Tagged: Eric Gordon

Chris Paul is Not Going to the Knicks. Now Let’s Move On…

The basketball off-season is like an extended barbershop session.  Like a lazy Saturday afternoon at the barber, during every NBA off-season rumors are circulated just enough for people to believe they are truths, debatable truths, but truths nonetheless.  The latest and greatest of these rumors is that Chris Paul will become a New York Knick. 

There is a grain of truth here; Chris Paul enjoys playing with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.  That’s good and fine.  I enjoy driving a Range Rover and having a personal chauffeur.  Are either in my immediate future? No, but I sure as hell enjoy them and would not hesitate to admit that I do. A similar principle applies for any prospect of a Chris Paul trade to the Knicks.

First of all, have we forgotten that the Hornets are in receivership?  This team is technically owned by the NBA, and given everything that has happened over the past year, I am hard-pressed to believe the 29 other NBA owners would approve of a move that allows Paul to join the Knicks.  Remember the fuss that Mark Cuban made about the Marcus Thornton for Carl Landry trade?  Can you imagine the venom he’d spew if the Knicks were somehow able to flip Chauncey Billups, Landry Fields and Renaldo Balkman for Chris Paul and Trevor Ariza?

Even the notion that the NBA is considering trading acquiescing to Paul’s trade requests is likely to incite a firestorm of criticism from other actual team owners once the lockout is officially over.  Stan Kroenke will surely have positive things to say about a franchise player bowing out of his contract and denying his team a chance at making the best possible trade.

There are only two destinations that make sense for Paul.  Basketball wise, the Clippers would immediately become playoff, if not championship contenders with a nucleus of Paul, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.  ESPN would likely need to start a whole new show devoted entirely to showing clips of Paul alley-oops to Griffin and Jordan.  Gordon will have so much daylight in that quartet that he might become the first NBA player to go a season without dribbling the basketball.

The other option, if the NBA is interested in securing its own bottom line, would be to trade Paul to the Bobcats.  Any traction that the league hoped to get in North Carolina by selling this franchise to Michael Jordan has long expired.  Paul is second to only Lebron James in the list of superstars who could revitalize this market. As a Carolina native who played at Wake Forest, Paul would excite locals and he has the potential to build his own powerhouse squad in Charlotte.  With some shrewd maneuvering, Charlotte could unveil a 2012 starting lineup anchored by Paul, James Harden and Dwight Howard.

Even these two options are closer to rumor and innuendo than they are to fact.  As much as we hate this option, everyone will just have to wait and see what where Paul ends up.

 

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5 Teams That Stand to Gain From NBA Lockout

Quiet as kept, there are some NBA teams that will  likely  benefit from the current lockout.  As I suggest below, a delayed start to the regular season may be just what the doctor ordered for teams such as the Lakers and Mavericks.  On the other end of the spectrum, troubled franchises such as the Nets and Kings would gladly write off the 2011 season.  And then there are the Clippers, Sterling always makes money, so an opportunity to possibly not pay players this year is surely music to his ears.

1) Los Angeles Lakers

Sure father time is catching up to them a bit, but it’s not as if the Lakers lost to the Oklahoma Thunder or Memphis Grizzlies in this year’s playoffs.  They lost to a Dallas Mavericks team that actually has an older rotation than the Lakers.  What hurt this team most was the fatigue born out of making deep playoff runs three years in a row.  There’s a reason why only a few teams have completed three-peats.  The amount of focus needed to win three straight titles is almost inhuman.  With players getting mired in all kinds of side-projects, the Lakers looked like another Hollywood sequel: the core idea was sound, but the supporting cast had become too big for their roles.  A long offseason will give injured Laker star Kobe Bryant time to heal and come back so he take reign his supporting cast.  It will also give the other players time to get their Hollywood on and come back into the fold before their careers run afoul.

2) Dallas Mavericks

Most championship teams need more than the three months allotted in the offseason to get over the euphoria from winning a title.  The longer the lockout wears on, the more time that Mavericks players will have to appear in random parades and tv appearances.  By the time the season finally rolls around the Mavericks will greatly appreciate having a reason to say no to celebrity drop in events.  They will likely have grown so tired of kissing babies, and talking about game 6 that they’d even consider playing for free.  Well maybe I wouldn’t go that far…

3) New Jersey Nets

If you saw the Nets play last year you knew that they were the most listless team in the NBA.  During the first half of the season half the roster seemed to be living out of their lockers because they were sure they’d be traded for Carmelo Anthony.  When the Anthony deal fell through and Deron Williams arrived, they looked like in-laws at a shotgun marriage.  Sure, everyone is playing along and saying this was meant to be, but behind those clenched teeth were prayers begging for this to be over.  A lockout not saves the Nets from having to play at the Continental Airlines Arena, but it also gives the front office more time to try fooling Brooklynites that Deron Williams is a marquis player, and that this team he’s heading up is actually an NBA franchise.

4) Los Angeles Clippers

Sure Donald Sterling isn’t making as much money as if there were a season, but he’s still making money.  On the basketball end, barring either Eric Gordon or Blake Griffin deciding to do their best Shawn Kemp impersonation during this lockout, is there a more stacked young and talented team in the league?  Remember, Griffin missed his rookie campaign and Gordon was injured for most of last year.  If they’re both healthy when play resumes and DeAundre Jordan continues to develop, the Clippers could be scary good.

5) Sacramento Kings

Basketball in Sacramento is still very much on life support.  While the Kings could have used the boost provided by having the league’s most marketable rookie on board, the Maloofs will gladly take any opportunity to not have to make payroll this upcoming year.  A missed season coupled with revenue from renting out Arco Arena might almost be good enough to bring the Maloof brothers in the black.