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Rumor: Knicks could trade for Thunder star Chris Paul this summer

Thunder star Chris Paul

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28: Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on in the first quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum on February 28, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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The Knicks are bad. Their young talent plays for the Mavericks is underwhelming. Their overwhelming storyline is a feud with Spike Lee.

Where does New York go from here?

New Knicks president Leon Rose barely explained his plan publicly.

But maybe he tipped his hand on interest in Thunder star Chris Paul.

Frank Isola of The Athletic:

There is a MASSIVE gulf between gathering intel on a player and trading for him.

The Knicks have a new front-office leader and presumably new staff below him. They should be gathering intel on everyone.

Is their interest in Paul actually significant? Maybe. That possibility makes this report worth considering.

Paul doesn’t make the most sense in Oklahoma City, which was planning to rebuild and has Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. New York often chases big names. The Rose connection is real.

But this could easily be people connecting dots with foolhardy speculation. Agents-turned-executives acquire their former clients far less often than people talk about it happening. And, again, this could be routine information gathering being inflated by assumptions.

Paul would bring credibility to the Knicks. He’s still darned good.

But he’s also 34 and due $85,569,960 over the next two years. How much will New York have to send the Thunder for the star? How much production will Paul provide as he ages? Do the Knicks have enough supporting pieces to win a satisfactory amount with Paul? Given his high salary, would they have enough remaining spending power to get those pieces around him?

These are the difficult questions the Knicks too rarely ask in their quest to gobble up stars.

Which is why, accurate or not, this report is – at the very least – believable.