In this, the endless offseason, it’s reasonable to expect the trade winds to keep blowing. And blowing. And blowing... until the Knicks eventually trade for nobody, save for maybe some end of the bench reclamation project, and we realize it was all a smokescreen.
But until then, we’ll continue hearing the name “Chris Paul,” and, consequently, the players it might take to acquire him.
The New York Post’s Marc Berman reported yesterday that 21-year-old Kevin Knox, headed into his third year in the NBA, would probably be at the top of the Thunder’s wish list in any deal from the Knicks:
The Knicks have a trove of first-round picks to deal (seven first-round picks in the next four drafts). The belief, however, is that they would prefer to keep the 20 [sic]-year-old Knox in any Paul scenario and offer up either of their 2017 lottery-pick point guards, Frank Ntilikina or Dennis Smith Jr., both of whom will be restricted free agents in 2021.
The Thunder already have their point guard of the future in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and are not big fans of Smith.
So there ya have it. The Knicks are trying to keep Knox (maybe at the request of Knox’s former Kentucky coach Kenny Payne?) and move Frank Ntilikina or Dennis Smith Jr. for Chris Paul. Moving Frank for Paul would really suck, since unlike Knox, he does have at least one easily definable elite NBA skill at this point (defense). Moving Smith for any player or pick of value just seems impossible at this particular juncture.
But even moving on from Knox would feel pretty dirty right now, despite him mostly stinking it up by a lot of metrics in his first two seasons. Trading a player before he even reaches the end of his rookie deal is a move as Knicksy as any, and having those same players eventually do better things than they did on the Knicks is just as Knicksy.
At any rate, we only have to wait another... [checks watch]... SIX WEEKS or so to maybe find out.