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Report: Knicks refused Rockets’ offer of trading Chris Paul into cap space

Chris Paul, Scott Perry

It’s no secret that Chris Paul may be available for trade, and the Houston Rockets have already explored trading him to the New York Knicks, who can absorb Paul’s salary, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

However, the Knicks rebuffed the Rockets.

O’Connor notes that Houston is attempting to free up enough cap space to make a run at Jimmy Butler, and in order to do that, the Rockets would have to trade Paul and then one of Clint Capela or Eric Gordon.

New York’s refusal to take on Paul is certainly interesting and speaks volumes on how opinions of Paul have changed around the league, which does not come as too much of a surprise given Paul’s age and salary.

The 34-year-old floor general is scheduled to make $38.5 million next season, $41.4 million the following year and has a massive $44.2 million player option that he may very well exercise for the 2021-22 campaign.

While Paul is still productive and is coming off a solid season in which he averaged 15.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game, he is clearly not the same player he was even two years ago, and he has only played 58 games each of the last two seasons.

Paul’s injury history is common knowledge, as the point guard has not played 70 games since the 2015-16 campaign and has played 80 games just once since 2011-12. But these past couple of seasons have marked the first time he has failed to appear in 60 contests since 2009-10.

Paul has been said to want out of Houston because of his deteriorating relationship with James Harden. While Paul and the Rockets have denied this, it seems clear the franchise has at least explored trade options.