02 December 2011

Is Chris Paul Headed for the Knicks?

Yahoo! Sports broke the story yesterday that star point guard Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets had requested a trade to the New York Knicks yesterday after announcing that he will not be re-signing with the team. Then came out reports that he had not requested a trade and that the rumors were unfounded. But you had to figure that it was inevitable that Paul would want out of New Orleans once he aligned himself with guys like Maverick Carter, Leon Rose and William Wesley. And it is clear that Paul wants to come to New York. But will it happen?

Paul is pretty much doing what Carmelo Anthony did last season by refusing to sign a long-term extension with his current team to force a trade to a team he will sign an extension with. It would make more sense for the Knicks to sign him as a free agent so that they wouldn't have to give up anything in a trade. But the Hornets have been adamant that they will not let Paul hit free agency and lose him without getting anything in return.
The problem for the Knicks is that, unlike when they were trying to trade for Anthony, is that they do not have the assets to trade for Paul and they know it. The best the Knicks could offer New Orleans would be Chauncey Billups' expiring contract, guards Landry Fields and Toney Douglas, and rookie Iman Shumpert. Obviously that's not as good of a package like what Denver got in Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and the lovely Timofey Mosgov.
Who could offer New Orleans a strong package? Why the Clippers could, who Chris Broussard mentioned Paul would sign an extension with. The Clips could offer any combination of Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman, DeAndre Jordan and Mo Williams. And who wouldn't want to play with Blake Griffin?
But you know who could throw a wrench into everything? Dwight Howard. Paul has mentioned he wants to play with Howard but that would be very unlikely to happen in New York without some finagling done on the Knicks' behalf. Or should the Knicks be going after Howard instead?
Don't you love that the NBA is back?

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