On a hot July day in 2012, with the New York Knicks not having the financial ability to add any big-name free agents, somehow they find a way to become a headliner.
Lot of NBA execs believe Chris Paul is still hoping to find a way to get to the Knicks…won’t happen this summer. Maybe next July
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 1, 2012
Chris Paul’s love affair for the Knicks has been no secret. At fellow superstar Carmelo Anthony’s wedding last July, CP3 gave a speech indicating he would like to team up with Carmelo and Amar’e Stoudemire to form the New York version to compete with Miami’s “Big 3.”
The same day that young superstar and Clipper teammate of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin accepts his five-year extension worth $95 million deal; the leader of “Lob City” declined his three-year deal worth $60 million. Paul will make $17.7 million this upcoming season.
Of course the back and white reasoning for him declining the extension is so that he can get his coveted max deal next summer, but basketball players don’t always make decisions for obvious reasons.
Chris Paul has played with Carmelo Anthony on USA teams and numerous All-Star games. The Knicks have been looking for a point guard for years now, and before Jeremy Lin fell into their lap, it was a glaring need. Knicks fans have been hearing CP3’s name for years now have been praying for him to run basketball at the Garden.
Next year the Knicks have the option to terminate Anthony or Stoudemire’s contract. With Carmelo being a bonafide scorer and STAT struggling with this health and play on the court, the obvious choice would be parting with Stoudemire.
A union of Chris Paul and Iman Shumpert in the same backcourt would be one of or if not the best defensive backcourt in the league. With Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler behind them, the Knicks would drastically change their no defense brand of basketball around. Carmelo wouldn’t get much defensive criticism since it wouldn’t be such a burden on him. He would be asked to do what he loves to do: score, score, and score. He wouldn’t have to pass and defend like LeBron James does, making him focus on just putting the ball the hoop.
When there is smoke, there is fire, if Chris Paul declined his extension just because he wants his max-deal that would be fine. But his connections with the Knicks have been rumored for years now and speculation will always be there until he signs long term with Los Angeles.
For a free agency period that looks like the Knicks will not be much a part of, they sure know how to keep their names in the headlines.