Now that Chris Paul is apparently on the market, it's worth asking the question: Could New York's Chris Paul pipe dream really become reality? We're getting close, no? They've spent the past two years carving out the cap space and roster flexibility necessary to pull this off, and now a superstar is apparently interested, and it's about time we take this seriously. Newsday's Alan Hahn delves deeper:
The set up wasn't too difficult. The execution of the end game will be. First, the Hornets don't have to trade Paul. Second, they can demand a heavy price in return, plus force a team to take on another big contract to save them money. Paul is scheduled to make $15.2M this coming season and $16.6M in 2011-12 and $18.1M in 2012-13.
Now for the Knicks, where Stoudemire is yet another perfect complement big for a dynamic point guard (recall his years with Steve Nash) and the D'Antoni system is tailor made for his talents. ... The Knicks absolutely love Anthony Randolph, who came as the centerpiece of the David Lee sign-and-trade. But would the Hornets be interested in Randolph ($1.9M), who, by the way, played at LSU, as a main piece?
The Knicks could add Chandler ($2.1M) and Toney Douglas ($1.07M) then include Eddy Curry's expiring $11.2M and agree to take another hefty contract off the Hornets' payroll, such as Emeka Okafor, who has four years and $52M left on his deal. Okafor and Curry are almost a match in salary for 2010-11, so the issue would be matching Paul's $15.2M with cheap players. The Knicks only have about $2M in cap space left. They could try to engage a third team, of course. And then there's this: do they consider including Danilo Gallinari?
It's still early, but New York certainly has the assets to get a deal done if New Orleans becomes desperate. And if their superstar and the face of the franchise is demanding a trade and giving up on the team, won't they be getting desperate soon? Stay tuned.