Chris Paul a Pipe Dream for New York Knicks Unless They Shed Amar’e Stoudemire

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One of the biggest stories that leaked out of the first day of free agency in the NBA was Chris Paul‘s rejection of the Los Angeles Clippers‘ extension.

According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, the Clippers offered Paul a reported three-year, $60 million extension that would have kept him with the team until 2017. With Blake Griffin ready to sign a five-year, $95 million deal with the Clippers, keeping the two together is the top priority for L.A. 

However, it is the second part of the Chris Paul story that will truly cause headlines both now and in the future. According to league executives, Paul still wishes to join the New York Knicks.

Forming another super team in New York—similar to what LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh did in Miami—is clearly the goal for Chris Paul. Aligning himself with fellow stars Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler would truly form a very competitive team.

Unfortunately for Paul, Anthony and countless Knicks fans, this scenario can never play out unless the salary cap is dramatically increased or the Knicks shed one of their larger contracts.

The three contracts that qualify for this are Carmelo Anthony’s three-year, $65 million deal, Amar’e Stoudemire’s five-year, $100 million deal and Tyson Chandler’s four-year, $58 million contract.

With Chandler winning the Defensive Player of the Year award, there is little-to-no chance of the Knicks shedding his contract in order to sign CP3. Throw in the success the two had during their time in New Orleans, however, and combining Chandler and Paul would be something the Knicks must aim for.

While he has had his ups and downs since being traded to the Knicks, there is hardly any chance of the Knicks trying to offload Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony, who showed why he is one of the best players in the league down the stretch, is the Knicks’ most valuable player and the central figure in the organization. Furthermore, it is unlikely that Chris Paul would sign with the Knicks if there is no Carmelo Anthony.

So that leaves the $100 million man, Amar’e Stoudemire.

The biggest free-agency signing for the Knicks two years ago, Stoudemire has just not been the same player since the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony. Amar’e's struggles stem from his inability to dominate without the ball, especially with Anthony operating in many of Stoudemire’s preferred locations. 

Couple his ineffectual offense with his poor defense and recent mental breakdowns, and Amar’e Stoudemire’s time in New York has seemingly run its course. 

While Knicks fans certainly appreciate his move to New York, his poor play of late has soured away much of the good will. 

Unfortunately for the Knicks, trading/removing Stoudemire from the team will be easier said than done as his fall from grace has been well documented in the national media. Persistent knee and back injuries along with an uninsured contract make it almost impossible for the Knicks to get a fair trade for Stoudemire. 

While there are certainly options for the Knicks—in particular a possible trade to Houston—they must look to get 50 cents on the dollar otherwise they don’t stand a chance of trading Amar’e. If needed, the Knicks could also throw in Jeremy Lin in order to split with Stoudemire.

Provided the Knicks succeed in dropping Stoudemire’s contract off the books, signing Paul would be extremely viable.

A core made up of Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler would be a truly formidable big three—one that could even rival Miami’s. Unlike the Heat, the three of them would complement each other and none of them play in a similar fashion.

If the Knicks are serious about contending for NBA championships, they need to get rid of Amar’e Stoudemire and chase after Chris Paul.

Two years ago at Carmelo Anthony’s wedding, Chris Paul made a toast hinting that he, Anthony and Stoudemire should form their own big three in New York. Paul had the right team and was right in choosing Carmelo, but Amar’e should not be in Chris Paul’s plan.

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