Tommy DeeMoke did a great, GREAT job of laying out in great detail how Chris Paul to the Knicks can possibly go down. I get the question a lot of “But how??”… Do yourself a favor and click on the link above.
Many people around the league, including those with knowledge have been quiet about the situation, a far cry from the Melo to NY and Dwight Howard situations. But to me there are some real glaring signs that make one wonder just how possibly the chances are that Paul tries to make a power move and unite with Carmelo in The Big Apple.
1. The Toast– We all know things can change, but Paul was very open in a very open forum in talking about joining forces and matching Miami back in the summer of 2010. Paul is a veteran who is an incredible competitor and it’s not far fetched to think that he believes his only chance to win a title is to play with an established superstar. The idea that he’s reportedly complained about Blake Griffin’s late game prowess is certainly something of major note. The fact that he’s been extremely non-committal leads one to believe that staying in LA with the Clippers isn’t exactly Paul’s idea of Shangri-La. Again, from what other superstars have done, including his best friend Anthony, new CBA or not, is still a definite sign in my mind.
2. The Agency– Both Melo and Paul are represented by CAA who, as we all know, has solid roots at MSG.
3. Ignoring Phil Jackson– One of the most puzzling decisions for me, considering Jackson had serious interest in the position, was the decision to not entertain hiring the legendary head coach. Granted, he wanted some organizational control, but his hiring to me was absolutely nothing short of a no-brainer with Carmelo on the roster. He’s perfectly suited for the triangle. You know who isn’t? Paul.
The triangle has never been conducive for a point guard so it makes sense to completely ignore Jackson if they have plans to add a player who simply could not thrive in a system that’s been the backbone of double-digit titles. The fact that they didn’t even think about talking to Phil is a major sign for me.
4. The Knicks tried to trade for Paul December 2011– A little known footnote that we reported at the time , but one that I swear is accurate was that the Knicks took a shot in the dark (per source) and offered Amar’e Stoudemire for Paul on the same day they acquired Tyson Chandler. It was viewed as a desperation move to appease Mike D’Antoni as he headed into his last season as coach of the Kincks.
5. Letting Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields walk– We can go back in great detail on the Lin situation but here’s the rub for me. James Dolan was the ultimate villain in that whole situation for not agreeing to sign Lin after he young guard went back and loaded up his contract thanks to Daryl Morey. Melo also drew ire (mostly from season ticket holders who cashed in on Linsanity) because he couldn’t handle the idea of Lin “stealing his spotlight” as if he were prom queen jealous of a new transfer student. But the Knicks were applauded for “smart business” just days prior to letting Lin walk by letting him establish his market value. Is it possible they didn’t want to be in the situation where they’d have to trade Lin right now? If Paul were a possibility they’d have to shop Lin and get very little value in return because they’d have to bring back cap clogging salary or two making signing Paul a relative impossibility. Letting Lin walk for nothing made little sense at the time and was chalked up to more Dopey Dolan, but isn’t it a possible sign that they want Paul to run the point?
As far as Fields, it’s another example of how they could have something in return but allowed a player who took the league by storm to walk away for nothing. Granted, no one really cared but it was cause for some head scratching. I think the Knicks should have dealt Fields for picks at the 2012 deadline but that’s neither here nor there.
6. Isiah Thomas– Yes, we hate to say it, but there is this whole thing. A small sign, but a sign nonetheless.
7. Not even thinking of adding salary at the trade deadline- Phil Jackson aside, the other incredibly baffling and head scratching move was not even entertaining trades at this deadline. In fact, they were downright STEADFAST that they weren’t making any moves. One can conclude that Melo really, really loved his team and his teammates and felt that this was the team to make a title run, but in my mind they needed help on the perimeter. They disagreed and stood pat. That’s odd except when I consider the fact that many of the players who were on the block like J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley are due money past this season. Not adding salary adds credence to the idea that they want to remain flexible as it relates to the salary apron in case there is a chance they can make a move in adding Paul.
8. Kenyon Martin– Martin was very active after joining the Knicks. Sort of puzzling isn’t it that no other team scooped him up and that he had zero interest in any other offers? Miami offered him in February. Why would he pass on the opportunity to collect that elusive first championship? Sure, Martin played with Melo and JR and has that level of comfortability, but couldn’t it be possible that he sat out most of the year because he plans on playing a few more? He’ll be a Knick next year in my mind for sure. Oh, and he played with CP3 in Los Angeles last season.
9. Paul’s future is still up in the air– Goes without saying.
Feel free to tell me that I’m speculating or reaching with any of these as long as you’re fair about it. That’s a lot of coincidences. I’m not saying it’s definitely going to happen or what the deal will be to make it happen, but if you’ve read all the way to this point it’s obvious I won’t be shocked if or when it happens.