NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Reasons the Knicks Should Pursue Chris Paul Over 'Melo

Drake Oz@drakeozbrSenior Writer IIFebruary 10, 2011

NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Reasons the Knicks Should Pursue Chris Paul Over 'Melo

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 03:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets moves the ball in the first half against the Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Arena on January 3, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The New York Knicks wanted LeBron James but missed out.

    They've courted Carmelo Anthony but haven't really gotten anywhere. They've been linked to Chris Paul, but nothing has happened as of yet.

    So if there's one thing we've learned about the Knicks, it's that they want another superstar to put alongside Amar'e Stoudemire.

    Now that James is out of the equation, the question is, who's the better fit: CP3 or 'Melo?

    Well, as good as Anthony may be, the Knicks would be better off pursuing Paul. And here are 10 reasons why.

10. Point Guard Is the Most Important Position On the Court

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 22:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets drives the ball up the court during the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the New Orleans Arena on January 22, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Hornets defeated the Spurs 96-7
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Generally speaking, most NBA coaches will tell you that the two most important positions on the court are point guard and center.

    It's why there were so many questions about Miami's "Big Three."

    Well, the Knicks already have Amar'e Stoudemire locked in at the center position, so having a superstar like Chris Paul running the show would give the team two franchise cornerstones at two incredibly crucial positions.

9. The Knicks Need Some Assistance

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    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 26:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets dribbles around a pick while defended by Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 26, 2011 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowled
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    See what I did there in the headline?

    The Knicks are currently ranked 15th in the league in assists per game at 21.4, which obviously is just about average.

    But Chris Paul ranks third in the NBA in assists at 9.8 per game, behind only Boston's Rajon Rondo and Phoenix's Steve Nash.

    Want to spread the ball around a little better? Holler at your boy, CP3.

8. Carmelo Anthony Is Simply a Scorer

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets shoots over Baron Davis #5 and Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on January 5, 2011  in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowled
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Carmelo Anthony may be averaging 7.7 rebounds per game, but that's largely due to an inflated offensive rebound rate (6.1 per game) because of Denver's fast-paced, "we play no defense" style.

    'Melo is, first and foremost, a scorer, which is far from what the Knicks need.

    New York ranks second in the NBA in scoring at 106.5 points per game, so the team does not need to add another offensive-minded player.

    That would only expand the gap between the team's offensive prowess and defensive struggles. 

7. The Turnover Game

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets talks with head coach Monty Williams during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 30, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Hornets 104-102. NOTE
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Among the league's elite players, Chris Paul is one of the best at protecting the ball.

    His average of 2.4 turnovers per game is lower than Anthony's (2.9) and Felton's (3.3), as well as Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.

    To sum up, CP3 brings the best of both worlds to the table.

    He makes huge plays, but doesn't make huge mistakes, like some of the NBA's biggest superstars.

6. The Denver Nuggets Are Asking For Too Much

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    NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  Danilo Gallinari #8 of the New York Knicks and teammate Wilson Chandler #21 talk during a break in the action against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden October 29, 2008 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowled
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    This isn't to say that the New Orleans Hornets wouldn't have a steep price for Chris Paul, but the Denver Nuggets are asking for a whole lot in exchange for Carmelo Anthony.

    Multiple draft picks, as well as a package that would include Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari or Landry Fields, seems to be what the Nuggets would want in return for 'Melo.

    That's quite the pricetag for Anthony, even though he is a superstar.

    Trading away two of the team's key starters for Anthony might not be the best move, especially when you consider that the Hornets might be willing to take on Raymond Felton, Chandler, Eddy Curry's expiring contract and draft picks instead, which would still leave Fields at the shooting guard position.

5. Carmelo Anthony Can Sign With the Knicks This Summer

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    DENVER, CO - JANUARY 21:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on as he warms up for the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Pepsi Center on January 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Lakers defeated the Nuggets 107-97. NOTE TO USE
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Though it would cost him a big chunk of change, Carmelo Anthony could, in fact, sign with the Knicks during free agency.

    It would still take some maneuvering on the part of the Knicks and some compromising on the part of 'Melo, but it is possible.

    Chris Paul, on the other hand, cannot sign with New York until after the 2011-12 season, which means that the only way CP3 lands in the Big Apple anytime soon is through a trade.

    If the Knicks really want to form their own big three of Paul, Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire sooner rather than later, it starts with acquiring the Hornets All-Star point guard.

4. Chris Paul Is the NBA's Most Complete Point Guard

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    NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 29:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets makes a shot over Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls at the New Orleans Arena on January 29, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    You can make an argument for a number of point guards being the best in the league: Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, etc.

    But Rose is more of a scorer than a facilitator, Chris Paul is a better shooter than Rondo, Westbrook is explosive but isn't quite there yet, and Williams isn't the defender that Paul is.

    I'm not here to argue about who you'd rather have on your team, because everyone has a certain preference.

    But if you're looking simply at the most well-rounded point guard—from scoring to assists to defense—look no further than CP3.

3. Chris Paul Provides the Knicks With What They Need: Defense

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    NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 20:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets steals the ball from John Salmons #15 of the Sacramento Kings on December 20, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading a
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Of the 30 NBA teams, the New York Knicks rank 29th in points allowed at a whopping 106.2 points per game.

    Carmelo Anthony has never had a reputation as a solid defender, and in fact, is one of the few superstars who really struggles on that end of the court.

    Chris Paul, on the other hand, was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2008 and the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2009.

    He also leads the NBA in steals with 2.54 points per game.

2. Amar'e Stoudemire Needs an Elite Point Guard

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    PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 6:  Steve Nash #13 and Amare Stoudemire #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrate during the game against the New Orleans Hornets on February 6, 2008 at US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Hornets won in double overtime 132-130.   NOTE T
    Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images

    Though Raymond Felton has played above his talent level in New York, it's no secret that Amar'e Stoudemire doesn't just benefit from playing alongside good point guards.

    He thrives when playing next to elite point guards.

    Sure, Stoudemire is having his best statistical season as a pro, but that doesn't take into account the fact that he's averaging a career-high in shot attempts and his lowest field goal percentage since the 2005-06 season.

    Stoudemire grabbed more rebounds, shot less and shot a higher field goal percentage while playing alongside Steve Nash than he has alongside Felton.

    Imagine how well he would play next to Chris Paul.

1. Chris Paul = Efficiency

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 03:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets moves the ball in the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Arena on January 3, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agree
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Raymond Felton is having the best season of his career, averaging his career-high in points, assists, rebounds and free throw percentage.

    But when you look at efficiency, Chris Paul is king.

    Paul—who averages 16.5 points, 9.8 assists and 2.5 steals per game—is third in the league in John Hollinger's infamous PER rankings at 25.46, which ranks only behind Dwight Howard and LeBron James.

    CP3's PER is more than 10 points higher than that of Felton (17.41), who is nowhere to be seen in the top 50 of the NBA, and much better than that of Carmelo Anthony, whose 21.14 is ranked just 24th in the NBA.