The Knicks Should Absolutely Not Build Around a 35-Year-Old Chris Paul
Rumors have been circulating for a few days connecting the New York Knicks to a trade centered around Chris Paul. Giving up anything to build around a 35-year-old point guard due to make $85.5 million over the next two seasons would be a foolish move by the Knicks. While Paul was great this season, he's not worth the money he'll be paid and New York isn't close to contention.
In the scenarios being discussed, the Knicks could move multiple young players and draft picks to secure Paul. While R.J. Barrett has not been mentioned, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina and others have been. Plus, the Thunder would almost certainly want at least one first round pick added in, which could hinder any building New York wants to do.
Paul revived his career during the 2019-20 season. He finished the campaign averaging 17.6 points, 6.7 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game. He hit 48.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range, while his PER of 21.72 ranked 23rd in the NBA. He wound up being named second team All-NBA and was an All-Star after a three-year absence from the game. Paul also led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a shocking five-seed in the Western Conference.
It was a great year and Paul showed he can still compete at the highest level. But he isn't someone the Knicks should pursue this offseason. He's too old to build around and he's due to make $41.4 million in 2020-21 and holds a player option worth $44.2 million for 2021-22. That's a ton of dough for an aging star.
The Knicks were 21-45 this season and had the sixth-worst record in the league. They're not close enough to contention that Paul would give them an important boost or put them over the top. And he's not going to be able to sustain his current production for long given the wear and tear on his body.
This all just seems like a bad idea. The Knicks should be targeting someone they can build around for years. A trade for Victor Oladipo would make sense if he's on the move this offseason, a deal for Paul doesn't.