Chris Paul Trade: How CP3 Can Still Become a Knick

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IDecember 14, 2011

When Marc Stein announced that Chris Paul was traded to the Clippers, the controversial week-long saga ended.

Los Angeles swooped in and made one of the more shocking deals of the past decade, trading Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Gordon and Minnesota's 2012 unprotected first round pick in exchange for Chris Paul and a couple of second round picks. 

Most NBA fans do not realize that the Clippers made the deal anticipating that Paul will invoke an option in his contract after the season.

Paul did not guarantee that he would sign an extension making him a Clipper in the long term.

Is there a possibility that Paul could find himself playing in Madison Square Garden in 2013?

Through free agency, there is no way Paul could find his way in New York. The Knicks have too much money invested in three players: Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. 

Paul would need to sign for less than $10 million for this to be a possibility.

Option number two is more intriguing and might cause for great debate. What if Chris Paul, who decided that he did not want to be a Clipper long term, was traded straight-up for Carmelo Anthony?

This is only possible if Paul tells Clippers management that he does not want to play in Los Angeles past the 2012-13 season and wants to explore other opportunities.

Would New York management consider this trade? 

I think they would jump on the opportunity to bring in the best point guard in the league.

Pairing CP3 with a frontcourt of Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, along with role players like Landry Fields, Toney Douglas and a few veterans would create a power in New York.

The Knicks would be the team to beat in the East.

On the other side, the Clippers pick up a much-needed primary scorer. A core of Eric Bledsoe, Anthony, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan would be lethal in the West, especially if Bledsoe continues to develop.

All of this could happen, but there is a huge "if" involved. Would Chris Paul leave a championship-caliber situation for New York?

That "if" could be made possible if Paul remembers why he wanted to leave New Orleans—his desire to play under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.