If there was one song to define the Phoenix Suns’ season it would be Started From the Bottom by Drake. After having the worst record in the NBA two seasons ago and not even making it to the playoffs last year, the Suns are headed to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993.
Despite having the second-best record in the Western Conference during the regular season not many people expected the Suns to garner the success that they have enjoyed in these playoffs. In fact, many people did not even expect them to get out of their first-round matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers who were the defending champions at the time. However, the Suns have managed to overcome adversity and are now just four wins away from capturing the franchise’s first ever NBA title.
Knicks Could Lure Chris Paul From Suns in Free Agency
The talent level of the Suns has never been in question. They have an All-Star caliber guard in Devin Booker, and a number one draft pick in DeAndre Ayton. The potential was always there, it was just a matter of maximizing it. There is perhaps no better maximizer of talent than Chris Paul. When the Suns acquired him from the Oklahoma City Thunder via a trade last November that’s when their fortunes began to change. Under the direction of Paul, the Suns went from a team on the cusp of making the playoffs to one that is on the brink of winning a championship in under a year.
Paul is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. After seeing what he has done with the Suns you can bet that teams will be hunting the veteran point guard down in hopes that he can turn their organizations around in the same way. According to a recent report by SNY’s Ian Begley, agents believe that the New York Knicks are a major threat to lure the All-Star away from Phoenix.
“As you’d expect, Paul’s name has come up internally as one of the players the Knicks could target at point guard this summer. And if Paul and Phoenix can’t reach an agreement, the Knicks certainly will have the cap space to make him a multi-year offer,” Begley writes. “Several agents for point guards in the 2021 free agent class fear New York as a possible landing spot for Paul. Leon Rose was Paul’s agent before Rose became the Knicks president. But, again, New York would only be an option for Paul if he and Phoenix didn’t reach an agreement.”
Pandemic Ruined Knicks’ Shot at CP3 Last Offseason
The Knicks were one of the teams in the mix to trade for Paul last offseason before he ultimately decided to request a trade to the Suns. During an appearance on Sirius XM NBA Radio back in November of 2020, Paul’s former Los Angeles Clippers teammate Matt Barnes said that the pandemic played a major role in CP3’s decision to not go to the Knicks. A major factor was that at that point fans were still not allowed in Madison Square Garden.
“We were discussing like, hey, where are you going to go. And he was saying the Knicks were an option,” Barnes said . “But, you know, if he was going to New York, he wanted the full Knick experience, meaning he wanted the fans, he wanted the essence, he wanted the ambiance of that Madison Square Garden crowd. And going there now, we don’t know if that crowd will ever be back.”
Fast forward to 2021 and NBA fans are now allowed back in arenas. Despite a disappointing first-round exit for the Knicks, the electricity of Madison Square Garden was on full display during this year’s playoffs. The question is, is it enough to make Paul have a change of heart about the Suns?