There are people within the Knicks organization that are bullish on the idea of acquiring Chris Paul, feeling as if he would help build a winning culture in New York and would be a good leader for the team’s young players, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv.
However, according to Begley, there are also people in the organization wary of giving up too many assets in a trade for Paul. Those people want to make sure the club retains enough pieces to be able to make another trade down the road for a star player, sources tell Begley.
Given Paul’s massive contract, which still has two years and $85MM left on it, the Thunder are unlikely to extract a massive haul for their point guard. However, an All-Star season helped rebuild CP3’s value, and the Knicks would have to outbid other suitors, including the Suns, if they want to make a deal.
It’s probably safe to assume that Oklahoma City would seek at least one first-round pick and/or a young player in exchange for CP3 — Mitchell Robinson or RJ Barrett would likely be off limits, but the Thunder reportedly have interest in Kevin Knox.
In addition to all their own future first-round pick, the Knicks hold the Clippers’ pick (No. 27) in this year’s draft, as well as two future Mavericks first-rounders.
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- Within that same story, Begley considers whether the Knicks would be a fit for Russell Westbrook. As Begley observes, if the front office is wary of giving up too many assets in a Paul trade, it’s probably safe to assume that same stance would apply to a Westbrook deal. Like CP3, Westbrook is owed $41MM in 2020/21 and $44MM in ’21/22. The Rockets guard also has a $47MM player option for ’22/23.
- Exploring the Knicks’ draft options, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic says that Villanova forward Saddiq Bey is among the players who have worked out for New York during the pre-draft process. The No. 8 pick might be a little high for Bey, who would be a more viable option for the Knicks in a trade-down scenario.
- The Knicks have reached out to schedule a second interview with Stanford’s Tyrell Terry, tweets Vorkunov. It’s possible Terry will still be on the board at No. 27, though his stock has been on the rise and he has generated mid-first-round buzz.