The most efficient method for the New York Knicks to upgrade the point guard position would be to allocate their funds in free agency rather than parting ways with significant capital in a trade scenario. One option that could be on the market is Chris Paul, but the hope that he will be available is quickly dwindling as the Phoenix Suns make a legitimate run at the NBA finals.
Phoenix dominated the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday evening, as Chris Paul recorded 32 points, hitting on 12-of-19 shots from the field and 4-of-7 from downtown. He also picked up nine assists in the win, indicating he is a bonafide star point guard at his age.
At 36 years old, Paul is in the final year of a four-year, $160 million deal and has a player option for the 2021-22 season at $44.2 million. The expectation was that Paul would opt out and seek a long-term deal, but his incentive to leave Phoenix is diminishing.
According toÂ SNYâ€™s Ian Begley, the Knicks are in a good spot to make a run at signing Chris Paul, based on the assumption he opts out of the final year of his contract, but that’s seeming more unlikely by the day.
Three reasons the Knicks likely won’t have a serious chance at landing Chris Paul in FA:
1.) What’s his incentive to leave the Suns?
Phoenix is on the verge of winning an NBA Finals series and offering Paul his first-ever Championship. What exactly is his incentive to leave Phoenix, other than joining a New York Knicks team that is still a few pieces away from contending for a deep playoff run.
He can easily stay with a stacked team full of great youth talent that can help him win now, rather than taking an unnecessary risk in New York.
2.) Great relationships with the organization and teammates
Paul reportedly has fantastic relationships with his teammates, including Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton. One of the reasons he requested a trade to Phoenix in the first place was because of what he saw in Booker, a fiery competitor with a similar offensive style to Kobe Bryant.
The fact that the team has so much youth contributing and are still winning games, Paul connects as a veteran mentor and the leader of this team, who are currently in the Finals and dominating. Add in his relationship with head coach Monty Williams, and it is hard to find a reason why he would leave the Suns for East Coast pastures.
3.) A new contract could be inbound
Even if Paul desires an opt-out in his contract, the Phoenix Suns could easily offer him an extension, tearing up the final year of his deal. Considering how much cap space they have available, it would be simple for them to offer him a new deal. Only Devin Booker is making over $20 million per season, with the next highest being DeAndre Ayton at $12 million. If they wanted to tear up Paulâ€™s contract and offer him another two-year deal at $40 million a pop, they could do it quite easily.
If you are a Knicks fan, I would be cautiously optimistic with a potential Chris Paul signing, as he does have a relationship with President Leon Rose, but that may only get them so far considering the great situation he has himself in at the moment.