Thursday, July 22, 2010

Paul Demands Trade: Knicks, Magic, Lakers Top His List

New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul used his friends wedding (Carmelo Anthony) as a platform to demand a trade out of the Big Easy. It doesn't come as a surprise to anybody in the sports world, however, as Paul has been very outspoken about what he wants in a franchise: a dedication to winning. Paul has looked at the roster moves that the Hornets brass have made this summer and came to the conclusion that this current team will not compete for a title in the Western Conference.

Not only was Paul looking for help on the court, he was looking for help on the sideline. Paul was unhappy when the Hornets front office decided to fire Byron Scott, someone who Paul looked up to and flourished under. When New Orleans decided to hire Monty Williams as their next head coach, it sealed the end of the CP3 era.

Why did the hiring of Williams seal the end of Chris Paul in New Orleans? First, because Williams coaching experience is five years as an assistant under Nate McMillan in Portland. When a player is evaluating a coach, its all about experience, and the 37 year-old Williams is not only the youngest coach, but he is also the most inexperienced. Second, because the hiring of an inexperienced coach doesn't show Paul that the franchise is dedicated to winning.

So, where are the possible destinations for Paul?

Lakers? ESPN's LandOLakers reports that the Lakers are now officially out of the CP3 sweepstakes


The Knicks are very much in the running to acquire Paul. The signing of Amar'e Stoudemire this summer gives Paul what he really wants: to play with another superstar. The Knicks also have Mike D'antoni who is well respected by players, and has the system that would allow Paul to best showcase his skills. The only snag is, what kind of package can the Knicks put together to make New Orleans pull the trigger? Any team vying for CP3's services needs to come up with nearly 15 million in contracts to make it happen. I'll start with the Knicks:

Deal #1:
Eddy Curry, Wilson Chandler, and Anthony Randolph in exchange for Chris Paul.
This is the deal that I think is a win/win situation. The Knicks get rid of Eddy Curry and his 11 million dollar contract, while getting Chris Paul and keeping Danilo Gallinari. New York does lose two young talents in Chandler and Randolph, but neither of them have the All-Star talent of Paul. New Orleans would pull the trigger on this deal because they would get Curry's 11 million dollar expiring contract, and two young talents in Randolph and Chandler.

Deal #2:
Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph and Danilo Gallinari in exchange for Chris Paul
This deal would be a somewhat desperate move by the Knicks. Is getting Chris Paul worth giving up a stable of young talent? I think they need to somehow keep Gallinari to have the deep threat that Paul needs to spread the floor. This deal is the best for New Orleans, they get Felton, an experienced point guard who can step right in, and a ton of guys with an extreme amount of upside.

Orlando would be a more understandable trade partner for the Hornets, they have better players to offer, and it gives Paul what he really wants: to play for a contender.

Deal #1:
Jameer Nelson and Marcin Gortat in exchange for Chris Paul
Gortat has wanted to get more playing time for a while, and could be a more than serviceable Center with more time on the court. Nelson has been great in Orlando, but he doesn't compare to Chris Paul. This is a good deal for New Orleans as well, they get a good point guard in return and a hard working big man who hasn't had the chance to show what he can really do.

Deal #2:
Vince Carter in exchange for Chris Paul
The Vince Carter Experiment didn't work out last year in Orlando, so the Magic would easily ship him out for Paul. If this deal happens, Orlando could use Nelson as a trade piece to acquire a shooting guard from another team to replace Carter. Carter would be the number one scoring option in the Big Easy and could resurrect his offensive prowess in that role, he would provide New Orleans with superstar talent and power that they would need to compete for a playoff spot in the West.

Paul has said that his first choice is New Orleans, but, the Hornets haven't shown a dedication to winning. The next couple months should be very interesting, and we can refer to this as: "The Demand".

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