Chris Paul to New York: Knicks Future Depends on Playoff Success of Miami Heat

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2011

LeBron James and company's playoff success may have a huge impact of whether or not Chris Paul comes to New York.
LeBron James and company's playoff success may have a huge impact of whether or not Chris Paul comes to New York.Elsa/Getty Images

Speculation regarding the direction of the Knicks' future is already in full swing and the NBA playoffs are not even over yet.

However, it may come as a surprise that the direction New York goes in depends greatly on the outcome of the playoffs, specifically the success of the Miami Heat.


From the beginning, or rather from the moment LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh formed a superstar trio in South Beach, the Knicks' plans have been to create a superstar montage of their own.

They are well on their way with Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony already on the roster, but sights have now turned to New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul.

Paul is a free agent at the end of next season and has already been linked to joining the Knicks, specifically in a toast he gave at Anthony's wedding last summer.

All indications are that this is still the course of action the Knicks are choosing to take. They gutted their supply of role players to acquire Anthony, so we have no reason to think otherwise.

However, as of late, other potential targets of interest for New York have surfaced, specifically mentions of bringing Wilson Chandler and Raymond Felton back to the Big Apple, as well as signing a solid big in Samuel Dalembert or Jerome Jordan. 

All of the aforementioned players would be, or have even proven to be great fits on the Knicks, but only one of them—two if Donnie Walsh exhibits Albert Einstein-like genius—can be brought to New York without destroying the goal of landing Paul.

This is where the Heat's playoff success comes in.

The Knicks have the luxury, for lack of a better word, of watching from the sidelines and observing how a Big Three fares in the playoffs. 

Speculation regarding attempts to land Chandler, Dalembert and Felton indicate that New York may have the slightest doubt in waiting to form a superstar trio.  

These recent rumors, are an inclination that Walsh is not completely convinced that the Heat are a team in which the Knicks should model themselves after.

Enter LeBron and company.

If the Heat win, or even make it to the NBA Finals, you better believe that the Knicks stay on course to form their own superstar powerhouse. If that involves passing on Dalembert and Chandler to maintain cap space, then that is what they will do.

Miami struggled early on this season, leading many people to doubt whether forming a Big Three was a good decision.  Some thought and still believe that a team needs to focus more on depth than jamming their roster with stars.

However, the Heat's recent success cannot be denied. They are up 3-1 on last year's Eastern Conference champion Celtics, a team that swept the Knicks in the first round. Presently, the Heat seam unbeatable, and if this proves to be the case, you can bet it will affect where New York goes from here.

If Miami somehow blows their lead on the Celtics though, or if they get blown out by the Hawks or Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Knicks may rethink their position.

The lure of Paul may seem to good to pass up, but watching the Heat falter in the playoffs would speak volumes about the value of having three superstars on the same team.

Yes, the Heat would have made it deep into the playoffs, but they cannot play any better together than they are now, meaning such a collapse would signify they are lacking the necessary depth to push them to the next level.

So, if you're an advocate of bringing Chris Paul on board the Knicks' train, then you should cheer the Heat all the way to the NBA Finals. However, if it is role players you crave, a Miami meltdown is what you need.

James changed the course of the Knicks' future this past summer when he snubbed them to head down to sunny Miami.  

And given the current situation, it seems New York's future may once again rest in the hands of the self-proclaimed king.