Chris Paul won’t rule out going to the NY Knicks as point guard keeps options open

 Chris Paul is with the Los Angeles Clippers, but can't keep his eyes off the Knicks.

Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Chris Paul is with the Los Angeles Clippers, but can’t keep his eyes off the Knicks.

LAS VEGAS – It has been nearly two years since Chris Paul made the toast heard ’round the NBA at Carmelo Anthony’s wedding.

“We’ll form our own Big 3,” Paul said of possibly joining forces with Amar’e Stoudemire and Anthony – who would be traded to the Knicks seven months later – in New York.

Well, Knicks fans are still waiting and they received a glimmer of hope last week when Paul declined to sign a three-year, $60 million extension with the Clippers. The decision makes financial sense since Paul can potentially sign a five-year, $108 million contract next summer.

“I know why I didn’t sign my extension,” Paul said on Sunday before the U.S. Olympic team practiced. “I’m going to play this season out and see what my options are.”

Paul wouldn’t entirely rule out ending up in a Knicks uniform and neither would Anthony, who smiled when asked about Paul’s future prospects.

But Paul admitted that he was encouraged by what the Clippers have done this summer in adding a couple of former Knicks: re-signing Chauncey Billups and signing Jamal Crawford. Moreover, Paul enjoyed his first season in Los Angeles. He made the All-Star team and the Clippers won a first-round playoff series.

“I love where I am, I love playing with the Clippers and I love playing with this guy (Blake Griffin),” Paul said. “At the end of the year I’ll weigh all my options. That will be my top priority going into next summer.”

Chris Paul Carmelo Anthony

Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News

Could Chris Paul (l.) and Carmelo Anthony stand side-by-side in the same uniform someday?

The Knicks have been searching for a solution at point guard for the past four seasons. They’ve gone through Chris Duhon, Raymond Felton, Billups, Toney Douglas, Baron Davis and now Jeremy Lin, who last week signed a $28.8 million offer sheet with the Houston Rockets.

The Knicks are expected to match the offer for Lin and on Wednesday they also will sign free agent Jason Kidd. The combination of Kidd and Lin is an upgrade but nothing close to what Paul, now in the prime of his career, means to a team.

Marcus Camby met with Knicks officials in Houston on Sunday and the free-agent center also spoke with the Brooklyn Nets on a conference call.

For the Knicks to acquire Camby they would either have to work out a sign-and-trade with the Rockets, or sign him to the mini mid-level exception with a starting salary of $3.1 million. In Kidd’s case, he also could be acquired by a sign-and-trade with the Mavs, or be signed to the mini mid-level. Camby would serve as a backup to Tyson Chandler.

Camby would serve as a back-up center to Tyson Chandler and would continue the trend of the Knicks acquiring former Nuggets players. Over the past two seasons, the Knicks have added Anthony, Billups, J.R. Smith, Sheldon Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter.  They all played together in Denver.

Anthony and LeBron James will be playing in their third straight Olympic games. Their first Olympic experience was a nightmare of course as the U.S. lost for the first time since adding NBA players and ended up with a bronze medal.

Neither Anthony nor LeBron played much in 2004 under Larry Brown.

“I remember everything that happened,” Anthony said. “How can I forget?”


New York Daily News


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