A Weekend for Knicks Fans to Dream About Chris Paul

Paul meets with Hornets Monday about his future

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    At some point this weekend, every Knicks fan is going to find himself thinking about Chris Paul. Maybe it will be while sitting next to a pool, maybe when they're on a train or maybe when they're playing a pickup game themselves, but Paul will run through everyone's mind in the next two days and put a smile on their faces.

    It's the thought of Paul running pick-and-rolls with Amar'e Stoudemire and hitting Danilo Gallinari for open threes that creates the smile, but it also simply the fact that it is July and you're thinking about Knicks basketball. It's been a long while since that's been the case, a long while since the Knicks were able to command back space inches in the middle of a plenty interesting baseball season.

    That's about all you need to call the decisions of the past two years a success for Donnie Walsh. It didn't work out perfectly, nothing short of LeBron James can claim that level of praise, but it worked out pretty darn well. As things stand today, the Knicks are a better, more cohesive basketball team than we've seen in quite some time. They aren't world-beaters but the back end of the playoffs would certainly be within reach.

    Because Walsh cleared all that cap space, though, and because he pulled the trigger on Stoudemire, the Knicks will always be involved in the bidding when a player who can make them more than that hits the market. They have both the money and, thanks to landing three players for David Lee, the assets to keep them in the mix for guys like Paul, Carmelo Anthony and others who want to be part of the next big package deal.

    That's probably not the best thing for the NBA, expect to hear a new take on whether players planning elaborate strategies to play together constitues a problem for David Stern, but it stands to reason that the Knicks are going to eventually land some version. Paul would represent a best-case scenario since elite point guards don't come around and landing him would be awfully meaningful for what the Knicks are trying to do.

    All of this could wind up being moot, either because Paul stays in New Orleans or gets dealt elsewhere. Such is life. It's a nice little dream for a summer weekend and even nicer to actually be excited about a Knicks season again.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.