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Rumor: Kevin Knox the key to Knicks trading for Thunder star Chris Paul

Chris Paul, Kevin Knox, Knicks, Thunder

If the New York Knicks want to acquire Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason, they will probably have to part ways with Kevin Knox.

The Knicks have been heavily linked to a Paul trade since their new president of basketball operations, Leon Rose, used to be CP3’s agent.

Via Marc Berman of the New York Post:

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 GM Sam Presti will likely want a first-round pick and a young prospect amid his rookie contract, multiple league officials believe.

According to the source, that young player preferably is Knox, the ninth pick in the 2018 NBA Draft coming off a disappointing sophomore campaign.

While Knox has really struggled in his first two seasons in the NBA, the Knicks reportedly would prefer to keep him and include either Frank Ntilikina or Dennis Smith Jr. in a trade for Paul. A player like Julius Randle may also be involved.

However, the Thunder already have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in place. They also reportedly aren’t fans of Smith.

As for Chris Paul, he’s 35 years old and at the tail end of his Hall of Fame career. However, he’s better than any other point guard the Knicks have on their roster at the moment and Leon Rose is desperate to get some star power in The Big Apple.

For the Thunder in 2019-20, Paul averaged 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game while shooting 48.9 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from beyond the arc and 90.7 percent from the free-throw line. That is production the Knicks would love to get from their starting point guard spot under new head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Moving forward, though, Paul is owed a ton of money. He’s set to make $41,358,814 next season and has a player option worth $44,211,146 for the 2021-22 season that he’s not going to turn down under any circumstance.

Once the 2020 offseason period begins, it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with Paul.