Friday , Jul , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: has Chris Paul to N.Y. Knicks been in the works for weeks?

The Knicks are willing to trade anyone aside from newly-signed forward Amar’e Stoudemire for Hornets guard Chris Paul, according to a league source.

Paul is scheduled to meet with New Orleans general manager Dell Demps, head coach Monty Williams and president Hugh Weber on Monday.

"Amar’e won’t be traded, but everyone else is available," the executive said of New York.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, Chris Paul to the New York Knicks has been in the works for weeks.

After all, Paul and the New Orleans Hornets couldn’t possibly last. Not in today’s polarized NBA, where a few big spenders dominate and the rest of the league gets the table scraps.

New Orleans as a market can’t generate enough revenue to provide Paul with a supporting cast. And New Orleans’ owner, George Shinn, either lacks the pockets or will to personally pay for talent.

So it wasn’t a if, but a when. When would the point guard tire of small market New Orleans and demand a trade to a major market.

Enter the Knicks.

New York is the media capital of the world. They play in historic Madison Square Gardens. Owner James Dolan has no issue throwing money around like a multi-platinum rapper at the strip club.

And for some time, they’ve wanted Paul.

Consider the evidence. After signing a max contract with the Knicks, Amar’e Stoudemire announced he’d form his own super team in New York with Carmelo Anthony and Paul to rival the Miami Heat’s Three Kings.

Unfortunately, his prospective co-stars both had contracts. Anthony has a year left on his deal with the Nuggets. Paul owes the Hornets two years. 

Unless STAT knew something we didn’t. Where the wheels were already in motion?

Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni, New York’s lead executive and coach, surely heard the rumblings that Paul wanted out of New Orleans. They probably promised Stoudemire they’d do everything possible to get C3P.  

The NBA is also a close fraternity. Players are buddy-buddy. Stoudemire and Paul have probably discussed balling together over bottles in the club or through text messages.

Then, this summer the Knicks agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors, where they sent David Lee out west for Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, and Ronny Turiaf.

There’s a feeling the Knicks specifically took back assets the Hornets would want. Turiaf makes sense as a back-up to Stoudemire, but Walsh likely picked Azubuike and Randolph because he knew their age and cheap salaries would appeal to New Orleans. 

In other words, they were positioning themselves to get Paul.

They knew this was coming. They saw the sign -Paul leaving his long-time management company Octagon in early July to join LRMR services, owned by best friend LeBron James.   

Today’s report clearly supports this belief. Apparently, the Hornets can ask for any player(s), other than Stoudemire, on the Knicks’ roster. Azubuike and Randolph could easily be part of a blockbuster package.

So if Paul lands in New York, it’s no accident and has been in the works for a long, long time.

–Oly Sandor.

 
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