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Chris Paul Officially Requests Trade to New York Knicks
You know those rumors about how New Orleans star point guard Chris Paul, a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent, was going to sign next offseason with the New York Knicks? Yeah, they weren’t rumors. Paul’s agent reportedly has officially requested a trade to the Knicks – the awkwardness of this request is that Paul’s Hornets are owned by the NBA, so wouldn’t any trade be a potential conflict of interest?
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Yahoo! Sports first reported the trade request and says that as soon as the NBA lifts its lockout restrictions, Hornets general manager Dell Demps wants to meet with Paul and hear that directive from him. The Hornets probably have no choice but to deal their franchise player considering they would get nothing when he leaves at the end of this season. But several teams no doubt would make offers – the Boston Celtics already reportedly offered Rajon Rondo for Paul. However, most teams would only trade for Paul with a guarantee that Paul would sign an extension. And it appears he only wants to play in New York with friends Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
Presuming Paul opts out of the final year of his contract and becomes a free agent after this season, he could sign a maximum four-year, $74 million deal with another team. The Knicks currently would have enough salary-cap room to offer him a four-year, $55.5 million contract with a starting salary of $13 million.
The Knicks gutted their roster in acquiring Anthony last season, so they would have to find a third team in any potential deal to find assets to send to New Orleans. Getting Paul certainly would make the Knicks immediate contenders – they are currently 20/1 to win the NBA title. The Orlando Magic would salivate at a chance to get Paul to make Dwight Howard happy – Howard also can be a free agent after this season. And Paul reportedly would love to play with Howard; Paul was hoping the two could play in New York but that's financially impossible.
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