With Ken Berger's report that Chris Paul is adamantly requesting a trade , we need to start exploring the possibilities. The odds are substantially low that Paul gets moved despite his feelings, simply based on the extreme difficulty in packaging the necessary assets to convince Hornets management to pull the trigger. But with a player of Paul's stature on the market (whether his team likes it or not), we need to examine the possibilities. So who's a realistic candidate to make a move for CP3?
Orlando Magic: This one's been out there for a while. The Magic have the right combination of talent, contracts, and assets to maneuver into position for Paul. They can send back a versatile shooting point guard to help with the transition of Darren Collison. They can send Vince Carter and his expiring contract, along with a significant player at shooting guard to pair with Marcus Thornton. They still have draft picks in the can, have expendable players with talent like Marcin Gortat and Brandon Bass. It puts an elite player next to Dwight Howard and matches the upgrade the Heat have made, and potentially gives them an advantage over the Celtics in terms of talent. The question would be if Paul could function inside the unique spacing the Magic employ, which primarily functions on a series of swing passes. There's no question he'd be dominant in the pick and roll with Howard.
New York Knicks: I know. I'm nuts. Hear me out. The deal could in no-way be cemented until December 15th, but the Knicks have Raymond Felton, Kelenna Azubuike, and a handful of prospects. They lack the ability to send draft picks thanks to the desperate firesale move they pulled with the Rockets, but the right combination of players might work. Wilson Chandler next to Marcus Thornton would give the Hornets flexibility on the wing, especially if the Knicks are willing to take on Peja Stojakovic's poison pill. That may be the Knicks' biggest asset: financial flexibility to take on the rest of the Hornets' ill-advised veteran figures. The pull for Paul? If the New York toast rumors were true, this would get him with the best player he's ever played alongside in Amar'e Stoudemire (with apologies to David West), in a major market, and would likely convince Carmelo Anthony to hold off on that contract extension. It's a pretty perfect scenario, which of course means it won't happen.
Portland Trail Blazers: If the Blazers want to get back into talk of being a title contender immediately, this could be their path to salvation. They have picks to move, a ton of flexible players at multiple positions, and Paul in Portland would be ridiculous. Paul, Brandon Roy, and LaMarcus Aldridge, with those centers down low? All of a sudden the Blazers would be within range of the title. The numbers, however, might be too much, especially with the massive amount of money they just tossed at Wesley Matthews. The Blazers would have to surrender most of the depth they've worked to acquire, along with at least one of their two top centers in order to facilitate a deal. But it would also mean a tremendous coup for the new regime.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Here's a stretch. Trying to convince Paul to go to the Ruins of NBA Pompei would be a tricky feat. But if you look at the roster, it might not be impossible. The Cavs do feature a team with depth, with Antawn Jamison and J.J. Hickson still on roster. They have some flexibility in the coming years. They need a hero, and they've shown they're willing to commit to spending. With Byron Scott on roster, who Paul has gone on record in support of multiple times, the Cavs could conceivably replace LeBron James with a new savior. They'd have to give up most of their most attractive assets and nearly everything they got from Miami. But somehow, if New Orleans was at all interested, I don't think they'd mind.
Los Angeles Lakers: Tremble, and be afraid, ye mortals of Earth. This is plausible, possible, and according to KB, one of the teams on Paul's list. The Lakers can send Andrew Bynum, a young stud center, and a handful of short-term contracts for Paul. Paul gets to play alongside the best team in the NBA in the most attractive market in the NBA. He takes the reins from Kobe and helps lead that team into what, three more titles? More? It's a terrifying possibility that would give the Lakers the one-up over the Miami-three. He and Gasol could work the two-man game, and in the triangle, well, okay, that's a downside. Chris Paul in the triangle is like binding a horse's legs. They're not meant to be constrained that way. Shooting corner threes is a waste of Paul's potential, and most of the ball handling isn't done by a point in the triangle. But somehow, playing next to Kobe and Gasol, Paul may not mind.
New Orleans Hornets: No, they won't be trading Paul to themselves. But you have to think this is still the most likely scenario (yes, we said that about LeBron James, too). Paul has been a major force in the community. That's going to tug at him. The Hornets just hired two representatives from the Spurs organization, who clearly have been part of winning environments. He can make the most money there, and has teammates he's gone to battle with. Mostly, though, it's hard to see new GM Dell Demps or head coach Monty Williams being willing to put themselves in a deep dark hole to start their run with the franchise. And trading Paul means a complete rebuild. Not the situation you want to embark on before you've even put your pictures up in your office.
