NBA / Jul 22, 2010 / 5:30 pm

The 5 Best Teams for Chris Paul

Chris Paul (photo. Zach Wolfe)

In just a matter of a few days, the prospect of Chris Paul being traded by the New Orleans Hornets turned from an “if” into a “when.”

For a couple of years rumors have been thrown around concerning a CP trade, mostly because the Hornets were struggling financially and CP was their most expensive player. But lately it’s been Paul driving the increased trade talk. Yesterday he reportedly told the team he wants to be dealt before the beginning of the season, and earlier today the team scheduled a Monday face-to-face meeting with its franchise superstar.

Even though they are saying they aren’t looking to trade their best player, New Orleans may eventually have to. If they do, look for them to try to also unload Emeka Okafor and the $52 million remaining on his contract. Here are the five teams destined to be in the discussion for Paul:

NEW YORK KNICKS
Ever since Carmelo Anthony‘s wedding in New York City, where it was reported that Paul talked to ‘Melo and Amar’e Stoudemire about forming their own trio in Manhattan, Knicks fans began thinking again about what could be.

ESPN is reporting the Knicks are the No. 1 team on CP’s wish list:

“Those guys want to beat the three guys in Miami,” a source close to the situation said. A report Wednesday on CBSSports.com said Paul saw what James did in signing to play alongside Wade and Bosh and has designs on doing something similar.

Anthony has one year left on his deal with the Nuggets before he can become a free agent. The Nuggets, meanwhile, have offered Anthony a three-year, $65 million contract extension.

The Knicks do have some interesting assets like Eddy Curry‘s $11 million expiring salary, Danilo Gallinari and Anthony Randolph. But they seemingly don’t have a first round pick until 2029 because of past trades (actually, Houston has the right to swap picks with them in the next two NBA Drafts).

As long as there is a possibility of forming their own Big Three, I don’t think anyone on the Knicks roster is safe. At this point outside of Stoudemire, it’s impossible to speculate who will be there by this time next year.

Imagine the numbers Paul would put up in Mike D’Antoni‘s system? And if CP ends up here, does that make Melo think twice about signing his extension with Denver?

ORLANDO MAGIC
Apparently, Orlando is number two on Paul’s wish list, probably because of the presence of Dwight Howard and their well-established winning foundation. Howard catching lobs from Paul off the screen and roll would be insane. And with Rashard Lewis spotting up on the wing, the point guard would have multiple scoring options.

Ironically, for all of the talent the Magic already have, Paul would probably flourish even more individually at Disney. The team is itching for a perimeter playmaker. Howard is obviously not comfortable leading the team offensively and would hurt his wrists from how hard he would be dunking Paul’s lobs.

But there are some issues with exactly how they could convince New Orleans to take their offer. Orlando has Jameer Nelson and some young assets starting with Ryan Anderson (not exactly a great asset). The problem is that the Magic may lack the salary cap relief and high draft picks that the Hornets will want.

The Magic does have Vince Carter in the final year of his contract (next year is a team option for $18 million). That would leave a hole at the wing spot, but if you are a Magic fan, I’m pretty sure you take that problem.

DALLAS MAVERICKS
Always a player in any available big name, no one has the amount of assets that the Mavericks can offer. Rookie Dominique Jones has been destroying the competition in summer league and Roddy Beaubois is a talent. They also have some huge expiring deals in Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson.

A pick and roll of Dirk and CP would rival any combo in the League. Paul could be the leader the franchise has been searching for since Mark Cuban got there and his game should fit seamlessly into whomever the Mavs keep on their roster. More importantly, Nowitzki looks like a perfect running mate and the two could function as the new age Dirk/Nash. Also, Shawn Marion would probably be ecstatic playing with Paul. But, what about Jason Kidd?

Will the Hornets be willing to trade off the franchise to another team within the Southwest Division? I’m not sure. It goes against business etiquette.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
The Blazers already offered the Hornets a few different proposals, but nothing seemed to pique New Orleans’ interest. They have to be considered the dark horse; Joel Przybilla has a $7.4 million expiring deal and Andre Miller, Jerryd Bayless, Rudy Fernandez and Nicolas Batum all have team options for next summer.

A backcourt of Paul and Brandon Roy would be killer. But who would take a backseat considering they both are fantastic playmakers? A trade for Paul could put them over the top, but I feel like we’ve been talking about the Blazers’ rise for the last four or five years. They seem to be stuck in the middle, consistently in someone else’s shadow, more Casey Affleck than Ben. You can blame luck, injuries or Greg Oden. That could all change with CP.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS
While the two-time defending champs may be off of Paul’s wish list, lets throw them in the conversation anyways. They have some pieces that could be very attractive to New Orleans, starting with 22-year old center Andrew Bynum. Sasha Vujacic has a $5 million expiring deal and Lamar Odom has $8 and $9 million coming his way before a team option in 2012.

Although many Lakers’ fans have speculated, Paul would be dynamite in L.A. once Head Coach Phil Jackson retires and/if they move away from the triangle. But for right now, even with the presence of the Miami Heat, I can’t see a deal being worked out between the two sides.

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  • i0ioooi0i

    first

  • KnicksFan84

    Paul will be a Knick no later than December. True story.

  • Jau28

    Atlanta hawks? Denver nuggets?

  • kingralf

    omg, bynum is still only 22? all the injuries make him seem older…
    just hope he can stay healthy for the next years

  • sh!tfaced

    barring chemistry bullshit, rondo for chris paul is a great deal for both teams. upgrade the big three with cp3 and the c’s will definitely give the superfriends a damn good fight.

    but that’s just me…

    …and ESPN… LOL

  • Shot In Your Face

    Lakers don’t immediately need CP3 since the triangle offense isn’t really a point guard oriented offense. His biggest contribution would be on the defensive side. I’m not so sure trading 7 footer bynum and 6-10 Odom is worth it. Teams fear the Lakers because of their length (and some dude named Kobe). Although a starting 5 of CP3, Kobe, Artest, Gasol, Okafor is killer, their bench will be pretty thin. If the Lakers go away from the triangle offense, then Paul will help tremendously however.

    CP3 in NY would be nice especially if the Knicks pick up Carmelo. Moving all these star players to the East, makes it more likely the Lakers will win even more championships.

    My questions to you guys?

    Would you rather have a league with a few elite teams with 2-3 superstars or a lot of good teams with 1-2 superstars?

  • chris

    If any team besides of Orlando and New York makes sense, it is the Charlotte Bobcats. It’s only an hour from where he grew up and lives during the off-season, Michael Jordan is owner, and the Hornets are looking for cap-relief which the Bobcats could give them with Erick Dampier’s non-guaranteed contract, and they’d get some younger players with potential out of it like D.J. Augustin and Gerald Henderson.

  • LakeShow84

    Trade Blake/Vuajacic/Odom for SERVICABLE big

    then trade Bynum/Odom or Bynum/Draft picks for CP3

    Just dreaming haha

  • http://astrokidz.tumblr.com T.J.

    No ATL? He’d fit well imo.

  • Rizwan

    So the 5 best destinations for CP3 are the ones being reported rather than on basketball considerations?

    I knew as I opened this page, these were gonna be the teams listed! You could actually think about CP3 and his abilities and where they would mesh best before just regurgitating what ESPN already reported.

    I agree with the Knicks and Magic because they are good fits, dont have a primary ballhandler and he would thrive there. But Portland? LA? Come on!

    What about teams like Houston?

    Just because CP3 wants to go those teams doesnt mean their his best option!

    @ 6

    Much rather see a competitive playoffs like this season then next season where Miami are likely steamrolling through the East

  • http://richjanitorreviewed.org BV

    If the mAgic get Paul, watch out East!

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    LOLOL @ Chris Paul, leader. I’m sure he’ll get lots of respect around the locker room. “Hey look guys, here comes the punk that couldn’t win anything on the last team he was on, got paid, then skipped out on his signature, his name on the dotted line…lets do what HE says.”

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    In point of fact, Chris Paul is not currently nor has ever been the Hornets’ most expensive player.

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    I doubt the Hornets will be looking for cap relief. They have $20-25M coming off the books next summer if they make no moves. They will want young pieces under contract or high picks.

    Which is why all the “requested” teams are pretty much bad trade partners for the Hornets. And really, as a fan, I say tell him to suck it. With 2 years left on your contract, if you pitch a fit you go where we send you.

    But that’s just me.

  • BigDOG

    @sh!tfaced

    son…lay off the cool-aid. Rondo for CP3!!?!? You lost yo mind boy!? Rondo will school CP3 any day of the week.
    Rondo is the undisputed #1 PG in the L.

  • Stunnaboy09

    @BigDOG

    Either your

    a) High
    b) Retarded

    CP3 is Rondo’s ceiling. PLain as that. Both the same players only CP has a SWEET jumper. Swap Rondo for CP I guarantee you Celtics beat the Lakers.

    Best team? Orlando no doubt. Trade Vince/Nelsen and Pietrus for him. Orlando gets a go to scorer to complement Dwight and the Hornets lived off CP dishing the rock to their shooters.

