Let the Leon Rose era begin.
Three days removed from being named the Knicks' President of Basketball Operations, Rose has his sights set on the future with the help of a familiar face. The Knicks have "gathered intel" and could pursue Oklahoma City star Chris Paul, Rose's former client, during the offseason, according to Sirius XM's Frank Isola.
Paul, however, won't become an unrestricted free agent until 2022, but Oklahoma City may be willing to part ways with Paul's significant contract. At $38.5 million, Paul is the second-highest paid NBA player this season, per Basketball Reference. He'll earn over $85 million between the next two seasons before he hits the open market — $41 million in 2020-21 and $45 million in 2021-22.
Paul shares an extensive history with the newly named Knicks president. The 34-year-old is one of many players Rose had represented when he was an agent at Creative Arts Agency (CAA).
"I was excited," Paul told reporters earlier this week, via The Oklahoman's Maddie Lee. I was surprised like everybody else. Le has been with me for a long time through a lot of different things and I couldn’t be happier for him and his family."
The Knicks allowed Paul to slip away throughout the past few seasons. In 2019, the Knicks refused a potential deal from the Houston Rockets, according to The Ringer. Houston later traded Paul to the Thunder in a deal centered around Russell Westbrook.
Rose was reported to also have interest in former Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks could reunite with Anthony, who signed a one-year contract with Portland in November.