Despite adding a few star players in the past couple of years, the Knicks have been unable to compete with the best teams in the league.
New York finished as the seventh and eighth seed in the past two seasons, and picked up only one playoff victory in that span. Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony got swept in 2011, and only won a single postseason game with the addition of Tyson Chandler in 2012.
Chris Paul averaged 19.8 points and 9.1 assists in his first season with the Clippers.
Stoudemire signed with the Knicks in 2010 and New York traded for Anthony a few months later. Many figured that Chris Paul would eventually join the team to form another "Big Three." The Knicks missed out on Paul when he was traded to the Clippers in December.
Paul has reportedly expressed interest in becoming a Knick in the past, even suggesting he would play with Anthony at the forward's wedding. If the point guard wants to eventually play in the Big Apple, he would have to be traded. The Knicks are over the salary cap and have almost no chance of getting below the threshold when Paul becomes a free agent in 2013.
Blake Griffin and Paul had success with Los Angeles in their first year together, going 40-26 and winning a playoff series. Griffin is one of the best young stars in the game, and just agreed to sign a five-year extension with L.A. Despite the commitment from his teammate, Paul has yet to agree to stay with the Clippers long-term.
"I know why I didn't sign my extension," said Paul. "I'm going to play this season out and see what my options are."
Could those options include playing for the Knicks?
If Paul is determined to play for New York, he could join the Knicks through a sign-and-trade. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News thinks that the Knicks are making moves with an eye on Paul next year.
"I don't care who the Knicks match, sign or trade for," tweeted Isola. "I still say it's all about making a run at Chris Paul next July."
A package involving Jeremy Lin, Iman Shumpert, Landry Fields and draft picks might be enough to get Paul to New York. The Clippers first priority will be to keep Paul, but they could agree to a trade if they decide they don't want to lose their point guard for nothing.
Acquiring Paul would prevent the Knicks from making any other moves for the next couple of years, but they'd be willing to do it for a shot at winning a championship. Without another star player, New York will have a hard time competing with the likes of Miami and Oklahoma City.
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