New York Knicks: Chris Paul

Will L.A. be able to lure Melo away?

June, 25, 2014
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Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul Getty ImagesWill Melo become Mr. Hollywood? We break down the Lakers' and Clippers' chances of landing him.
The Bulls are widely viewed as the Knicks’ biggest threat in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. But two new teams emerged Tuesday that are worth keeping an eye on.

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The Clippers and Lakers are both interested in pursuing Carmelo, sources told ESPN.com.

This is significant because Anthony already owns a home in Los Angeles. So the issue of uprooting his family -- while still a factor -- wouldn’t seem to be as much of an impediment in L.A. as it would be if he ended up in, say, Houston.

Also, Anthony has talked about his affinity for playing in a big market -- and both L.A. teams fit that description.

With that in mind, let’s take a brief look at the Lakers’ and Clippers’ pursuits of Melo:

Clippers: If Carmelo is looking to land with a contender, the Clippers make sense. But it won’t be easy for the franchise to land Carmelo -- or LeBron James, another one of its targets according to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne.

The Clippers are currently committed to $76 million in salary. So it would be extremely difficult for them to clear enough cap space to sign Anthony or James outright. The more likely scenario is a sign-and-trade.

As Shelburne reports, the Clippers would probably have to deal a combination of DeAndre Jordan, Jared Dudley and Matt Barnes to make a deal work. Jamal Crawford could also be thrown into the mix. (Blake Griffin, meanwhile, is untouchable in a sign-and-trade, sources told Shelburne.)

Jordan is one of the top centers in the NBA. His arrival would likely force the Knicks to move Tyson Chandler. One issue here for the Knicks is that Dudley can be on the books through the 2015-16 season for $4.25 million, which would eat into New York’s cap space for the summer of 2015.

The draw for Anthony -- in addition to joining a team that is championship ready -- would be an opportunity to play with his close friend Chris Paul. To make all of this happen, though, the Knicks would have to first agree to participate in a sign-and-trade. It is unclear at this point if they are willing to do so.

Lakers: Kobe Bryant's big two-year extension took a ton of the Lakers’ cap space, but the franchise still has its eyes on LeBron and Carmelo, ESPN.com’s Shelburne reported.

Shelburne reports that the Lakers have been talking to teams about dealing the No. 7 overall pick along with Steve Nash's expiring contract ($9.7 million) to free up enough salary to offer James and Anthony at least $16 million next season.

That would be a big pay cut for both. But, as ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has stated, both stars have expressed the desire to play with one another. Anthony is also very close to Bryant, so this may be a scenario that appeals to him.

Of course, if the Lakers strike out on landing James, that would give them even more money to offer Carmelo, assuming they can find a taker for Nash.

So the Lakers could put themselves in position to sign Anthony outright, rather than having to execute a sign-and-trade. This transaction would probably prevent them from acquiring Kevin Love. Love has long been a Lakers target. So that’s a factor worth considering here.

We should also note that Anthony can earn the most money in New York. He can sign a max contract of $129 million over five years with the Knicks. But it is unclear if the Knicks are willing to give him that much money. He can still make that max in a sign-and-trade. But if he were to sign with another team outright, the most he can make is $96 million over four years.

Question: Do you think Carmelo will end up with one of the teams in L.A.? Or do you see him re-signing with the Knicks?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Opening Tip: Protect this Garden in 2014

January, 7, 2014
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The Knicks opened 2014 with a smash, taking two of three games in their Texas Triangle trip.

Now, Mike Woodson must find a way to bottle the Knicks' success in Texas and bring it back to Madison Square Garden starting Tuesday, when the Knicks return home to host the Detroit Pistons for the first of 10 home games in January.

If the Knicks want to make a run to win the Atlantic, they have to find a way to start winning at home.

So far this season, the Knicks have been much better on the road. They are 7-10 on the road this season. And in their last 10 games, the Knicks are 4-6, with all four victories coming away from Madison Square Garden. The Knicks won at Milwaukee, Orlando, San Antonio and Dallas. They did lose road games at Toronto and Houston during that span.

But at home, the Knicks seemingly feel the pressure of playing in front of their disgruntled fans. They have dropped their last four home games and own the second-worst home record in the league at 4-12, a season after posting a 31-10 record. Only Milwaukee has fewer home wins, with a 3-12 mark.

The Knicks' home issues include slow starts and third-quarter lapses. The home crowd has booed the Knicks and, at times, called for Woodson's job.

The Knicks' next 10 home games are against the Pistons, Heat, Suns, Clippers (without an injured Chris Paul), Nets, Sixers, Bobcats, injury-ravaged Lakers, Celtics and Cavaliers. Seven of those teams have losing records.

In other words, it's time for the Knicks to start protecting home. This is a month when they can start making up some ground.

Up now: Don't look now, but the Knicks made the biggest jump in the latest ESPN power rankings.

The J.R. shoelace stunt didn't draw a reaction from the NBA.

New Year, new Iman?

What's next: The Knicks return home to host the Pistons at 7:30 p.m.

Question: Can the Knicks turn around their play at home this month? If so, what do they have to do to start winning at the Garden again?

CP3 to NY? Fuhgeddaboudit!

June, 24, 2013
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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.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Paul to Knicks highly unlikely

May, 31, 2013
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Chris PaulAP Photo/Reed Saxon
ESPN's Chris Broussard reported late Thursday night that Chris Paul is upset with the Clippers because owner Donald Sterling suggested that the team fired coach Vinnie Del Negro to appease its stars.

According to Broussard, this did not sit well with Paul.

"How much of an impact this will have on Paul's decision to re-sign with the Clippers as a free agent is not clear," Broussard writes. "But the source conceded that Paul's anger could lead him to look elsewhere."

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Undoubtedly, some Knicks fans saw this news and hoped it meant Paul was closer to landing in New York.

But the reality is, it didn't change much at all from the Knicks' perspective. A Paul-to-New York scenario remains highly unlikely.

We have gone over this before, but just to reiterate the point, here's what it would take to get Paul to New York:

First, Paul, a free agent, would need to tell the Clippers that there was no way he'd re-sign there and he'd 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 decides he wants to play for the Knicks -- and only the Knicks -- GM Glen Grunwald would have to pull off a minor miracle to bring Paul to Broadway.

Here's why: if you take the $82 million we assume the Knicks will be committed to for 2013-14 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 after they trade for Paul to make a sign-and-trade work under the current CBA rules, per ESPN's Larry Coon. So they'd have to send out about $25.2 million to make it work.

Let's say they send Amar'e Stoudemire ($21.7 million) and Raymond Felton ($3.6 million) to the Clippers. They then could take back Paul. But why would the Clippers agree to that deal? If you are Clippers VP of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks, is there any way you agree to take back a package centered around Stoudemire? Not if you like your job.

The Knicks could also send out a package centered around Tyson Chandler, but it's very hard to see the Clips accepting that package either.
So the chances of Paul landing in New York remain the same in light of the most recent development: highly unlikely.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Hot Button: Should Knicks pursue Paul?

May, 23, 2013
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It would take a lot to get him, but do you think the Knicks should make a run at Chris Paul? Or should they stand pat with their current point guard situation?

Let us know your thoughts. Vote here.

Grunwald: No major changes this summer

May, 21, 2013
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Memo to Knicks fans daydreaming about Chris Paul playing in an orange and blue uniform next season: general manager Glen Grunwald doesn't expect to make any major changes to the roster this summer.

"In general, it's best to maintain continuity, familiarity," Grunwald said Tuesday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco Show." "I don't foresee substantial changes to our roster."

The Knicks don't have much roster flexibility this summer.

With $77.6 million in committed salary, they will have only the mini mid-level exception ($3 million per year) and veteran's minimum contracts to offer free agents.

There is a possibility the team could trade players to get under the salary cap, but Grunwald dismissed that on Tuesday. The Knicks can also execute a sign-and-trade to acquire a free agent, though it would be tricky to accomplish that due to CBA restrictions.

A sign-and-trade is one way that the Knicks would be able to obtain Paul, who is a free agent this summer. But it is an extremely remote possibility.

"You can trade players, but I don’t think that’s our focus," Grunwald said Tuesday when asked about the possibility of a sign-and-trade. "Our focus is to continue to build this core team. Some continuity, some familiarization, further growth as individuals and as a team, I think that’s what we have to do."

Grunwald said the Knicks' front office will take a "creative" approach to the offseason.

They have a first-round pick (24th) in the June draft but have no second-round picks. They will have decisions to make on several players expected to test free agency, including J.R. Smith, Chris Copeland, Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin.

Grunwald declined to comment on Smith or other potential free agents. The Knicks will be able to offer Smith a contract starting at around $5 million. Other teams under the salary cap may be able to offer a richer contract.

With Prigioni and Copeland, the Knicks will likely be able to use part of their mini mid-level exception to match offers from other teams, if the players receive such offers.

Grunwald said again and again on Tuesday that he'd like to maintain "continuity" and keep the roster largely intact.

"In general, it’s best to maintain the continuity if you think [the team can] get better. I think we can get better. I think we can play better than we did at the end of the season," Grunwald said. "But that’s not to say we won’t explore all alternatives."

Other highlights from Grunwald:

CHANDLER GAVE 100 PERCENT: Grunwald said Tyson Chandler lost 12 pounds shortly before the playoffs due to illness and, as a result, he wasn't 100 percent healthy in the postseason.

"He wasn't 100 percent, he gave 100 percent of what he had," Grunwald said.

Chandler was badly outplayed by Indiana's Roy Hibbert in the Knicks' playoff loss to the Pacers.

"I know he's disappointed in the team's performance and what he gave in the playoffs," Grunwald said.

The GM added that the Knicks may look into using Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire in the post more frequently next season. Chandler served primarily as the screener on pick-and-rolls this season.

AMAR'E SUCCEEDED OFF BENCH: Neither Grunwald nor Mike Woodson would say whether Stoudemire would start or come off the bench next season. But Grunwald did say that Stoudemire "grew into" his role off the bench with the Knicks this season.

"We're hopeful he'll be able to contribute next year in whatever role Woody decides," Grunwald said.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Top 10 Knicks topics that won't go away

September, 10, 2012
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Just like the team's slogan, "Once a Knick, Always a Knick," its fans and media have their own: "Once it Happens, We'll Always Remember." As Marcus Camby told ESPNNewYork.com earlier this year, "The Knicks' community knows their basketball."

While that applies to many great moments in Knicks history, the past 10 years or so have offered something different: more recurring negatively themed storylines, such as James Dolan consulting Isiah Thomas, which reportedly happened again Friday. Frustration, mounted on top of extreme expectations, tortured Knicks fans over several seasons of futility under Thomas.

Even while the Knicks continue to re-establish themselves, negativity these days, no matter how small, runs deep in New York as if it's an emotional scar after a personal tragedy. You can't stop thinking about it. On top of that, the only thing competitive New Yorkers care about is a championship -- and that hasn't happened in a while.

On that note, ESPNNewYork.com brings you the Top 10 Knicks Storylines That Won't Go Away, starting with 10 through six:

[+] EnlargeCarmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire
Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty ImagesCan they coexist?
10. The Knicks losing to another lousy team. Every time the Knicks got embarrassed last season, fans wrote on Twitter, "They made another below-average team with a below-average player look good." That started Jan. 4 against the Bobcats, the worst team in the league, and continued about 10 more times at the Garden. If J.R. Smith is guaranteeing a championship, it starts with knocking off the bottom-feeders.

9. Jeremy Lin leaving. While many Knicks fans don't want to hear Lin's name again, many -- including Walt Frazier -- are still surprised the team didn't match the Rockets' offer. And until the Knicks address their decision, Lin's name will come up. But if Raymond Felton proves it on the court over the long haul -- which he didn't do last season in Portland -- the memory of Linsanity will collect some dust.

8. C-P-3! C-P-3! Who can the Knicks trade to get Chris Paul? If not, can they sign CP3 in 2013, when he's a free agent? These are the questions on repeat, because there's belief that Paul's close friend (and fellow Jordan Brand endorser), Carmelo Anthony, wants to make it happen. It's also because Knicks fans are not in love with the team's point guards -- and feeling cheated on Lin and Steve Nash, they're aiming higher. But it's mostly false hope.

7. Carmelo Anthony is overweight and a ball-stopper. When Melo had his worst season since 2008-09, some Knicks fans thought they knew why: He's overweight! But in 2011-12, Melo suffered a few upper- and lower-body injuries that affected his shot and stamina. Also, his swollen look comes from his underneath protective padding. While Melo's work with renowned NBA trainer Idan Ravin has paid off, he's still working to erase the "isolation scorer" tag.

6. Melo and Amare Stoudemire can't coexist. When LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook represented their respective teams in the Finals this past season, Knicks fans wondered, Could Melo and Amare ever do it, too? With the increased formation of "big twos" around the league, there will always be pressure on the Knicks' stars. Mike Woodson has been focused on making their partnership work. Will it finally happen?

Stay tuned Tuesday for No. 5 through the Top Storyline That Won't Go Away with the upcoming season (and possibly beyond).

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

No Chris Paul Wednesday vs. Knicks

April, 25, 2012
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Clippers point guard Chris Paul will sit out Wednesday's game against the Knicks due to a sore groin, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Paul worked out before the game but Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro decided to shut him down with the playoffs around the corner.

Eric Bledsoe started in place of Paul.

Wednesday's game is significant for the Knicks because they can either move up to sixth, stay in seventh or move down to the eighth seed in the Eastern Confernce.

The Clippers are still in a race for home-court advantage in the playoffs.

Carmelo tired of Paul talk

December, 16, 2011
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How would Carmelo Anthony feel if he were in his buddy Chris Paul's shoes? Would he like his future being controlled by David Stern?

"I would feel just like Chris felt. I would be disappointed, I’d be frustrated, I’d be upset," Anthony said. "But you know, Chris got what he wanted, it went through."

Paul was dealt to the Clippers late Wednesday for three players and a draft pick. Stern nixed an earlier deal that would have sent Paul to the Lakers.

The Knicks were believed to be Paul's preferred destination. They were prepared to clear enough cap space for the summer of 2012 to land the superstar point guard.

But once Glen Grunwald realized he wouldn't have the requisite cap space to pay Paul or another top free agent in 2012, he turned his attention to Tyson Chandler. The Knicks acquired Chandler in a three-team sign-and-trade deal late last week.

Because of Paul's reported desire to come to the Knicks, Anthony has been asked about Paul's situation again and again over the past 10 days.

He said on Thursday that he's tired of hearing about it.

"No more David Stern talk from nobody," he said. "Not from me, not from Chris and I hope from nobody else. I'm tired of talking about it, I’m tired of hearing about it and everybody just focus on basketball."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Hornets may deal Paul before the season

December, 5, 2011
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Sources have told ESPN's Chris Broussard and Marc Stein that the New Orleans Hornets may deal Chris Paul before the season starts.

According to Stein and Broussard, Paul met with New Orleans GM Dell Demps on Monday. The meeting was amicable but Paul "did not tell the Hornets he is prepared to sign an extension before the regular season before opening day."

Sources also told Broussard and Stein that three teams -- the Mavericks, Celtics and Rockets -- have told the Hornets they'd be willing to deal for Paul without the guarantee that he'd sign an extension.

This may hurt the Knicks' chances of landing Paul in a trade because sources told Broussard and Stein that "the Hornets are convinced that they can receive more from any of the so-called gambling teams than from the Knicks, who are widely regarded as Paul's No. 1 preferred destination."

Stay tuned. Things should get very interesting.

Read the full story here.

CP3 or D12: Who would YOU rather deal for?

December, 2, 2011
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Both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard appear to be ready to test the free-agent market.

If you're Knicks senior vice president Glen Grunwald, who do you go after?

Howard, the dominant center that your team is sorely lacking? Or Paul, the play-maker who'd thrive in your coach's up-tempo offense?

Jared Zwerling and I give our takes here. Now, we'd like to hear your opinion.

So, who would you pursue? CP3 or D12? Let us know your thoughts here or in the comments section below.

Knicks have little to offer in Paul deal

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
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Chris Paul reportedly wants to come to New York.

But do the Knicks have enough trade pieces to land him?

The Knicks' roster was gutted last season in the Carmelo Anthony deal, leaving them with few trade chips this year.

The organization isn't going to trade Amare Stoudemire or Anthony go to acquire Paul. So that leaves Chauncey Billups and his $14.2 million expiring contract, which is an attractive piece.

Guard Toney Douglas, coming off of shoulder surgery, could also be used in a deal. Same goes for Landry Fields and, possibly, rookie guard Iman Shumpert.

It would be crippling for the Knicks to include a first-round pick in a trade, as their 2012 and 2014 picks are owed to other teams and they will likely have to swap their 2016 pick with the Nuggets (the league forbids teams from trading picks in consecutive years).

So their existing pieces don't figure to be enough to land Paul, a four-time All-Star who has averaged 19.8 points, 9.8 assists and 2.4 steals in six seasons.

Just as they did a year ago, the Knicks will likely have to engage a third team if they have any hope of acquiring their superstar target.

Last season, the Knicks dumped Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry on Minnesota in the Melo deal. Getting the Timberwolves involved helped make it work financially. But the Knicks didn't ask Minnesota to give up a quality player.

This time around, they will likely have to find a third team willing to trade a top pawn, not just take on salary.

That's no easy task.

If the Knicks can't land Paul in a trade, the 26-year-old would have to make a significant financial sacrifice to come to New York as a free agent.

In order for Paul to sign as a free agent, he would have to forgo close to $40 million in salary, in the best-case scenario, according to ESPN.com's John Hollinger.

As Hollinger points out in this Insider piece, the Knicks can offer Paul, at most, $13.5 million in the first year of a free-agent deal.

The $13.5 million offer is based on the notion that they'd have Anthony, Stoudemire and a bunch of minimum-salary players on the roster in the summer of 2012.

According to Hollinger, if Paul signs for $13.5 million in his first season, he 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 contract that starts at a little over $17 million and is worth $98.8 million over the life of the contract, assuming the salary cap remains around $58 million.

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

Paul can avoid that shortfall by forgoing free agency and trying to force a trade to the Knicks. 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 do the Knicks have the pieces to get a deal done?

As currently constituted, the answer appears to be a resounding no.

Melo hopes Paul can avoid circus

December, 1, 2011
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Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony says he hasn't tried to recruit his friend Chris Paul to New York.

Paul, the New Orleans Hornets' All-Star point guard, reportedly has requested a trade to the Knicks.

"I'm not involved in that process. No way. That's a subject, a topic, that I don't want to touch. I don't want to deal with that," Anthony said after working out at the team's training facility on Thursday, the first day players are permitted to train at team facilities.

Anthony was the first Knick to arrive at their Greenburgh, N.Y., training center.

But instead of talking about the upcoming season, Anthony was bombarded with questions about Paul, his friend and U.S. Olympic teammate.

Yahoo! Sports reported on Thursday that Paul's agent has told the Hornets that Paul will not sign a contract extension and wants to be traded to the Knicks. The Times Picayune, citing two league sources, said that Paul hasn't demanded a trade to the Knicks.

Paul can opt out of his contract and test free agency after this season.

The situation Paul's facing is similar to what Anthony went through last year.

Anthony dealt with months of uncertainty about his future last season before being dealt from Denver to the Knicks. He doesn't want to see Paul go through the same scenario this season.

"That’s going to be a sensitive situation," Anthony said. "I don't want to see him go through that, because I know personally how that feels."

Anthony said he will not interfere with Paul's decision.

"We never had any conversations about him coming to New York," Anthony said. "That's something that I would leave up to him and him and his family and I'm staying away from that."

The Knicks star recognized that the speculation surrounding Paul isn't going away anytime soon, saying "the biggest discussion at the beginning of the season and the beginning of training camp" will center around the Hornet point guard's next move.

He's advised Paul on how to handle the decision -- and the drama surrounding it.

"One thing I did tell him was, 'Just make the best decision for you and your family.' He responded back that he knew. ... He saw what I went through last year," Anthony said. "And I'm pretty sure there's a certain part of him that don't want to deal with that."

"I don't think the NBA needs that right now," he added. "We just want to focus on -- especially the Knicks -- we just want to focus on what we need to focus on. Getting better, getting everybody back in the gym and preparing for our first game."

Anthony downplayed the notion of he and Paul teamming up in New York anytime soon. According to Anthony, the next time he'll play with Paul is in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

"Before that, I’m not even thinking about it," he said.

On Thursday, Anthony worked out alone under the watch of team trainers for about two hours. Afterward, he pronounced himself 100 percent healthy.

Shortly after last season, the eight-year veteran had simultaneous surgeries to repair nagging left knee and elbow injuries. Anthony returned to the court in August, playing in several exhibition games.

"I'm good, I'm healthy. As you can see, I'm in here today. As soon as they opened the doors up I was the first person in here today," said Anthony, who was joined at the Knicks' facility by guard Toney Douglas.

Anthony said that his elbow had been bothering him for the past six years. The ailment affected the follow-through on his jump shot.

"I was always jerking my shot," he said.

But the arthroscopic procedure relieved the pain in his elbow.

"I feel better this season than I've felt in a long long time," he said.

The Knicks acquired Anthony last February in a blockbuster three-team trade. In 27 regular season games in New York, Anthony averaged 26 points, 6.7 rebounds and three assists.

He helped the Knicks reached the playoffs for the first time since the 2003-04 season. They were swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics. Including the playoffs, the Knicks went 14-18 after acquiring Anthony.

The new players struggled to adjust to Mike D'Antoni's system on the fly and many mentioned that they'd need a full training camp to jell.

The start of training camp has been tentatively scheduled for Dec. 9, which gives the Knicks just 16 days to prepare for their Christmas Day opener.

Anthony said on Thursday that the Knicks would have enough time to prepare.

"It's not a full training camp but it’s a lot of time to get stuff done," Anthony said. "Get guys in, focus on the couple things we need to focus on and go from there and then we get better as the season goes on."

He acknowledged that the truncated 66-game schedule could take a physical toll on players. Schedules haven't been released, but the league announced each team will play at least one series of back-to-back-to-back games.

"It's a battle, it’s a fight and we have to prepare ourselves for that," Anthony said.

He added: "We might have five games in six nights and we as players, we've got to prepare ourselves mentally and figure it out as we go along."

Players and the league agreed on a proposal to end the lockout last Saturday. But both sides still need to ratify the agreement before teams can open for training camp.

Anthony believes the deal will be ratified by players.

"That’s just my opinion. I don’t think they would have opened the doors up and said all the stuff that they’re putting out there, training camp starting on the ninth, without having the chance to close this thing up," he said.

Anthony plans to work out at the training facility over the weekend.

Broussard: 'Great chance' Knicks get CP3

November, 28, 2011
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Appearing on ESPN New York 1050's "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" on Monday, ESPN's Chris Broussard said the Knicks have a "great chance" to land Chris Paul, thanks to the new CBA.

"We all know that their wish list is Chris Paul and I think they’re going to get Chris Paul," Broussard told Cowherd. "I think there’s a great chance he ends up in New York and now you’ve got a Big 3 in the Big Apple. And if they don’t get Chris Paul for some reason, Dwight Howard is a possibility, Deron Williams is a possibility. The Knicks should end up getting one of those three players; I think it will be Chris Paul."

Broussard points out that the Knicks are expected to have significant room under the salary cap next season. (As currently constituted, the Knicks have Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Renaldo Balkman and (presumably) rookie Iman Shumpert under contract for 2012-2013.)

Broussard also cites the fact that the CBA allows all teams (tax payers and non-tax payers) to execute sign and trades in the first two years as an advantage for the Knicks. This will allow the Knicks to acquire Paul via a trade during the season and sign him to a maximum contract extension without salary cap concerns. Paul can opt out of his contract after the 2012 season.

"The big market teams are helped in the first couple of years of this deal," Broussard says.

Broussard points out that tax-paying teams will be restricted heavily in the third year of the deal. Rules in place would also make it difficult for big-market teams to execute sign and trades. The luxury tax rate also increases in Year 3.

The players and owners still have to ratify the proposed CBA. They are expected to vote on it in the coming days.

How the CBA affects CP3 and the Knicks

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
3:52
PM ET
With the lockout all but over, the "chase for Chris Paul" has officially begun.

Much like last season's "Melo-Drama," you can expect plenty of speculation and debate over Paul's next destination.

And the Knicks will be in the thick of it.

The immediate question for the Knicks is this: Does the new CBA help or hurt their expected pursuit of Paul?

We won't have a definitive answer until the CBA is ratified.

But by and large, the proposed CBA seems to have put the Knicks on an inside track to land Paul, who can opt out of his contract after this season.

Though, to be sure, there are aspects that could hurt their chances.

Let's break it down:

WHAT HELPS

No "Melo Rule": Owners were reportedly pushing for a rule that prohibits teams from signing a player to a Bird Rights deal if they'd traded for him in the final year of his contract (after July 1 of the last year of the deal). They named it the "Carmelo Rule," and aptly so.

If the rule were in place last season, the Knicks wouldn't have been able to sign Carmelo Anthony to a Bird Rights extension after acquiring him in a trade because they wouldn't have been permitted to exceed the cap.

Owners relented on the deal, which means the Knicks can sign Paul to a max extension if they acquire him in a trade during the season.

Amnesty clause: Under the proposed CBA, each team will be able to waive one player to discount his salary from the cap. If Paul tests free-agency in 2012, the amnesty clause will give the Knicks more cash to play with. Let's say they use it on Renaldo Balkman, for example. That could provide a long-term savings of $2.5 million and an immediate savings of $1.7 million (the amount of his contract in 2011-2012).

Mid-level trade exceptions: Non-tax paying teams are permitted to use a full mid-level exception to sign a player for $5 million and a maximum of four years. Taxpayers can use an exception to sign a player for $3 million and a maximum of three years. As currently constituted, the Knicks will be close to $20 million under the cap next summer, when Paul hits the market. Regardless of whether they are over or under the cap after inking Paul, the exception will allow them to add an extra piece to the puzzle.

Additionally, there is a provision that allows non-tax payers to sign a player (or players) to a salary maximum combined salary of $2.5 million for a max of two years. Who knows if the Knicks will be under the tax after next summer. But if they are, they can take advantage of this aspect of the CBA.

No "Franchise Tag": This idea, floated before talks, was reportedly never brought to the table. This is a good thing for the Knicks in their pursuit of Paul and other free agents. And it's an exclusion that certainly hurts the Hornets.

WHAT HURTS

Sign/extend and trades: On the surface, it seems that the CBA's allowance of sign/extend and trades would help the Knicks with Paul. But, hear me out.

There aren't many good trade chips on the Knicks current roster. So the fact that the CBA allows other teams to acquire Paul via a mid-season trade and sign him to an extension hurts the Knicks.

If extend and trades were prohibited, Paul would have been a rental to any team that dealt for him in-season, all but assuring that he would test the free-agent market.

Now, the Knicks have to worry about another team -- with more attractive trade pieces -- acquiring Paul via a trade and extending him.

In addition, all teams (tax payers and non-tax payers) can execute sign and trades without a tax penalty in the first two seasons of the CBA. This means the Knicks will have to compete with teams that have better trade pieces to offer New Orleans in any Paul trade.

Of course, as we saw last season with Anthony, the Knicks can get a third team involved to sweeten the offer. And Paul, like Anthony, could force his way to New York. Either way, it will be fun to watch the free-for-all for Paul's services.

Question: How do you think the CBA affects the Knicks pursuit of Paul?

Let us know in the comments section below.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2