Chris Paul on Knicks Trade Rumors: Just a Distraction from Spike Lee Drama

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 6, 2020

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul plays against the Detroit Pistons in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Chris Paul has a theory about the recent trade rumors that have connected him to the New York Knicks

Arriving at Madison Square Garden for Friday's game, the Oklahoma City Thunder star was overheard saying the Knicks were just trying to create a distraction from the stuff that went down with Spike Lee this week (h/t SNY):

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"They trying to take some of that attention away from that Spike Lee stuff" - CP3 on Knicks rumors upon arriving at MSG 👀 https://t.co/xmE8kYzWMg

Per NBA reporter Frank Isola, the Knicks "have been gathering intel" on Paul for the possibility of trading for him this summer. 

Isola noted Paul used to be represented by Leon Rose, who officially took over as president of the Knicks on Monday. 

The Knicks engaged in a back-and-forth with Lee this week stemming from an incident during Monday's game against the Houston Rockets. The Oscar-winning filmmaker appeared to be denied entry into MSG by security officials.

Per Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press, there was a disagreement between Lee and the Knicks over which entrance he could use to get into the arena. 

Appearing on ESPN's First Take, Lee said he was "being harassed" by Knicks owner James Dolan and wasn't sure why. He added that he wouldn't be attending any more home games for the rest of this season. 

All of the drama with Lee comes as the Knicks are in the midst of their seventh consecutive losing season. Their 19-43 record ranks 13th in the Eastern Conference. 

Paul, on the other hand, is having a terrific rebound year in Oklahoma City. The 34-year-old is averaging 17.5 points and 6.7 assists per game. The Thunder own the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference with a 38-24 record.