With that being said, what will it take for CP3 to land in Manhattan?
This has been a big rumor ever since the 2008 Olympic games, and it heated up even more at Carmelo Anthony's wedding, when Paul jokingly said that he, Amare Stoudemire and Melo should team up to make their own Big Three in New York.
This comment was made days after LeBron James' "decision special" on ESPN, where he announced he would be "taking his talents" to South Beach.
It seemed like just a rumor until a few days ago, when trade speculation began to heat up. There was some talk about the Hornets and Celtics being involved in a trade sending Paul to Boston and Rajon Rondo to New Orleans. That rumor has been since shut down.
Then, the Nets entered into the rumor mill again, when there was some speculation that Derron Williams would walk this summer and the Nets would potentially go after Paul.
Paul, apparently through his agent, has stated that he wants a trade to New York or that New York is the only team he would sign an extension with.
This is a very unique situation that the Hornets and Knicks find themselves in.
Unlike last year, when Carmelo Anthony was on the brink of being traded, Paul is willing to take a pay cut. Melo did say he wanted to play in New York, but he was also open to playing with the Nets. He was essentially going wherever the most money was.
Do you think the Knicks will trade for Paul?
In Paul's case, he is willing to take a major pay cut and not be the main star.
So, the Knicks find themselves in a similar situation as they were in last year. Do they pull the trigger and trade for Paul now, or do they take their chances, save their assets and hope to sign him in the summer?
The latter would be the better move for the organization, but it is a risk. It's very possible that another suitor could come in and make a deal for him.
Also, after Paul has stated he wont sign an extension in New Orleans, they will likely be pushing a trade for him big time. At the very least, they could just make a smaller trade for him to a team that would only be renting Paul for this season, similar to what happened in the MLB with Carlos Beltran and the Giants.
Likely, the Knicks will trade for Paul if indeed these rumors are true. So, that brings up the question: What do the Knicks have left to offer in a trade not involving Melo or STAT? The answer is: enough.
Not as much as other teams would offer, not even close, but enough for the Hornets to do the deal in frear of losing Paul to free agency in the summer and leaving their small-market franchise empty handed.
Now, Paul is the face of the Hornets franchise, but there is other talent on the team. They have talented big men in David West and Emeka Okafor, and they would likely build around these two.
In a trade, the Knicks would have to trade Iman Shumpert, the Knicks 2011 draft pick.
Shumpert is very tall for a point guard, and scouts say he has great defensive ability. He is a little weak on the offensive side, but he is very young, and he could grow with the Hornets.
Next, they would probably try to include Chauncey Billups in a deal and agree to take a considerable part of his salary. Billups would fill in the immediate void that trading Paul would create, and it would allow for Shumpert to take his time to develop.
Landry Fields, the fan favorite, would also have to go. He is one of the Knicks young stars, entering his second year, and that makes him extremely valuable. He's a decent shooting guard, and he has a major upside. Also, his salary is very low ($788,872), so that would be no issue for New Orleans.
The Knicks could also offer Andy Rautins in a deal, who has the same salary as Fields. He didn't see much time in his rookie year last year, but again, he's a young player with a low salary, so the Hornets would likely be drawn to him.
Lastly, the Knicks would have to offer at least a first round pick, and maybe more.
It may seem like a lot, especially after the Knicks traded away so much last year for Melo, but look how it is paying off.
The Knicks made the playoffs, other players are being drawn to the Garden and BASKETBALL IS BACK.