The Knicks were wiped clean of several of their young assets and draft picks in the Anthony trade last February, losing Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph, Timofey Mozgov, one first-rounder and two second-rounders.
But they did the deal partly because it protected the 2012 cap situation with the master plan of signing Paul as a free agent in 2012, after his contract with the Hornets expires, and forming a Big 3 with Amar’e Stoudemire and Anthony. The plan did not include having enough chips to trade for him this season.
The Knicks don’t have their 2012 or 2014 first-round picks. Under NBA rules, the Knicks can’t trade a first-round pick until 2016 because a team can’t be without a pick in back-to-back years. The Knicks’ 2012 pick is with Houston from the Tracy McGrady deal and the 2014 pick went to Denver.
As for young pawns, the Knicks have first-round pick Iman Shumpert, who hasn’t played an NBA game, second-year man Landry Fields, who slumped badly after the Anthony trade after a nice rookie year, and Toney Douglas, who is recovering from major shoulder surgery.
The Knicks do have Chauncey Billups’ expiring contract, but that is of little use to the Hornets, who can hold on to Paul and have his contract expire. A third team would be needed to make Billups’ expiring pact have value. That team must be willing to give up a young assets to New Orleans and need to be looking to clear cap space for 2012’s free-agent bonanza.Read more: HERE