It’s been simmering for awhile but it finally seemed to boil over yesterday: Chris Paul wants out of New Orleans.
Apparently, the Knicks are on his short list and that has a lot of fans giddy. But, I’d like to step on the brakes a little.
It’s obvious Paul is a top 5-10 player in the league but that doesn’t mean the Knicks should burn the house down in order to get him. I don’t want the Knicks to be left with Amare, Paul, and a pile of smoldering rubble. I’d urge fans to look how far the Knicks have come after their 10 year foray into the wilderness. For the first time the team has the semblance of a balanced roster, with a superstar, veteran leadership, up and coming potential stars, good role players, depth on the bench, and importantly, cap flexibility going forward.
Depending on what New Orleans is demanding for Paul, I’d say the Knicks would have to sacrifice a lot of that. It may not be worth it.
Sure, the Knicks with John Candy, Amare, Gallo/Randolph, Chris Farley and Chris Paul could probably win close to 50 games but the Knicks are headed in that direction anyway. If you trade for Chris Paul and give up valuable assets you want to be a contender and that means keeping some of your rising stars, some of your depth, and importantly, your flexibility.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d make a trade for Chris Paul, but I’d impose he following condition: If the Hornets want Randolph or Gallinari, they shouldn’t expect the Knicks to take back Emeka Okafor and the 4 years/$52 million left on his contract. The Knicks have come too far after too long and made significant sacrifices. Losing a rising star, bench depth, and killing future flexibility is a non-starter for me since the Knicks would not necessarily be transformed into a title contender and they would have a limited ability to improve going forward.
Believe it or not there are alternatives to Chris Paul. The Knicks can make no additional roster moves this year and have space for Tony Parker next Summer. All the while they would see what they have with Gallinari, Randolph, Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler, etc., and they would maintain the flexibility to improve through future roster moves.
On a related note I’d like to remind Knicks’ fans how they got burned this summer by arrogant players who lead them along instead of being up front and making clear that they never had any intention to sign with the Knicks. The Knicks have and will be used for leverage. It does make me uncomfortable that Chris Paul is in bed with the Maverick Carter, LRMR and CAA douchebag triumvirate. Frankly I pay no credence to rumors emanating from that manipulative, duplicitous, stinking pile of carrion. Same with their pro-bono PR-firm, ESPN. If something happens, great, until then, I’m very excited about the group the Knicks have assembled.
The Knicks don’t need to sell their souls just to take a short trip to purgatory before returning the hell.