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.