Knicks Among 4 Teams as Potential Destination for 12-Time All-Star: Insider

Leon Rose, New York Knicks

Getty Executive Vice President and Senior Basketball Advisor William Wesley and President Leon Rose of the New York Knicks look on during the first half against the Chicago Bulls.

The New York Knicks are among the four teams linked to 12-time NBA All-Star point guard Chris Paul if the Phoenix Suns waived him by June 28, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Suns are still sorting out what to do with Paul, whether to waive, stretch or trade him before his partially guaranteed $15.8 million becomes $30.8 million fully guaranteed past June 28.

“If Chris Paul is out there as a free agent this summer, look at the two teams in L.A. — the Clippers and the Lakers — the Knicks in New York [and] the Golden State Warriors. Those are potential destinations for Chris Paul, who would sign a deal in a much lower number than the $30 million he’s guaranteed in Phoenix if he stays there past that June 28 deadline,” Wojnarowski said on the NBA Countdown before the NBA Finals Game 4.

Paul has strong ties within the Knicks organization, starting with team president Leon Rose, his former NBA agent. The Knicks flirted with the idea of bringing Paul to New York before the Oklahoma City Thunder shipped him to Phoenix during the 2020 offseason.

Paul was not interested in playing for the Knicks during the pandemic.

“He was saying the Knicks were an option, 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, you know, we don’t know if that crowd will ever be back,” Paul’s former teammate Matt Barnes said on SiriusXM NBA Radio in November 2020.

The Knicks were also hesitant to pull the trigger at that time because they were “wary of giving up too many assets in a Paul deal because they want to ensure that New York has enough capital in place for a future trade for another high-profile player,” according to SNY’s Ian Begley in November 2020.

But if Paul becomes a free agent, it would cost the Knicks nothing except a portion or their full $12.2 million non-taxpayer exception to bring him to New York as a potential backup to rising star Jalen Brunson.

The 37-year-old Paul averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists and 1.5 steals on 44/38/83 shooting split in 59 games this season for the Suns.

Karl-Anthony Towns Could Be Available

Knicks’ rumored trade target Karl-Anthony Towns is believed to be the next star to be on the move as early as this summer, according to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus.

“Other competing executives think Karl-Anthony Towns will be long gone ahead of the 2024-25 campaign. Some even believe Minnesota would jump at an opportunity in the next few weeks,” Pincus wrote.

Pincus identified the Timberwolves’ biggest need, which they could be looking for in any potential Towns trade on top of recouping draft assets that they gave up in the Rudy Gobert trade.

“The team’s most significant need is a point guard to replace Mike Conley, who was very good for the team after a deadline deal (also with the Jazz) but will be 36 before the start of next season,” Pincus wrote.

If the Knicks could get Paul as a free agent, Immanuel Quickley, the Sixth Man of the Year finalist who has aspirations to become a starter, is the most logical choice to become a key piece of a potential Towns package.

Immanuel Quickley on Suns’ Radar

Quickley is on the Suns’ radar as a potential replacement for Paul in Phoenix, according to Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer.

“Phoenix does hold Knicks Sixth Man of the Year finalist Immanuel Quickley in high regard, sources told Yahoo Sports, dating back to Quickley’s entry in the 2020 NBA Draft,” Fischer wrote.

Quickley showed a glimpse of how good he could be as a starting point guard when he averaged 22.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists while shooting 47% from the field and 40% on 3-pointers in 21 spot starts this season as the Knicks compiled a 12-9 record during those games. 

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