    Where he goes? New York. Ever since that talk about making their own big 3, ‘Melo leaving the extenson on the table and now this? Its happening. Curry and either Azubuike/Gallo/Chandler for New Orleans. Then ‘Melo has all the leverage now and I bet he forces Denver to trade him for 40 cents on the dollar.

    Where he should go? Nowhere. He signed the extension he should play it out. This is bad for basketball now that players have all the power the league is gonna go under. Lower teams are just going to be farms for bigger market ones. This shit better be addressed in the CBA.

  • Paul Wall

    Nuggets should make a run at him. They will have money this offseason for a big name big man. Just depends if The owner wants to spend the money.

  • http://newestwear.com/index.php/handbags/strawstudios.html Randy Handbag

    I still think the lakers need him against the Heat

  • heavy d

    The 5 best teams are the five that CBS and ESPN have named that he wants to go to? I don’t get that. Atlanta I think would both be a viable answer. If Atlanta gave up one of their bigs (Josh Smith or Al Horford, expiring contracts (Jamal Crawford primarily), and picks) to take on CP3 and possible another really bad contract like Emeka or Posey then the result would be a lineup with a big SG, a tall SF who can run the floor, and whichever PF doesn’t get traded (Horford or Smith). They could then sign another big (or possible had Okafor and his huge contract). That’s a solid lineup with pieces compatible with Paul’s playing style.

    The one problem is Atlanta ownership would have to start spending which is why Paul wants out of New Orleans anyway.

    Atlanta could make the best offer to New Orleans (a young stud player, picks, and cap relief now in and in the future) and still have enough left to be a heck of a team.

  • Three Stacks

    Yo Dime, Matt Barnes just signed with the Lakers for 2 yrs and $3.6 million. Wheres the article at.

  • Three Stacks

    Also signed Theo Ratliff for one year. Guess Mbenga is gone.

  • Stunnaboy09

    Wow is it me or does every guy that fights with Kpbe ends up being his teammate. Artest, he tried to recruit Bell now Barnes? is he like afraid of them or something?

  • screwface

    He should go to Toronto!

  • OneZero

    as a Cp3 fan, I’m sad to see him act this way, but he’s doing whats best for his career by risking his image.

    thankfully NO is not his hometown.

  • Heckler

    chris paul has NO leverage in the situation.
    Hornets front office is meeting with him just to remind him that they dont have to do shit.

    and then what? he STILL has to play 2 more seasons in Nawlins.

    Players need some leverage before they can start demanding trades and request wishlists.

    if chris paul is told he aint gonna be traded and he doggs it for a year, then he’s only be lowering his own trade value.

    Im not against players asking for trades (privately nor publicly), but like i said, you gotta have leverage.

    Hornets are gonna tell him on monday that they aint trading him. and he aint gonna be able to do shit about it.

  • Sporty-j

    Kobe signs all his enemies. Good signing for the Lakers though and my Heat are still going to buss that a$$. Cant believe the dude that said CP3, Melo, and Amare is better than Wade, Lebron, and Bosh. Which one of those players are better than who because i could have sworn between Kobe, Wade, and Lebron that they were the 3 best players in the league. Amare and Bosh will have to battle it out though and i think Bosh is going to be like Gasol and dominate and show what he can do on a good team and with another superstar or should i say 2 lol…

  • JZ

    HAHAH @BIGDOG – it’s one thing to say rondo is the best pg in the league, or the best playmaker or something, but you can’t say “undisputed” best pg in the league hahaha – there’s no statistical evidence to back that up…and yes two finals appearances and one ring in the last three years, but by that measure, derek fisher is better than him…..the word “undisputed” does not fit here at all – but on the flip side, thanks for making me smile today and brightening my friday morning in my cube….ahhh middle management….

    next time don’t use “rondo will school cp3″ as your evidence as to why rondo is the “undisputed” top PG in the nba hahhahahaha

  • carmikal

    The thing with Orlando is why trade for Jameer when the pg spot will be gift wrapped for Collinson? There is no way that I’d take on Jameer’s contract for him to be a backup. N.O. will probably be leary about deals with a lot of cap space because without CP3 who wants to go there? Especially considering that nobody knows what kind of coach Monty will turn out to be. They need to build through the draft like the Thunder.

  • We-It Athletics

    If CP3 being traded to New York along wit Melo to team up with Amare would create a great Offensive team but who would play D and rebound…We all know def. wins championships… I love and respect all of their games but Melo and Amare aren’t exactly known for their defensive prowless….(Paul broke a NBA steals record)….D’Atoni is an offensive genius but defensively his teams lack that toughness and desire need to get a stop in a game 7…Melo and Amare have the ability to be great def. players but do they have that W-A-N-T in their D.N.A…idK

  • http://newestwear.com Randy Handbag

    New York would still need a lot more help though