The New York Knicks are bad. After a dreadful loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Scott Perry and Steve Mills addressed the Media and this only made things worse. Coming into the season, though they didn’t have the offseason that they were expected to have, many fans were optimistic about the future of this team as they were able to draft R.J. Barrett and sign Julius Randle.
Now, this team is looking to have the worst record in the league once again as they are currently 2-9. This poor start is due to a combination of poor coaching and poor play. Fizdale has been abysmal as a head coach as he is reluctant to give consistent minutes to Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier and has been unable to establish an identity for this team. Another reason for the Knicks’ poor start is due to the mediocre play from their veteran players.
Their biggest free-agent acquisition, Julius Randle, has regressed this season as he is averaging 15.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game on 43.4% from the field and 21.2% shooting from three. Compared to last season, he is averaging 5.9 fewer points and shooting 9% worse from the field and 12.2% worse from three. As for the other 5 free agents that they signed this past offseason, the only two of them (Marcus Morris and Taj Gibson) are shooting above 40% percent from the field.
The biggest concern currently for the New York Knicks is the point guard position. Dennis Smith Jr. has not played much this season due to unfortunate personal reasons but when he has played, he has been horrendous. In 3 games this season, he is only averaging a single point per game and is shooting less than 10% from the field and three.
Elfrid Payton has only appeared in 4 games due to injury and in these games, he is averaging 8 points and 3.8 assists per game on a putrid 37.9% shooting from the field. The case can be made that Frank Ntilikina has been the best point guard for the Knicks and after a slow start, he has picked it up over the last few games.
With no direction this season, the Knicks should look to make some trades and one player they should look to acquire is Chris Paul.
Why should the Knicks trade for Chris Paul?
Trading for Chris Paul would be extremely beneficial for this Knicks team. For starters, adding Chris Paul will bring another veteran to the roster. Of the 17 players on the Knicks’ roster, only 7 of them have played in the NBA for more than 3 seasons and the key to having a successful rebuild to make sure you have key veterans who will be able to make it easier on the young players. So far this year, Chris Paul is averaging 16.1 points and 5.2 assists per game on 46% shooting from the field and a stellar 44.4% shooting from the three-point line.
Chris Paul would have a great impact on this team as he would improve their putrid scoring, playmaking, and defense. Chris Paul would also have a substantial impact on the young core of R.J. Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Frank Ntilikina.
For Barrett, according to stats, he has been at his best when he takes a small number of dribbles as he is shooting 47.1% from the field when he takes one dribble compared to 37.5% from the field when he takes 3-6 dribbles. Kevin Knox has excelled this year when it comes to Catch and Shoot jumpers as he is shooting 44.7% on Catch-and-Shoot threes this year while taking 3.8 a game.
Kevin Knox, just as R.J. Barrett, is at his best when he has a limited number of dribbles during a possession as he is shooting 47.8% from the field and 44.7% from three when he doesn’t take a single dribble during a possession compared 35.7% from the field when he takes 3-6.
As for Frank Ntilikina and Mitchell Robinson, Chris Paul would help take the offensive pressure away from Frank so that he can focus on being more of a 3-and-D player and the pick-and-roll between CP3 and Mitchell Robinson would be beautiful.
A potential trade involving Chris Paul would be Chris Paul, Andre Roberson, Hamidou Diallo, and a future 2nd round pick in exchange for Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis, and Dennis Smith Jr.
For the Thunder, getting out of Chris Paul’s contract would be amazing. Marcus Morris is currently on a one-year deal and Bobby Portis has a team-option so this would be a low-risk, high-reward trade.
For the Knicks, CP3 looks to be the player to help turn the Knicks’ season around with his scoring, playmaking, and defense. Andre Roberson would be an excellent defender for you and Hamidou Diallo is a player who could blossom into a great player for you.
How does Chris Paul impact the future?
Chris Paul will have an immense impact on the future of the Knicks. Though CP3 will improve the team, they still wouldn’t be a playoff team and a team still looking at a top-5 pick. In this draft, the Knicks will certainly look at drafting a point guard with their pick and the two players that they should consider are Cole Anthony and LaMelo Ball.
For the Thunder so far, Chris Paul has done a good job challenging Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and helping him to improve his game. Playing alongside Chris Paul would make the transition to the NBA easier for both Cole Anthony and LaMelo Ball.
The biggest issue with trading for Chris Paul is how much he affects the Knicks’ free agency plans in 2021. Chris Paul currently has a 44-million-dollar player option in 2021 that he will certainly accept unless the Knicks can somehow find a way to convince him to decline it.
The 2021 free agency class is stacked as players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, LeBron James, and a surplus of other great players are expected to hit the open market.
This past offseason, players avoided the New York Knicks and it seems as if no one has any real interest in signing there. If the Knicks want to lure free agents to them, they must form a prominent young core that would look to be a piece away from being in contention.
If Chris Paul refuses to decline his player option, to trade him, the Knicks would more than likely have to part ways with multiple first-round picks to get off of Chris Paul’s contract. Of course, this type of trade would be very risky but if they are certain that they could sign a marquee free agent, this is a risk that they would have to take.