Can the Knicks Afford Third Star?
(Chris) Paul will make $16.4 million this year and would be opting out of $17.7 million in 2011-12. Should he opt out next summer, a new five-year contract with the Hornets would start at $17.177 million and pay him as much as $22.3 million by the end — a total of $98.8 million. In comparison, over the life of the maximum allowable four-year deal with the Knicks, he could get only $57.6 million.
So if Paul really wants to go to New York, he can go — as long as he’s willing to give up, at a minimum, forty million dollars to do it. (The same, incidentally, applies for Deron Williams or Dwight Howard.)
In fact, even this scenario seems optimistic as far as Paul’s New York earning potential; it would basically involve New York giving away Iman Shumpert, Toney Douglas, and Landry Fields, not to mention whatever players the Knicks sign this offseason or draft next June. The Knicks would have only the “mini” mid-level and a bunch of minimum contracts to use to surround Paul, (Carmelo) Anthony and Amare (Stoudemire) — they’d have vastly less, in other words, than even the Heat had to work with last summer.