Video: If Chris Paul Wants to Play for the New York Knicks Then Sam Presti Must Play Hardball

Erik Gee

It's time for Sam Presti to play hardball. If Chris Paul wants to be a New York Knick, then Presti needs to make it hurt.  

Jonathan Macri From Sports Illustrated's All Knicks says, "Here's the reality of the situation... "The Thunder are stocked with picks galore and have a 21-year-old point guard primed for stardom in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander."... "Coming off an All-Star appearance and possible All-NBA Team spot, there will never be a better time to trade Chris Paul than right now."

"There's only one problem: a complete lack of suitors."... "Only the Heat even remotely makes sense as a trade partner, but with 2021 looming and Miami's emergence this season as a legitimate team on the rise, it's hard to fathom they'd jeopardize their cap space for a player who wouldn't put them over the top."

Marci suggests that the Knicks would only have to part with a young asset like Frank Ntilikina or Kevin Knox and a possible first-round pick. Not good enough, unless the Knicks are wanting to part with at least two first-round picks, don't Take Leon Roes's call. 

Paul may want to play for his former agent, and there is the thought that New York will go after Carmelo Anthony. Anthony and Paul have made it no secret they would love to finish their careers together; however, Pau's resurgence is showing that he still has a lot left in the tank. 

He's averaging 18 points, seven assists, shooting almost 50 percent from the field, and 36 percent from beyond the arc, all while playing 32 minutes per game. He's also scoring a league-leading 144 clutch points this season. 

Age (35) and contract (85-million in the next two years) aside, Paul is a valuable asset not just to the Thunder but a championship contender which the Knicks arent. Paul George held a gun to Presti's head and the Clippers part with five first-round picks. 

Not that Paul holds the same value as George, but he's not chopped liver.  As money starts to come off that contract, more teams will be interested in Paul's services, and you don't have to deal him over the Summer.  

You can wait till the trade deadline or even the Summer of 2021 as Lakers, Clippers, and Bucks, could become more desperate.  Presti knows that unhappy players can ruin chemistry, but, Paul doesn't seem unhappy in Oklahoma City if he is then he's doing one hell of an acting job. 

An unhappy player is not spending outrageous sums of money to buy his teammates custom suits. Yes, he did need some reputation rehab, but he's also finding a home.  

Maybe, I'm naive, but I don't think Paul is just making the best of an unfavorable situation. Plus, to Marci's original point of Gilgeous-Alexander being the Thunder's next point guard, he's done so well at the two, why move him? 

It would make more sense to move Dennis Schroder off the bench and put him at the starting one.  Presti is all about making players that have served the Thunder well happy; this is one time, he needs to dig in.