This much is clear: The NBA should never own a team with a superstar looking to leave.
Chris Paul has dominated basketball talk since the lockout ended. A deal that would have sent him to the Lakers was vetoed by David Stern. While the teams are looking to restructure the deal to send Paul to Los Angeles, there is still the possibility that another team could swoop in and take Paul.
Why couldn't the Knicks be that team?
There were rumors that have since been denied that New York offered Amare Stoudemire for Paul. Offering one of their two superstars for Paul made sense. The Knicks should try to trade Carmelo Anthony for the star point guard, not Stoudemire.
Carmelo Anthony is an elite player. He is a fantastic scorer who can take over games. He also has the reputation as a ball stopper and poor defender (Amare's defense has also been criticized).
A Stoudemire for Paul trade makes little sense. Teaming Paul with 'Melo would make a nice duo, but they wouldn't compliment each other. Anthony excels at creating his own shot. He can score in bunches without a great point guard setting him up.
Amare, on the other hand, would benefit greatly from playing with Paul. He thrived playing alongside Steve Nash in Phoenix. The thought of him and the newly-acquired Tyson Chandler finishing entry passes from Paul should make New York fans salivate.
The Knicks would hardly miss Carmelo Anthony if they replaced him with Paul. They will still be able to light up the scoreboard. Although Paul wouldn't replace all of Anthony's scoring, he can get his own baskets pretty easily. He also plays much better defense than Carmelo.
Paul's greatest attribute is his ability to make those around him better. Carmelo does come close to him in that respect. A frontcourt of Stoudemire and Chandler needs a distributor, not a ball stopper.
Of course, such a trade would be cold-hearted (and hilarious) on the part of the Knicks. Anthony forced his way out of Denver to the bright lights of New York. He would not be happy playing in New Orleans less than a year later.
(For this reason alone, I imagine the NBA would approve this hypothetical trade. They have proven to be spiteful by blocking the Paul to Los Angeles trade. I'm sure more than a few of the small-market owners would love to stick it to Carmelo after he forced a trade to New York.)
This trade will probably never happen, but the Knicks should explore it. They would be a better basketball team for it. New York is not going to be able to get past Chicago or Miami with Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler. A core of Paul, Stoudemire and Chandler would still require a solid supporting cast, but it would put the Knicks one step closer to the title than they are now.