Kenny tackled the topic of Chris Paul coming to the Knicks yesterday. If the Knicks were to trade for Paul, what would they give up? What makes sense financially?

AP

With all of buzz surrounding the Miami Heat, the New York Knicks are looking to wrestle some of that attention away from South Beach. Reports are stating that Hornets All-Pro point guard, Chris Paul wants out of New Orleans. Paul has been clamoring for management to bring in another All-Star caliber big-man. After three years, Chris Paul is finally fed up and ready to leave.

Paul has stated that playing alongside Amar’e Stoudemire in New York would be his premiere destination. During Paul’s first three seasons in the NBA, he has arguably transformed into the league’s best point guard. He has averaged 19.3 points per game with 10 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Paul would play the younger, more athletic version of Steve Nash in Mike D’Antoni’s fast-break offense. Paul is under contract until 2012 and will be owed an average of $16 million.

What would it take to land Paul? Let’s take a look at the Knicks payroll.

C- Amar’e Stoudemire-$18 mil

C- Eddy Curry- $11 mil

PF- Ronny Turiaf- $4 mil

SF-Kelenna Azubiuke- $3.3 mil

SF- Danilo Gallinari- $3.3 mil

SF- Wilson Chandler- $2.1 mil

F- Anthony Randolph- $2 mil

SG- Toney Douglas- $1 mil

SG- Bill Walker- $1 mil

PG-Raymond Felton- $8 mil

Total-$56 million

The 2010-2011 salary cap is roughly $58 million, so the Knicks really do not have much wiggle room. With Paul owed $16 million this season, the Knicks will need to clear at least $14 million.

Any package would start with swing man Danilo Gallinari ($3.3 mil). Gallinari is one of the better knock-down long-range young shooters. In addition to Gallo, the Knicks would send New Orleans a future 1st rounder, Toney Douglas ($1.2 mil), and maybe a partial buy-out of Eddy Curry’s expiring $11 million contract. Some are saying that the Knicks would have to take Emeka Okafor ($12 mil) back with Paul, but there simply isn’t enough salary room for such a move.

The Knicks starting lineup would feature: PG-Chris Paul, SG- Raymond Felton, SF-Kelenna Azubuike, PF-Anthony Randolph, C- Amare Stoudemire.

Felton is a little undersized to play shooting guard, but this team would definitely make the playoffs.

This move would set up perfectly for next summer’s big-time free agent, Carmelo Anthony. For Anthony to join the Knicks, the Knicks would need to clear their entire roster outside of Paul, Stoudemire, and Turiaf (player option). All of the eligible 2011-2012 Knicks have qualifying offers and team options, so this is definitely possible. Anthony joining Paul and Stoudemire would give the Knicks a formidable threesome needed to compete against the Miami Heat (Wade, Bosh, James) and Boston Celtics (Pierce, Allen, Garnett, Rondo). Anthony currently has a three-year, $65 million contract extension sitting on the table from the Denver Nuggets. With the Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire this off-season, Anthony may choose to take the sure money now. If he waits, he may form his own super team in New York. Let’s hope Melo wants to come home to New York and chase that first ring….