The most obvious drawback of trading for Chris Paul is his contract. Due to earn $ 41.4 million next season with a $ 44.2 million player option in 2021-22, adding his salary to the books would turn a friendly situation in New York into a bloated one.
Say what you want about the past regime led by Steve Mills, they have done their best to keep the Knicks out of the hat by signing short-term deals to players with team-controlled flexibility.
The Knicks can create nearly $ 45 million in cap this offseason. They are one of the few teams that could absorb Paul’s contract without having to send too much paycheck to Oklahoma City. This gives the Knicks an edge in potential business negotiations and, frankly, besides the connection between Rose and Paul, is the main reason they are often mentioned in speculations about Paul’s future.
That said, just because the Knicks have a cap space doesn’t mean they should use it all on one player, a player who is expected to turn 36 next May.
Like most teams in the NBA, the Knicks will likely be looking to maximize their ability to have maximum coverage space in 2021, when Giannis Antetokounmpo is ready for the open market. Adding Paul’s salary would hinder their ability to spend a lot over the next two summers.
Even if the Knicks were to acquire Paul for next season and then extend the final year of his deal, it would cost them $ 14.7 million dead cap over three seasons – that’s not ideal.