NBA Twitter went ablaze with trade rumors when the season ended, and the New York Knicks trading for a star has been one of the most popular conversations.
New York has been the worst franchise in basketball for the last 20 years, and acquiring a star, even if it doesn’t put them in title contention, might be the next move for James Dolan’s team.
Among the most unlikely trades that people are discussing is a potential blockbuster that would send Paul George to New York.
While the idea seems far-fetched, a recent report from Knicks insider Ian Begley seems to add at least a little validity to the claim.
From earlier: Knicks are open to using their 2020 cap space to trade for an undesirable contract, per SNY sources. NYK has communicated as much to teams recently, sources say. More here: https://t.co/g017s0LmGc
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 28, 2020
The Knicks have told teams that they’ll take large contracts if it means they can get an asset in return.
Despite George’s poor play in the playoffs, though, his contract is still considered a positive value to anyone who keeps up with the NBA.
Begley’s is probably referring to either John Wall, Chris Paul, or Russell Westbrook, who are all sitting on huge contracts that many if not most would consider net negatives, even though Paul and Westbrook both made All-NBA teams last season.
Still, for the sake of the argument, let’s look at what a potential-George-to-New-York trade could look like.
Many on Twitter have expressed doubts about the possible trade because the Knicks don’t have players who are good enough right now to help the Clippers win a title.
Clips need a point guard. They’re in win-now mode. Those pieces don’t address the Clips needs. The Knicks aren’t trading 3 players and 2 firsts for Paul George.
— Brandon Crystian (@crystian916) October 23, 2020
Realistically, the Knicks don’t have the kind of players the Clippers would need in order to be persuaded to move George, so they would have to get another team involved in the trade.
The third trade partner would have to be a team looking to get rid of a star player and take on assets from the Knicks.
Ironically, the Thunder seem like the ideal candidate, and that would send Chris Paul back to LA, where he spent six of his prime years running the Lob City Clippers.
Here’s the full breakdown of the potential trade:
- NYK receives: Paul George
- LAC receives: Chris Paul
- OKC receives: Julius Randle, Elfred Payton, DAL 2020 first-round pick (via NYK), DAL 2021 first-round pick (via NYK)
This is actually a trade all parties might be happy with, but there’s a small hangup for one team.
Who says no?
From the Thunder’s perspective, they’d be more than happy to get more assets to trade away Paul after receiving assets from the Rockets to take on his monstrous contract.
New York, of course, gets a star to build a few playoff runs around without totally giving up their cap space for next year’s free agency class.
The Clippers would get a much-needed point guard to run their offense and a possibly fun return-home story.
That being said, they are stuck taking on a worse contract for a minimal personnel upgrade, so they may need an asset from the Knicks to made the trade happen.
The Knicks definitely have enough assets to alleviate any concerns the Clippers have with this trade proposal; it would just be a matter of if the trade is still worth it.
Regardless of what happens this offseason, the idea of one of George’s playoff collapses coming in a Knicks jersey is enough to make any NBA fan chuckle.
being a paul george fan feels like the equivalent of being a knicks fan
— PG13 stan ✨ (@grandexbutler) October 31, 2020
Or at least any NBA fan who’s not also a Knicks fan.
For the record, #SellTheTeam.