Chris Paul might have won over some influential admirers March 6 during his latest visit to Madison Square Garden.
Some members of the New York Knicks organization see the the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard as the ideal addition to help build a winning culture under newly installed president Leon Rose, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.
Those Knicks reportedly believe Paul, 34, could teach his younger teammates in New York habits necessary for success in the NBA.
Begley also notes it’s “unclear” whether the Thunder will make Paul available for a trade or how aggressively the Knicks would be wiling to pursue him. However, Rose is Paul’s former agent, and their relationship likely would influence New York’s potential pursuit of a deal.
Paul will earn roughly $85 million over the final two years of his contract, and Begley suggested Thursday the Knicks would have to trade at least one of their core young players and a high draft pick for the 10-time NBA All-Star.
The Thunder acquired Paul last July from the Houston Rockets as part of the Russell Westbrook trade. Paul is averaging 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 63 games this season and has helped the Thunder amass a surprisingly impressive 40-24 record.
The Miami Heat reportedly tried to trade for Paul last summer and might retain an interest in his services. If that’s the case, the Knicks will face some competition for someone they believe would lead a culture change.