Chris Paul trade rumors just won’t die. The newest Chris Paul trade rumors involve Paul wanting to be traded out of New Orleans. There had been thoughts that Paul would want to leave New Orleans to go and play with some of his 2008 Team USA friends, but now ESPN is starting to put more stock behind those rumors.
According to ESPN today, Chris Paul wants out of New Orleans. This could mean any number of things, including a trade demand placed to the front office, or simply conjecture that he has shared with his inner circle. The one thing that needs to remain clear in all of these trade rumors is that, even if New Orleans is resolved to not trade Paul, they need to try to keep their superstar point guard happy over the next two seasons.
It’s hard to pin down exactly what is going on in New Orleans, especially with the ever-evolving story coming out of the city. Chris Paul definitely wants to get back into the NBA Playoffs, and if he doesn’t feel that the New Orleans Hornets are going to contend for an NBA Championship, it makes sense that he would want to play in another city.
The Hornets general manager said that Paul wasn’t going anywhere, the city doesn’t want to lose Paul, and the franchise would take a huge step back if Paul was traded to another contender. Everything taking place in New Orleans is starting to mirror what happened with the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, and maybe the Hornets should try their best to avoid a situation like what happened in Cleveland.
New Orleans is over the salary cap again this season, anchored by the heavy weight of the Predrag Stojakovic contract. Once one of the best shooting guards in the NBA, he really isn’t worth the $15.3 million he will make in the 2010-11 season. That’s even more than Paul’s $14.9 million contract, and has definitely kept the Hornets from getting better these past two seasons. This is the rare instance where a team might be able to part with a superstar point guard and get away with it, though.
The secret weapon that the New Orleans Hornets have right now is Darren Collison, who saw a lot of extra action last season when Paul got hurt. He is ready to be a starting point guard in the NBA, and is the best back-up point guard in the league right now. Having Collison instead of Paul in the starting lineup is a step backward, but it isn’t the death sentence that some franchises would experience. Thus, if they could get key (young) pieces for Paul, it might make sense to make a trade before the whole situation blows up.
Paul fell off the radar a bit in the 2009-10 NBA season, but he is still one of the best point guards in the NBA. He can easily get back to scoring more than 20 points per game and dishing out more than 10 assists per game. Will he be doing it in New Orleans next season? Potential destinations, at least the cities where Paul wants to go, now seem to include the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, and Los Angeles Lakers. If the Magic were somehow able to make that deal happen, that would certainly make them an exciting team to watch.