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#pounditWednesday, August 4, 2021

Chris Paul unlikely to join Knicks due to CBA contract rule?

Chris Paul Suns

Chris Paul to the New York Knicks may be a dream scenario for some, but it does not appear likely to come true for one big reason.

Via Marc Berman of the New York Post, ESPN cap expert Bobby Marks pointed out that the obscure “over-38” bylaw in the league’s CBA gives the Phoenix Suns a significant advantage in keeping Paul if he opts out of his current deal. The Knicks can only offer Paul a three-year contract due to over-38 restrictions, while the Suns could use Paul’s Bird rights to secure a fourth year. That essentially means that the Suns can make Paul an offer, and if the Knicks or any other team moves to match it, the Suns can add a fourth year.

Paul has a $44 million player option for 2021-22. After his outstanding season with Phoenix, there is a growing expectation he will decline it in order to seek a longer deal while his value is high.

The Paul-to-New York links have emerged recently, with the Knicks growing in stature as a free agent destination. That may be true, but at least in this possible pursuit, the team would be at a clear disadvantage.

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