Knicks Rumors: Agents 'Fear' NY as Possible Free-Agency Landing Spot for Chris Paul

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 2, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) in the first half of Game 4 of an NBA second-round playoff series Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Multiple agents for impending free-agent point guards reportedly "fear" the New York Knicks as a contender for Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul if he hits the open market in the offseason.

SNY's Ian Begley reported Friday that Paul, who can decline a player option in his four-year, $159.7 million contract to become an unrestricted free agent, has emerged as a "target" in the Knicks' internal conversations if he doesn't come to terms with the NBA Finals-bound Suns on an extension.

Paul was a driving force behind Phoenix's run through the loaded Western Conference playoffs. He averaged 18.1 points, 8.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting 40.5 percent from three-point range across 14 games in series wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and L.A. Clippers.

While the Suns figure to make every effort to keep their core in place over the summer, especially if they beat the Atlanta Hawks or Milwaukee Bucks in the Finals, there could be financial hurdles.

Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus reported in early June that Phoenix will face the question of whether to surpass the NBA's luxury-tax threshold to keep the roster together, and the team could see "some competition" from the Knicks and team president Leon Rose, the 11-time All-Star's former agent.

Paul previously raised some eyebrows in May when he delivered some praise after a regular-season win over New York.

"That team right there, they play the right way," the 36-year-old Wake Forest product told reporters. "They play with the right energy. They make every game feel like a playoff game. They don't take any possessions off."

The Knicks will be in the market for a point guard during the offseason regardless of whether Paul ultimately hits free agency. So other agents likely hope he stays in Phoenix, which increases the chances of Rose and Co. becoming buyers for their clients.

If Paul is available, however, New York's initial efforts figure to surround him, thus the "fear" of how it could impact the market at the position.

It would be impossible to blame the Knicks for looking toward the all-in move, though. They're coming off a season in which they posted a 41-31 record to earn their first playoff bid since 2013, and most of their key contributors, led by Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, remain under contract for next year.

A triumvirate of Paul, Randle and Barrett paired with some depth additions could make New York a serious threat in the East.

It's certainly a situation that warrants watching once the offseason gets underway, but for now, the Suns point guard and his teammates have a championship to chase.