clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Hornets Shouldn't Trade Chris Paul to the New York Knicks

As you've no doubt heard by now, Chris Paul's agent has informed the New Orleans Hornets that his client is demanding a trade to the New York Knicks. Paul is himself denying it through "sources," but we've seen this public denial, private subterfuge act enough times in the past to smell it out immediately. The question now becomes how strict of a requirement "New York" is for Paul; if it's his only destination, he'll have backed his current team into a predicament you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.*

*Other than the Lakers. Or the Celtics. Or the Mavericks. Or the Heat. Or the Knicks. Or the Bucks. (2001, never forget).

The Knicks threw away all their assets in the Carmelo Anthony trade; that they could acquire a significantly better player in Chris Paul by trading away literally nothing is depressing beyond measure. But that's where we stand. A quick rundown of the Knicks' roster and assets. Keep in mind that Paul will make $16.3M this year (trade machine, for the masochistic, is here).

Asset: Carmelo Anthony
Salary: $18.5M

Verdict: The New York Knicks will not be trading him for Chris Paul.

Asset: Amar'e Stoudemire
Salary: $18.2M

Verdict: The New York Knicks will not be trading him for Chris Paul.

Asset: Chauncey Billups
Salary: $14.2M

Verdict: His contract expires this year. A straight up trade between Billups and Paul would be legal.

Asset: Ronny Turiaf
Salary: $4.4M

Verdict: Turiaf is a poor offensive rebounder, a poor defensive one, turns the ball over often, and also "is bad."

Asset: Renaldo Balkman
Salary: $1.7M

Verdict: Balkman has played 21 games the last two years, making a total six shots. He is 27 years old.

Asset: Toney Douglas
Salary: $1.1M

Verdict: Douglas is actually pretty awesome.

Asset: Bill Walker
Salary: $0.9M

Verdict: Bill Walker is injured a lot and also sucks.

Asset: Andy Rautins
Salary: $0.8M

Verdict: As a 24 year old rookie, he posted a -1.2 PER in 5 games.

Asset: Landry Fields
Salary: $0.8M

Verdict: Fields is a solid role player.

1st Round Draft Picks New York Cannot Trade Away:

2012 1st: Already traded to Houston
2013 1st: Can't trade 1sts in back to back seasons
2014 1st: Already traded to Denver
2015 1st: Can't trade 1sts in back to back seasons
2016 1st: Already traded to Denver
2017 1st: Can't trade 1sts in back to back seasons

Basically? The first year that New York could send us a first round draft pick is 2018. For a team whose future in terms of ownership, lease, and roster is in turmoil, that's basically worth nothing. Hell, the current CBA has an opt out clause after the 2017 season. There's a reasonable chance that another lockout is underway during the 2018 draft.

New York has no draft pick assets, and neither of their two player assets - Landry Field and Toney Douglas - have star potential. Even if we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Chris Paul will not be a New Orleans Hornet past June 1, 2012, there's no value to be derived from moving Paul to where he wants to go; it's worth more to take a stand as a small market team - make it clear that no, a team cannot throw away all its assets, not pay a price for it, and still pick up one of the league's top 5 players for nothing. It's worth more to force Chris Paul to eat millions of dollars in losses, and go from there. And yes, I know that "taking a stand" here is absolutely meaningless; that's the point.

"Get whatever you can" simply isn't the right answer here.