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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Would CP3 sacrifice $40 million to sign in NY?

By Ian Begley

He may have to.

As ESPN's John Hollinger points out in this Insider piece, if Chris Paul waits to test free agency this summer, New Orleans can offer him a contract worth approximately $40 million more than the Knicks over the life of the deal.

Hollinger writes that the best-case salary cap situation for the Knicks gives them $13.5 million to offer Paul in the first year of a free-agent contract. This is assuming they have Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and a bunch of minimum-salary players on the roster.

In that scenario, according to Hollinger, Paul can earn $57.6 million over the life of the maximum four-year deal allowable in the proposed CBA.

The Hornets, on the other hand, can sign Paul to a five-year deal that starts at a little over $17 million and is worth $98.8 million over the life of the contract.

So, in this scenario, Paul would take a $40 million dollar haircut to play for the Knicks.

Of course, Paul can avoid the $40 million shortfall by forgoing free agency and trying to force a trade to the Knicks (see Anthony, Carmelo). Under the proposed CBA, teams can complete sign and trade deals and extend and trade deals. So the Knicks could swing a trade for Paul and sign him to a maximum extension.

Though he'd still be sacrificing money by not signing an extension with New Orleans (fewer years), it would be far less than a $40 million hit.

But the problem then becomes this: what do the Knicks have to offer in a trade? The answer? Outside of Anthony, Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups' expiring contract, not much. They can combine Billups with a package including Toney Douglas or Landry Fields, among others.

But is that enough to get a deal done?

If not, will Paul wait to test free agency and agree to give up $40 million to play in New York? Check out Hollinger's piece, and let us know what you think.