Jun 23, 2010

Chris Paul on the Trading Block?

No way the Hornets would ever consider moving Chris Paul, right? He's the face of the franchise and the main reason the Hornets have had any success since they moved to NOLA. Well, don't get too attached to him now because I can definitely see scenarios where CP3 is traded.

Rumors have been rampart for a few weeks now and with the NBA Draft taking place tomorrow night, there's a chance that by Friday, Paul will no longer be a Hornet. How can this be, you might say? Consider this, the Hornets are in clear rebuilding mode. Last year, the GM took over as head coach. Now they have a 1st time NBA head coach in Monty Williams, who is also the youngest NBA coach in the league. CP3 has made it clear that while he wants to stay in NOLA, he wants to play for a winner more. So this whole rebuilding thing isn't for him.

Then, take a look at last season, Paul missed half the season with injuries. Rookie Darren Collison filled in and did a great job, especially for a rookie (And if they don't move Paul, Collison is the next valuable asset that could be traded). While Collison's no Chris Paul, he did average 12.5 points and 5.7 assists per game, and those numbers are surely to only improve with more experience.

The last thing to consider is that Paul only has two more years on his contract. That's something big to consider. His trade stock would only diminish the longer the Hornets hold onto him, since the closer he gets to free agency, teams will just wait until he hits the open market. With the Hornets ownership situation in limbo, the team may have to take Paul's contract into consideration. Can they even afford to pay him for his last two years of his deal? Then you have to look at what CP3 will do when his contract is up. If the Hornets have two more seasons of sub-40 win seasons and miss the playoffs, why would Paul want to stay? Let's even consider that they do make the playoffs in the next two years, are they better than the 6th or 7th seed in the loaded West? Being bounced in the 1st round surely wouldn't entice CP3 to want to hang around the Big Easy much longer.

So all this leads to the Hornets listening to offers for their franchise player. Fans won't like a trade involving Chris Paul, but it's better to get something for him now (and offers have included the #3 pick in this year's draft), and plan for the future.

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