The Knicks are a ‘team to watch’ for Clippers superstar scorer

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks, knicks
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks appear focused on retaining key players OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein, potentially prioritizing internal stability over high-profile acquisitions. However, rumors of a significant move are still circulating.

Paul George on the Knicks’ Radar

According to Mark Stein, the Knicks are a team to watch in the Paul George sweepstakes. George, who could opt into his $48.8 million contract for the upcoming season, is at a pivotal moment. He is entering the final year of a four-year, $176.2 million deal, providing him with some leverage thanks to a player option.

“Another trusted source has advised me to keep the Knicks on the list as a potential trade suitor for George if the All-NBA swingman indeed opts into the final season of his current contract at $48.8 million. That step would position George to push for a trade to another team.”

Paul George, Knicks
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

At 34, George is approaching the latter stages of his prime but remains a formidable force on the court. Last season, he posted averages of 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, with a shooting efficiency of .471 from the field and an impressive .413 from three-point range. His .569 effective field goal rate marked a career-high, underscoring his capability to contribute significantly to a team’s offense.

Strategic Considerations for Acquiring George

Should George opt into his contract, the scenario shifts toward a potential trade rather than a free-agency departure. This move could secure him a lucrative three-year deal as teams look to capitalize on his remaining prime years. However, acquiring George comes with considerations, particularly on the defensive end, where his 114.3 defensive rating from last season indicates a decline.

For the Knicks, bringing in George would mean reconfiguring their roster. He would alleviate some of the offensive load from Jalen Brunson, offering an experienced hand in ball handling and scoring. Nonetheless, accommodating George’s salary could necessitate trading Julius Randle or sacrificing other free agents this offseason.

Knicks’ Likely Offseason Approach

Despite the allure of adding a star like George, the Knicks might opt for a more subdued offseason. Focusing on drafting and retaining their talent aligns with their recent chemistry and the potential they have demonstrated. This approach might not be the most exciting, but it could be the most beneficial for the Knicks as they aim to build a cohesive and competitive team.

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