But with the way Paul sounds according to KB, we may see the unlikely become reality once again this year.
If I was the Lakers I wouldn't give up Bynum unless I'm getting another good big. You could start Odom at PF but them your back ups would be really bad.
If you don't trade Bynum for Paul....
I don't like the Lakers as a fit either, but it could happen since he wants be apart of a winner. I think the Orlando Magic is the most natural fit. Allows him to play with a winning team, a big-time low post player, and knockdown shooters all over the place. I think he'd make every single player on that roster better.
I hope the Knicks can get him.
Lakers w/ Chris Paul
Lakers with Paul is clearly the more talented team.
Paul, Kobe, Gasol > LeBron, Wade and Bosh
And the Lakers supporting cast is clearly better.
I think the Mavs have a shot even though they are not on the list. Not only is Cuban willing to spend, he is willing to take on every bad contract they have for Paul. Unfortunately, they don't have Dampier's contract which would have been really valuable to NO bc it is only partially guaranteed. The other negative the Mavs have is that their best prospect is a pg and I'm not sure they want to get back something they already have in a trade, but who knows, they may just want to dump contracts.
I think the trade to Lakers is most likely since DYNCE hasnt started a ''Cp3 to LA'' thread yet.
Seriously though I think Portland has the most to offer with picks, expirings, overseas players, and young talent.
But its basicly where he wants to go, Portland wasnt on his list, but id say ''preferred'' doesnt mean those are the only teams hed go to.
He did say once that he wouldnt want to play for Portland if they had to give up Aldridge, or Roy. So maybe lol we could get him.
Ultimately i think La is the leader. He wants to win titles and what better place than there?
I would hate to see Paul in a Lakers uniform, it wouldnt even be fun to watch someone compete against the Lakers. It would just be a constant reminder that while other teams in the NBA get &$#%#&@! for trades, the Lakers always seem to be on the good end.
Just playing around with a couple scenarios and I found a couple possible trades that might happen with the teams mentioned. Now keep in mind these are just possiblities I'm not saying I think they will happen or should just that the money works out and that I think both teams would be getting good value.
Eddy Curry (expiring contract)
Danillo Gallinari (very young player with immense upside)
Wilson Chandler (athletic swingman)
Anthony Randolph (very young PF with upside)
CP3 (Arguably the top PG in the league and a game changer)
Marcus Thornton (solid young guard with good range and shooting ability)
James Posey (solid veteran swingman)
The Hornets would get three good young players to build around Darren Collison as well as save money over the next few years by taking on Curry's expiring contract and shedding Posey's contract (an important concept for their stingy regime). They're giving up Thornton but for Gallo, Randolph and Chandler it's worth it.
The Knicks would add a game breaker in CP3 as well as a good shooter in the backcourt in Thornton. Posey would add a veteran presence to the locker room to boot. Giving up Gallo might seem awful but with Azubuike and Bill Walker they have depth on the wings and if they're gearing up for Carmelo in FA next year they need an open spot at SF anyway.
Greg Oden (young center still with the ability to be an all-star)
Jerry Bayless (good young combo guard)
Rudy Fernandez (good shooter unhappy with role in Portland)
Luke Babbitt (solid young SF)
Andre Miller (veteran to back up Collison)
Joel Pryzbilla (big man with expiring contract)
CP3 (Arguably the top PG in the league and a game changer)
Emeka Okafor (big contract but still a good rebounder and interior defender)
James Posey (solid veteran swingman)
This trade would have to wait until August so that Babbit could be traded as a rookie but the salaries would match.
This trade actually kinda looks skewered in the Hornets favor. They add a ton of depth and young talent, including getting Oden who still could be an impact player in the future. In addition they shed a few bad contracts especially Okafor's.
The Blazers lose some depth but adding a top PG like Paul should be worth it. Okafor will ease the loss of Oden since he can add 9+ RPG and around 1.8 BPG consistantly. Bayless and Fernandez were under used in Portland anyway so their absence should barely be felt. Miller is an unncessary piece with the addition of Paul. Even with the loss of depth Portland will still be able to bring Wesley Matthews, Okafor and Posey off the bench so their team should be more than capable of competing for the conference championship.
Like I said this trade idea might actually favor the Hornets and strip the Blazer of too much depth. Nonetheless it proves that the Blazers have the neccesary assets to make a realistic play for Paul.
In NO...He's too important to that team right...he can ask for a trade all he wants...unless he sits out or tanks it and cripples his return trade value...