‘Chris Paul to Lakers’ rumors have spread all morning. But the Chris Paul to Lakers possibility is only one of a few for Chris Paul. The Hornets star wants to leave New Orleans, despite having two years left on his contract. After what happened with the new ‘Big Three’ in Miami, Paul wants to be part of a super team too. Although the Chris Paul to Lakers rumors lead the story, it appears he wouldn’t mind going to Orlando or New York as well.
According to CBS Sports, Paul has requested a trade to one of three teams. CBS’s source directly said that he wants to model himself after LeBron James, who changed teams in order to play with other superstars.
The Chris Paul to Lakers possibility is the most tantalizing, since this would pair him with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and the rest of the two-time champions. This would make the anticipation for Lakers-Heat showdowns even greater, since the Lakers would also have a Big Three now. Yet even without Paul, the Lakers may still have enough to hold off James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh if they have to.
However, the Chris Paul to Lakers rumors aren’t the only ones out there. According to CBS, Paul is also open to go to the Magic, or to the Knicks. These two teams aren’t champions, and the Knicks aren’t even contenders yet. Still, pairing Paul with Dwight Howard and the 2008 Eastern Conference champions could alter the balance of power in the East again.
The Magic are now the forgotten team in Florida, despite their achievements the last two years. Getting Paul would certainly intensify the new in-state rivalry between the Magic and Heat. It would also make the Eastern Conference even more stacked and competitive.
The Chris Paul to Lakers rumors, although with the ones involving the Magic, are obvious choices. If he wants to join a contender, these two teams are among the best to go to. His interest in the Knicks seems to be odder, however, since they are still also-rans.
Yet if he went to the Knicks, he would join Amare Stoudemire as the Knicks’ newest stars. There are also reports that this could compel Carmelo Anthony to join New York, and form a Big Three for the Knicks. Their offseason looked to be a flop, since they didn’t have a chance to get James. But getting Paul along with Stoudemire would help make up for it, especially if it draws Anthony’s interest.
The odd team out of all this is New Orleans, which now might understand why Cleveland melted down over James’ decision. Paul looked to salvage basketball in New Orleans two years ago, when the Hornets had the best record in the Western Conference. But in no time, the Hornets have sunk back to mediocrity, causing Paul to seek bigger pastures.
If a Chris Paul to Lakers deal can get done, he will have gone to the biggest pastures other than Miami. But going to Orlando and New York may be just as big, and would send a clear message to the Heat. Either way, it appears that the Heat’s ‘Big Three’ may start a new era of ‘super teams’ sooner than expected.
CBS Sports- “With Paul wanting out, new Hornets brass facing critics”
ESPN- “Hornets hire Demps; Paul wants out?”