Houston Rockets, New York Knicks

Even the Knicks won’t take on Chris Paul’s contract

The New York Knicks seem easy take advantage of, but even they want nothing to do with Chris Paul and his bloated contract.

At a time when the Golden State Warriors look vulnerable, the Houston Rockets should be galvanizing for a legit title run next year. But reports of turmoil between James Harden and Chris Paul has pushed Paul into some level of trade rumors with a (since refute) report he demanded a trade.

The market for Paul is necessarily limited, if the Rockets can even find a viable trade market. The New York Knicks have the cap space to be very active this offseason, and adding a star or two is on the radar.

According to The Ringer, the Rockets discussed a trade that would have sent Paul to the Knicks. But the Knicks rejected the offer, and for once they look smart.

Paul missed 24 regular season games for the second straight year in 2018-19, on his way to career-lows in scoring (15.6 points per game) and field goal percentage (41.9 percent). He also averaged 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game, while shooting just under 36 percent from 3-point range.

There’s also the large matter of Paul’s contract to go with durability concerns and performance decline at age-34. He is due to make a little north of $124 million over the next three seasons–$38.5 million next year, $41.35 million in 2020-21 and $44.21 million (player option) for 2021-22.

New York should be in the mix to sign Kyrie Irving in free agency, and it’s safe to say that’s their No. 1 plan to add a point guard this offseason. Any team trading for Paul would be making a risky bet in every way, while doing the Rockets a favor by allowing them to offload mid-level exception production from someone on a max contract.

Next: 2019 NBA Free Agency: 5 targets for the Los Angeles Clippers

The Knicks are an easy punching bag, and other teams surely see a sucker when they enter trade talks. But props to them for looking at an offer that centered on Paul, and seeing the current shell of what was once one of the NBA’s best point guards rather than a star.

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