ESPN's Frank Isola reported Thursday the organization is "gathering intel" on Paul, a former client of new Knicks president Leon Rose.
One of the biggest questions about New York's leadership change is whether Rose and Co. would opt for a complete rebuild or attempt to turn things around quickly by trying to attract high-end talent. Setting the stage to make a deal for the 10-time All-Star may help begin answering that question.
Paul was acquired by OKC in the July 2019 blockbuster trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets.
He's having a strong first season with the Thunder, averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 threes and 1.5 steals across 61 appearances. He ranks 11th among all NBA players in ESPN's Real Plus-Minus and 31st in Player Efficiency Rating.
Paul congratulated Rose after he was officially named Knicks president this week:
The 34-year-old Wake Forest product's contract could be a hurdle, though. He's scheduled to count for $41.4 million against the salary cap for the 2020-21 campaign in the final guaranteed season of a four-year, $159.7 contract. He holds a $44.2 million player option for 2021-22.
Paul wouldn't be the answer to all of the Knicks' problems, even though he's continued to perform at a high level into his mid-30s. But getting him in a trade could be the first step as part of a massive roster overhaul during the summer.
Along with his on-court production, his leadership could provide valuable guidance to a young New York core led by RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson.