Paul to Knicks highly unlikely

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

ESPN's Chris Broussard reported late Thursday night that Chris Paul is upset with the Clippers because owner Donald Sterling suggested that the team fired coach Vinnie Del Negro to appease its stars.

According to Broussard, this did not sit well with Paul.

"How much of an impact this will have on Paul's decision to re-sign with the Clippers as a free agent is not clear," Broussard writes. "But the source conceded that Paul's anger could lead him to look elsewhere."

Undoubtedly, some Knicks fans saw this news and hoped it meant Paul was closer to landing in New York.

But the reality is, it didn't change much at all from the Knicks' perspective. A Paul-to-New York scenario remains highly unlikely.

We have gone over this before, but just to reiterate the point, here's what it would take to get Paul to New York:

First, Paul, a free agent, would need to tell the Clippers that there was no way he'd re-sign there and he'd have to demand a sign-and-trade to the Knicks. In doing so, Paul would be leaving significant money on the table because the Clippers can offer him about $28 million more than the Knicks -- or any other club -- can pay him.

And even if Paul decides he wants to play for the Knicks -- and only the Knicks -- GM Glen Grunwald would have to pull off a minor miracle to bring Paul to Broadway.

Here's why: if you take the $82 million we assume the Knicks will be committed to for 2013-14 and add another $18.7 million -- the amount Paul will earn in the first year of his deal -- you get $100.7 million. The Knicks' total salary will need to be under $75.5 million after they trade for Paul to make a sign-and-trade work under the current CBA rules, per ESPN's Larry Coon. So they'd have to send out about $25.2 million to make it work.

Let's say they send Amar'e Stoudemire ($21.7 million) and Raymond Felton ($3.6 million) to the Clippers. They then could take back Paul. But why would the Clippers agree to that deal? If you are Clippers VP of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks, is there any way you agree to take back a package centered around Stoudemire? Not if you like your job.

The Knicks could also send out a package centered around Tyson Chandler, but it's very hard to see the Clips accepting that package either.

So the chances of Paul landing in New York remain the same in light of the most recent development: highly unlikely.

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