The most efficient way for the New York Knicks to take their roster to the next level would be to retain all of their quality youth pieces and allocate their available funds in free agency appropriately. While packaging the right deal for a player like Damian Lillard is obviously enticing, the Knicks can sit pretty and utilize their salary space to target an option like Chris Paul, whoâ€™s having one of the best postseason performances in the NBA this year. Most recently, he scored 41 points in Phoenix’s Game 6 victory over the Clippers to send them to the finals.
Currently, on a four-year, $160 million deal, Paul has a player option for $44 million next season with Phoenix, but reports have indicated that he is considering opting out and seeking a long-term extension. It is possible that Phoenix tears up the final year of his deal and offers him a multi-year contract, but the Knicks will also be in play if he considers departing.
According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Knicks could be a favorite to land Chris Paul if he fails to reach an agreement with the Suns:
Several agents for point guards in the 2021 free agent class fear New York as a possible landing spot for Paul.Â Leon RoseÂ was Paulâ€™s agent before Rose became theÂ Knicks president. But, again, New York would only be an option for Paul if he and Phoenix didnâ€™t reach an agreement.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 2, 2021
Paul averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists, and shot .499 from the field this season. Some would look at his age and question his future health, but the most important narrative is the fact heâ€™s played in 140 games over the last two seasons, indicating consistency and fitness.
The Knicks wouldnâ€™t have to worry about lingering injuries or any health temperaments.
Chris would upgrade the point guard position for New York considerably. With Derrick Rose and Elfrid Payton hitting the open market, the Knicks are in dire need of a point guard — while Rose could be a consideration as a retention option, pairing Julius Randle with Paul would be stellar.
Of course, there are several younger players to consider on the market, like Lonzo Ball or even a draft prospect like Davion Mitchell.
Paulâ€™s future entirely depends on Phoenix’s desire to retain him, but if they let him walk, the Knicks will likely be the favorites to land the veteran PG.