Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Victor Oladipo Headed To Knicks?
The New York Knicks are looking to make some big moves this offseason.
After the hiring of former CAA boss Leon Rose as the team’s president, rumors began to circulate that the organization was putting together a gameplan to land not one, but multiple big names in the Big Apple.
Among those names? Chris Paul, Victor Oladipo and Carmelo Anthony.
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“If his buddy Chris Paul gets traded to the Knicks, that certainly increases the odds that Carmelo Anthony ends up back here in New York,” Ian Begley noted.
Along the same lines, there are some within the Knicks organization who are very intrigued by the prospect of stealing Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers.
“Some people with the Knicks are very high on Oladipo,” he added.
Paul and Anthony wanting to play together at some stage in their careers is an open secret. The 35-year-old Paul admitted this much in a now-infamous toast at Anthony’s wedding roughly a decade ago.
Rose has ties to both Paul and Anthony by virtue of having represented them, so at the very least he has both men’s ears.
The problem for New York brass is that it’s unclear whether those ties will be enough to matter.
Anthony is coming off a year where the Portland Trail Blazers were the only franchise willing to take a chance on him. He rewarded them with a solid 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, serving as a walking offensive boost whenever the Blazers needed him.
After the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Blazers from the playoffs last week, Anthony expressed a desire to remain with the team.
“Honestly, thank God I found a home in Portland,” he said.
“I got comfortable with the organization. I got comfortable with the guys on the team. They got comfortable with me. At this point in my career, I do think that that’s the best fit for me, the best situation.”
Paul, meanwhile, is coming off one of his most impressive performances in years. He led the ragtag Oklahoma City Thunder into the postseason and took a Houston Rockets squad that many believe could be a dark horse title contender to seven games.
That said, he is going to be 36 years old next season. If he genuinely wants to leave, would it really be to join a rudderless Knicks team that seems very far away from competing for a championship?
Paul is owed more than $85 million over the next two seasons. If he is relegated to a non-title contender for the rest of his career, it is unclear whether it really matters to him if that team is the Thunder or Knicks.
Moreover, would Rose and Co. really want to commit that sort of dough to a veteran on his last legs? That would certainly be a move reminiscent of the yesteryear Knicks, but it seems like the franchise really wants to shed that image.
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Money is also the big question when it comes to Oladipo. The 28-year-old is on the verge of becoming a free agent and will no doubt want max cash. If Indiana opts not to pony up, moving him would make sense.
So could the Knicks step up to the table and sign him? Well, it appears as though some within the organization are interested in him – but not everybody is.
“I don’t know if top decision-makers are high on Oladipo,” Begley observed.
Fresh off the quad tendon rupture he suffered back in 2019, Oladipo averaged 14.5 points on 39.4 percent shooting, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists over the course of his shortened 2020 campaign. He was clearly not himself yet, but that was to be expected given how much time he missed.
Oladipo slowly seemed to be working himself towards being the player that he once was at the end of the Pacers’ first round series against the Miami Heat, but even then it’s debatable whether it was anywhere close to what he did at his peak.
Back in 2017, he averaged 23.1 points and led the league in steals with 2.1 per game. That earned him both All-NBA team and All-Defensive team nods.
Will he be able to go back to being that guy? If the Knicks invest big in him, that will be the bet.
All in all, this is shaping up to be a massive offseason for the Knicks. There aren’t many big name free agents available, so finesse and maneuvering will be required in order to produce material changes to the roster.
This will be a huge opportunity for new management to show what they have.
Will that involve nabbing some combination of Paul, Anthony and Oladipo? Time will tell.