Knicks Rumors: Chris Paul Trade Buzz Linked to Leon Rose Relationship

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2020

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) during an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Leon Rose once represented Oklahoma City Thunder star Chris Paul, and now he has the power to bring Paul to the New York Knicks.

The New York Post's Marc Berman reported Sunday that a trade for the 10-time All-Star "became a legitimate option" for the Knicks as soon as the franchise hired Rose as president.

Berman had reported in March that "Paul adores Rose" and that Rose had been "intrigued" when the Houston Rockets made the star guard available to New York in a swap.

Beyond the connection between Rose and Paul, the 35-year-old would be a sensible target—albeit one who carries a level of risk.

Point guard is one of the biggest areas of need for the Knicks. The Dennis Smith Jr. experiment hasn't worked out, and neither Elfrid Payton nor Frank Ntilikina is good enough to be the lead playmaker on a playoff team.

Meanwhile, Paul's reputation speaks for itself. He'll also be coming off a-20 season in which he averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game and shot 36.5 percent from three-point range. He was a great leader for a Thunder team with a lot of younger players as well.

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The question for the Knicks—and any team interested in Paul—is whether he can keep this up for another season or two. The future Hall of Famer was something of a distressed asset when Houston traded him, as evidenced by the fact the Rockets sent two first-rounders to Oklahoma City along with him to get Russell Westbrook.

Paul's contract will factor in to the equation as well. He's owed $41.4 million in 2020-21 and has a $44.2 million player option for 2021-22.