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NBA Rumors: Thunder May Be Open To Trading Chris Paul To Knicks

(via NY Daily News)

(via NY Daily News)

After his exile from Houston, nobody had big expectations for Chris Paul. He was over 33-years-old and coming off one of his worst seasons as a pro.

But a the season progressed, he proved his worth yet again by leading the superstar-less Thunder team to one of the better records in the West. It seems, for Paul, his impact stretches beyond the confines of a basketball court. He teaches guys how to win, and the Knicks are taking note.

According to Ian Begley of SportsNet New York, the Knickerbockers would have a lot to gain by trading for a guy like Paul.

As noted last month, some people with the Knicks believe Paul would provide strong leadership for their young players and help jump-start the winning culture that New York wants to establish under president Leon Rose. 

While the Thunder are not actively pursuing a CP3 deal, they could get some talented young stars in return.

Scenario II: Knicks trade Reggie Bullock and Kevin Knox for Paul.

In this scenario, we're assuming again that the cap is $115 million, and the Knicks absorb Paul into cap space. To do that, they'd have to renounce/waive the players above and decline Portis' team option. They'd also again have to keep Bullock beyond his June 28 guarantee date. 

This trade would leave the Knicks with Smith Jr., Randle, Barrett, Ntilikina, Trier, Robinson, Dotson, Paul, and Brazdeikis on the roster. If you include salaries for their two first-round picks (roughly $8 million in combined salary for 2020-21), they would have roughly $108.5 million in committed salary and $6.5 million in cap space. They would also have the room mid-level exception (projected at $5 million) and veteran's minimum exceptions (which are 1-2 year deals at the minimum salary).

This season, Paul is averaging 17.7 points, 6.8 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game on 48% shooting. Of course, his veteran leadership has been most valuable to the Thunder this season, and the team is playing with a level of cohesion that has them performing way above expectations.

The Knicks could certainly use a guy like that.