The New York Knicks are aware of this: Veteran NBA point guard Chris Paul is in the midst of an incredible season as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. While the Thunder were initially believed to be ready to rebuild from the ground up upon originally acquiring the aging Paul from the Houston Rockets this past offseason, Oklahoma City now finds itself right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
Not only that, but thanks to Paul and his outstanding play throughout the 2019-20 regular season, the No. 5 seeded Thunder are actually a half-game ahead the aforementioned Rockets as it stands today. Despite inheriting what seems like an unlimited amount of first round NBA Draft picks for the next few seasons, the Thunder ultimately decided to keep and briefly build around Paul in order to remain competitive in 2019-20.
However, because the longtime NBA signal caller isn’t get any younger despite getting more and more expensive as the years go on, the Thunder have been rumored to be interested in at least listening to teams that are potentially intrigued in Paul’s services — including the lowly New York Knicks. Because the Knicks have a ton of NBA Draft capital and a slew of young players to possibly part ways with, the Thunder should most definitely listen if New York comes calling.
On the other hand, though, should the Knicks even consider pulling the trigger on something like this? Absolutely not.
The New York Knicks have spent years attempting to get younger in order to rebuild
Upon trading superstar power forward Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks midway through last season, the New York Knicks pretty much waved the white flag in terms of competing anytime soon. Unable to secure top-notch free agents year after year with this past offseason being no different, the Knicks have since turned toward rebuilding from the ground-up en route to playing a slew of young players alongside a bunch of veterans on short-term deals.
If the Knicks were to acquire Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, the struggling Eastern Conference franchise would literally be contradicting itself and its entire mindset for the future. Although this team can certainly use a point guard, a young signal caller with the ability to lead this team into the future should be preferred over Paul.
The New York Knicks need to spend money on a long-term solution, not a quick fix
Following the conclusion of the 2019-20 campaign, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul will have just two years left on his current contract. However, Paul remains in line to get paid — and then some — despite his age as his next two annual salaries will be over $41 million in 2020-21 and over $44 million in 2021-22. With Paul’s age 35 and age 36 seasons coming along with some serious money attached to them, the New York Knicks should absolutely steer clear of making a trade for the veteran signal caller.
Not only would this cost the Knicks some talent and future NBA Draft picks, but this team needs a ton of help now and in the future — something that Paul simply cannot provide at this point in his career. Although he can serve as a quick fix for the Knicks at the point guard position, the Knicks would more than likely be forced to give up way too much in order to add Paul to the mix while he simply can’t help the team take the next steps into turning back into a legitimate contender for the long haul.
With the money that the Knicks would be forced to pay Paul over the course of one or two seasons, New York could potentially sign several players instead, which would allow the once heralded Eastern Conference franchise to have both moldable talent and depth — a rarity in the “Big Apple” these days.
Can Chris Paul once again produce incredible numbers? In New York? With less around him?
There answer to this question isn’t simple but it is unlikely that longtime NBA point guard Chris Paul can reproduce the season that he is having for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2019-20. It is also worth noting that the Thunder somehow managed to acquire future first round NBA Draft picks while putting a very solid team around Paul as well this time around. As a result, it would be quite difficult for Paul to record such gaudy numbers once again, especially since he wouldn’t be surrounded by such a solid squad in New York. As everyone knows, it isn’t so easy playing for the New York Knicks under the bright lights in general, let alone with a cast of young, up-and-coming players.
The Knicks probably should have attempted to land Paul a few years back if New York was ever going to do it. Unfortunately, the time for such a deal has officially come and gone.