OKC Thunder: Pros and cons of trading Chris Paul to New York Knicks

Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder in action against the New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder in action against the New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots past RJ Barrett #9 and Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

What Knicks would be willing to trade:

Following up on the point above is the question of what the Knicks could or would be willing to send back for Paul.

When CP3 landed in OKC the thinking was Presti would have to give up draft picks to move Paul and his huge salary. But now the GM is in a position where he has all the leverage

If nothing else the Paul George and Russell Westbrook trades proved Sam Presti won’t force a deal for the sake of a deal.

And, with a cupboard full of draft picks and swaps there is no certainty Presti will ever enter full-on tank mode. Not when those picks could be split between bolstering the team with young assets and using some to add draft prospects.

The one fact many seem to miss is Paul’s contract situation. Although Paul is set to make $41.3M next season and $44.2M in 2021-22 the Thunder aren’t desperate to move him.

Next season the Thunder has $55 million guaranteed contracts tied up in 11 players with holds on free agents Andre Roberson, Danilo Gallinari, Nerlens Noel, and Kevin Hervey. The likelihood is the team will ink Luguentz Dort to a varsity deal, but it won’t be excessive given his age and experience.

Bottom line, salary isn’t a factor Presti has to worry about entering this offseason or next season so CP3’s contract is not an issue. And, even if the team elects mid-season to shed salary they have Dennis Shroder and Steven Adams on expiring deals.

The key here is why would Sam Presti trade CP3 to the Knicks to get back assets of lesser value both in terms of their production and their trade value?