Friday, July 23, 2010
Outward Bound? Five New York Knicks That Could Be Traded For Chris Paul
It has been nearly two weeks since Chris Paul stood up in front of guests at Carmelo Anthony’s wedding and suggested that he and Melo team up with Amare Stoudemire on the Knicks to form their own “big three” to take on the newly formed Miami Heat tandem.
Paul is now making his quest to form such a super-group official, demanding a trade elsewhere from the New Orleans Hornets, with the Knicks at the top of his wish list.
While it is imperative for the Knicks to acquire Paul ASAP, the possibility of signing Anthony outright next summer would depend on what kind of assets (and/or contracts) the team takes on or gives up in a potential trade for CP3.
A team normally has to give up talent in order to receive talent back. Unfortunately, the rebuilding Knicks have a quite limited supply. The few players the team actually has under contract, in addition to the number of newly signed players, may complicate such a trade.
Nevertheless, here are five Knicks that could be shipped out to New Orleans in a trade for Chris Paul.
While the “Italian Stallion” is the Knicks’ best young player and prized possession, he also just happens to be the Knicks’ greatest asset.
Still full of potential, Gallinari had a breakout sophomore season in which he became one of the league’s leading three point shooters.
While he may not have “star” written all over him, Knicks’ brass believes he can develop into the perfect “number two” type player. He could absolutely become a 20 point scorer in due time.
The Knicks hold Gallinari in incredibly high regard, but if the Hornets simply demand him in return, the team may just have to bite the bullet if it means bringing in such a talent as Paul.
What’s Eddy Curry’s biggest strength? His expiring contract. The last year of Curry’s contract will heap just over $11 million this season.
Once a prominent young talent, just like Gallinari, Curry was known as “Baby Shaq”. Since then, he has been burdened by injuries and personal issues.
Limited to just 10 games over the last two seasons, the Knicks have moved on without Curry. While the team remains optimistic he will compete at a high level for minutes, Ronny Turiaf and Russian recruit Timofey Mozgov both appear to have him beat already.
Curry may be most valuable as a trading chip because of his contract, especially if the Hornets demand the Knicks take on Emeka Okafor and his elongated contract in order to acquire Paul.
Chandler is another highly regarded young talent on the Knicks. His offensive production has stayed consistent (or stagnant, depending on the way you look at it) at around 15 points per game over his two seasons in the starting lineup.
He has, however, improved his jump shot. Chandler steps it up on defense for the Knicks as well, often guarding the opponent’s best player.
Unfortunately for Chandler, these improvements could soon become moot, as he seems to have quickly become expendable.
In wake of the additions of Bill Walker, Anthony Randolph, and Kelenna Azubuike, Chandler would be the most likely to go to New Orleans in a trade.
The Knicks would certainly rather part with him than Gallinari if given a choice.
Considered an afterthought in a rather simple Eddie House for Nate Robinson trading deadline swap between the Celtics and Knicks, Walker made an impression on the Knicks coaching staff immediately. He forced his way into the rotation, averaging nearly 12 points in 27 games for the Knicks.
Since then, the former D-League scoring fiend has continued to make a name for himself. He has lost 25 pounds and just completed a successful stint as a member of the Knicks summer league team.
Walker could easily be a 15-point scorer if given a starting role and the minutes to go with it. The fact that the Knicks already have Chandler and Gallinari in place makes Walker appealing trading bait for other teams looking for young talent.
Douglas went being known as “raw talent” to becoming the Knicks’ starting point guard to close out the season.
The thought process was that if the Knicks landed LeBron James (and another marquee free agent), that LeBron would do most of the ball handling and the Knicks could save some money on a point guard by letting Douglas start.
Instead, “The Decision” happened, and the Knicks more or less capped off their summer spending by signing point guard Raymond Felton.
Even after starring in summer league play, Douglas is a backup once again. His young age and the fact that Raymond Felton cannot be traded until Dec. 15 makes Douglas a prime candidate to be sent to New Orleans if the Knicks want to make a trade for CP3 happen now.
Douglas would fit nicely in New Orleans, teaming up with Darren Collison as a point-guard replacement duo.