeks ago, before the NBA world was flipped upside down and suspended play, there was a rumor that suggested the New York Knicks, of all teams, could emerge as a potential landing spot for Chris Paul during the offseason.

After being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Paul was shopped to no avail leading up to the start of the 2019-20 NBA season. Even after a tremendous season with OKC this year, after leading a Thunder team that no one believed in to a would-be playoff spot – OKC sits in the 5th seed out West in the middle of the hiatus – there’s a good chance that Paul could be on the move this summer if the right deal presented itself.

Enter the Knicks.

New York has the cap space to absorb Paul’s deal and could have the draft capital and/or the young prospects that the Thunder would be looking for as a return. If New York wanted to keep picks out of the deal, they could dangle Frank Ntilikina and/or Kevin Knox – two young players that New York has grown somewhat frustrated with as of late – in a potential deal.

Most of all, they also have an interest.

While this may seem like a short-sighted move on the surface, there could be some upside for the Knicks. For one, adding a player like Chris Paul would bring certain leadership and culture that this team has not had in a very long time.

Say what you want about the aging Paul, but he’s been a winner through and through. He hasn’t won an NBA championship yet, but he’s overcome many obstacles throughout his career. Most of his team’s shortcomings haven’t been because of him.

There’s no question that he’d help the Knicks, and their locker room, from the moment he would step into the building. However, as is always the case for the Knicks, they can’t overreact and give up whatever the Thunder wants in such a deal.

If the Knicks are interested, they can’t overplay their hand. They need to be smart and take a potential deal, only if it’s there. And such a deal shouldn’t have to handcuff the franchise in terms of losing draft picks.

There’s nothing wrong with New York being interested in Chris Paul. He could be a valuable asset in their rebuilding process, especially if he could come in and mentor some of this team’s younger players.

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However, their interest should certainly depend and weigh upon how the Thunder wants to move forward with a potential trade. If the Knicks can acquire Paul without breaking the bank (assets), it certainly should be an option. Otherwise, the Knicks should stay away from making another crucial mistake that will only further hurt this team’s rebuilding process.