Tony Parker to the New York Knicks: It May Be More Realistic Than Chris Paul

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 24:  Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs in action against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 24, 2011 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Plenty of New York Knicks fans are already banking on the addition of Chris Paul to their team.  But San Antonio's Tony Parker is a more realistic target, and may even be a better fit too.

Just this past offseason, there were scores of rumors suggesting that the Knicks and Parker were mutually interested in joining forces.

As rumors often are, these were debunked.  Parker obviously remained with the Spurs, and led them on an improbable run to the Western Conference's best record this year.

He's leading the team in scoring at 17.1 points a game and assists at 6.6 a game.  At 52 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range, he's also shooting well this year.

His production has led to great regular season success, but there aren't many people who are giving the Spurs a shot to win another title.

If they fall short in the playoffs this year, San Antonio may finally start looking to get younger.  The Knicks could help them do that.

The two best trade chips the Knicks have are Chauncey Billups (who will be on an expiring contract next year) and Landry Fields.  That may not be enough to coax New Orleans into giving up Chris Paul.

It may, however, be enough to get Tony Parker.  If the Spurs do want a fresh start, swapping the four years that will be left on Parker's contract with Billups' expiring deal would help.

The real get for San Antonio would be Landry Fields.  He has had a very solid rookie season, and would be a nice addition to a young core of George Hill, DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter.

With all that in place, they might be able to enjoy a fairly smooth transition into the post-Tim Duncan era. 

In Mike D'Antoni's system, Parker could put up the best numbers of his career.  

We've seen his uptempo style do wonders for Steve Nash and Raymond Felton, and management might be willing to give him one more year to see how he and Parker would co-exist.

Parker's speed, quickness and ability to get to the rim would be perfect for New York. He can draw defenders to the basket, which will lead to open kick-outs for Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.

The physical tools he'd bring to New York would certainly be valuable, but his leadership qualities and championship pedigree could make the Knicks legitimate title contenders.

He's won three championships with the Spurs, and was named the Finals MVP in 2007.

A "big three" of Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tony Parker would be extremely exciting. And they may be able to get that third piece by offering Chauncey Billups and Landry Fields.

It would still take them a couple years to rebuild depth behind the stars, but they'd have a foundation that would rival, and maybe even surpass, Miami's.

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