Matt Barnes, Chris Paul's friend and former teammate, said that although the Knicks were an option for him when they discussed where he was going to be traded to, ultimately, it wouldn't have been all that he had hoped for in playing in New York.
Speaking on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Barnes, said he met with Paul — who he played with on the Los Angeles Clippers from 2012-2015 — at his twins' birthday party this past weekend, and the two spoke about where Paul would end up playing this upcoming season.
"He was saying the Knicks were an option but, you know, if he was going to New York he wanted the full Knick experience, meaning he wanted the fans, he wanted the essence, he wanted the ambiance of that Madison Square Garden crowd. And going there now, you know, we don't know if that crowd will ever be back," Barnes said.
With COVID-19 cases spiking up again in New York and across the country, it's not too far fetched to think that no fans will be in attendance at Madison Square Garden this season.
So instead, Paul was traded to the Phoenix Suns on Monday and will now team up with Devin Booker in a loaded Western Conference.
According to SNY's Ian Begley, there was "a concern about the amount of assets New York would have to surrender to trade for Paul" among some MSG people who were worried they'd lose to much capital for a potential future trade for another high-profile player.
The Suns gave up Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick for Paul and Abdel Nader.
Oubre and Rubio seem to be better pieces than anything the Knicks would have had to offer besides additional picks, so it seems like things really didn't connect on both sides.
The Knicks still have a number of options to look at this offseason, starting with the NBA Draft Wednesday night, where they hold the No. 8, 27 and 38 picks.