- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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It was highly unlikely to begin with, but you can now forget about Chris Paul coming to Broadway.
Paul reportedly pushed the Clippers' front office to pursue Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Now that Rivers is in charge in L.A., you can expect Paul to re-sign with the Clippers ASAP.
So any Knick fan fantasizing about Paul landing in New York is officially wasting his or her time.
Of course, it would have taken a perfect storm of events for Paul to land here in the first place.
First, Paul, a free agent, would've had to tell the Clippers that there was no way he'd re-sign there. He'd then have to demand a sign-and-trade to the Knicks. In doing so, Paul would be leaving significant money on the table because the Clippers can offer him about $28 million more than the Knicks -- or any other club -- can pay him.
And even if Paul decided he wants to play for the Knicks -- and only the Knicks -- GM Glen Grunwald would've had to pull off a minor miracle to bring Paul to Madison Square Garden.
We expect the Knicks to be committed to $82 million next season. If you take that and add another $18.7 million -- the amount Paul will earn in the first year of his deal -- you get $100.7 million. The Knicks' total salary will need to be under $75.5 million to make a sign-and-trade for Paul to work under the current CBA rules, per ESPN's Larry Coon. So they'd have to send out about $25.2 million to execute a deal to bring in Paul.
A package including Amar'e Stoudemire ($21.7 million) and Raymond Felton ($3.6 million) would work. But why would the Clippers agree to that deal? They wouldn't. The Knicks could also send out a package centered around Tyson Chandler, but would you do a deal bringing back Chandler as your main chip if you're the Clippers? Probably not.
Either way, all the speculation is for naught. With Rivers in tow, Paul is going to remain with the Clips.
That's not to say that Rivers' move to Los Angeles is a total loss for the Knicks.
Rivers' departure from Boston leaves a gaping hole on the Celtics' bench. No matter who Boston brings in to replace Rivers (Brian Shaw, Vinnie Del Negro, George Karl, etc.), it's hard to see Boston having the same level of success with Rivers gone. Also, there's no guarantee that Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce will be back in green and white next year. So the Celts may be staring at a period of rebuilding now that Rivers is gone. And that's good for the Knicks.
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4dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann