New York Knicks: New Orleans Hornets

Knicks have little to offer in Paul deal

December, 1, 2011
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'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.

Rapid Reaction: Knicks 107, Hornets 88

March, 2, 2011

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Some fans came to the Garden thinking they'd see the Knicks' point guard of the future in Chris Paul. But Toney Douglas thoroughly outplayed the Hornets star in a 107-88 Knicks win.

Starting in place of Chauncey Billups (bruised left quadriceps), Douglas finished with 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting with five rebounds and four assists. The Knicks outscored the Hornets by 13 in Douglas' 32 minutes. Paul finished with just four points on 2-of-7 shooting and handed out 10 assists; the Hornets were outscored by 19 with Paul on the court.

The Knicks are 3-2 in the Carmelo Anthony Era and may need Douglas to start in place of Billups on Friday night against Cleveland. Billups is questionable for the game.

TURNING POINTS: A two-point Knicks lead quickly grew to 12 late in the second-quarter thanks to six quick points from Anthony and two each from Douglas and starting center Ronny Turiaf. The Hornets helped the Knicks' cause with two turnovers in the 13-3 run. The Knicks coasted after the half, leading by double figures for all but 18 seconds of the final two quarters. It got so bad midway through the fourth that the fans started chanting for a Roger Mason appearance. Mike D'Antoni obliged, and the crowd exploded when Mason hit a three with a little over a minute to play.

DIFFERENCE MAKER: In addition to Douglas, Amare Stoudemire finished with 24 points on 10-of-9 shooting and Anthony had 22, hitting 8 of his 18 shots. Sharpshooter Shawne Williams had 16 points and made four of his six 3-point attempts.

WHAT'S NEXT: If you're curious to see how quickly this team is building chemistry, look no further than Friday night's game home game against the Cavaliers. Last Friday, the Knicks traveled to Cleveland fell to the 11-win Cavs in embarrassing fashion. They were outrebounded by 20 and looked out of synch on offense (41 percent shooting) in a 115-109 loss, their second to the Cavaliers this season. It doesn’t seem like they will have Billups (thigh) available for Friday's home game but they should be able to bounce back against the Cavs, who are 3-27 on the road. The Knicks hit the road to take on the Hawks on Sunday night and return home to play the Jazz on Monday night.



Carmelo Anthony
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
ReboundsT. Chandler 9.6
AssistsR. Felton 5.6
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2