Hornets Beat: Trading Chris Paul

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Published: December 2, 2011

In this edition of Hornets Beat we tackle Chris Paul (no, not literally) and the potential for a trade. It’s not a topic any of us want to discuss particularly, but it appears that Paul and his agent do, so that’s that.

Joining us today are a number of internationally renowned basketball writers. Matt Moore, most notably from CBS Sports, the ESPN TrueHoop Network and Hardwood Paroxysm, doesn’t think we’re in for happy days ahead on the CP3 front. Zach Harper, the legendary host of ESPN’s Daily Dime Live and HoopSpeak, as well just about every other basketball site on the web, tells us that he wishes Paul would stay in Nola. Lastly, Jake Madison from Swarm and Sting gives his two cents.

Also, check out AgentZiko’s take on why we shouldn’t care where Chris Paul wants to be traded.

1.) Does the new CBA make it easier for the Hornets to keep CP3?

Matt Moore- Yes, because of the extra year on the re-sign, but no, because the best option for him is to opt-out regardless in order to re-sign. And if he’s going to opt out, how do you not hedge your bets in terms of building around him?

Zach Harper- Technically, yes. They can offer far more money and the extra guaranteed year for someone with Chris Paul’s presumed injury concerns is huge. With limits on sign-and-trades and what other teams can actually spend on him, it’s set up to convince Chris Paul monetarily to stay in New Orleans. But it’s rarely that simple.

Joe Gerrity-
Yeah, in a way. The problem is, they needed small market teams to dominate and they only barely came out ahead. This is the equivalent of needing to win a game by 20 to make the playoffs, but only winning by 3.

Jake Madison- We’re about to find out. The CBA limited the amount of money that Paul can get elsewhere, but Paul seems determined to test the limits of the CBA. The loophole of being traded to the Knicks without signing an extension can get him both the team he wants and his money.

Michael McNamara- They can offer him more money, but CP3 wants a ring so the extra year and $27 million is not going to keep him from going elsewhere if he doesn’t think he can win a title in New Orleans.

2.) Does Chris Paul even want to stay?

Matt Moore- Paul is of two minds. He loves New Orleans and the people whose lives he’s touched and who have touched him while there. But he is a member of a group of friends with a very specific agenda, to play in large markets against each other. And the business interests tip the scales away from New Orleans, unfortunately.

Zach Harper- I believe he absolutely wants to stay in New Orleans. But Kevin Garnett never really WANTED to leave Minnesota. He just accepted that for his career goals, it was time to move on to a better set-up and turn the page in his career. If Chris Paul doesn’t believe he can afford to spend more years waiting on the team, it doesn’t really matter if he likes playing for them.

Joe Gerrity- In an ideal world he would be a Hornet forever. In this world, he’s ready for a change of scenery. He loves us, but he’s not in love with us. We can still be friends, though.

Jake Madison- I think Paul genuinely loves New Orleans and would love to stay here, but you often have to separate personal emotions from business decisions. In the end, I think he’ll be happy anywhere as long as he is winning.

Michael McNamara- In his perfect world, I think Chris Paul would love to be in a situation like Kevin Durant is in over in Oklahoma City. He would love to stay in one city his whole career and contend for a title, but how do you convince him to stay on a team devoid of any other stars when all the other stars are teaming up?

3.) If you are Demps and Chris Paul has told you he is going to leave after this season, what do you do?

Matt Moore- I tell him New York is not an option, but that the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, or Los Angeles Clippers are all options. He can rank those in terms of his desire and whether he would commit to an extension (Orlando obviously not), and then I would pursue a trade before December 25th.

Zach Harper - I essentially call his bluff. If you get to the off-season and he still isn’t convinced to stay in New Orleans, you at least retain his sign-and-trade rights and can possibly still get some value for him. It’s a scary thought of him walking for nothing (if he decides it’s not about the money), but it’s not like whatever you acquire for him is going to help this team from dropping to the cellar of the league.

Joe Gerrity- Find out which teams he would sign an extension with, and what they would offer. Then I find out what teams who he supposedly won’t sign an extension with will offer, knowing he’s not guaranteed to sign with them. Whichever gets me the most young, raw players and draft picks win. I like the idea of a total re-build with a new owner. Fans can dig that.

Jake Madison-
Start working the phones and find the best trade possible. I ‘d love to see the team take a stand and let him enter free agency (causing him to lose the extra money the Hornets could offer), but Demps is probably too worried about getting nothing in return like Cleveland with Lebron.

Michael McNamara
- I find out what teams he is willing to sign and extension with and try to work out a favorable deal with those teams before moving on to teams not on his list. Hopefully, he has more than the Big Apple on his wish list.

4.) Who would be the best trade partner should Paul be moved?

Matt Moore- I argued at CBS that the Orlando Magic actually provide the best combination of factors. The Hornets are never going to get anything resembling equal value. Getting a young point guard whose great but not Hall of Fame doesn’t help. The objective needs to be assets they can then flip to get draft picks, then tank to try and get the top pick in the loaded 2012 class, and go from there.

Zach Harper - It’s the Clippers. There is absolutely nothing of value that the Knicks can offer so if he insists on going there, I’d tell him if he wants to play in NYC, he needs to do so for less money than he can earn with the Hornets. While the Thunder are intriguing with Westbrook, do you think he’s going to sign an extension in Nola? I say pry Aminu and Eric Gordon while trying to unload a bad contract.

Joe Gerrity- It’s got to be the Clippers. Minnesota’s number one pick is huge, but especially because the Clippers can offer a number of players who aren’t good now (so the Hornets will still get a top pick next year), but will be later. That’s how you rebuild and keep the fans on board.

Jake Madison- If OKC were to offer Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and an extra pick or player I’d take that in a second. It’s not the same as having Paul on the team, but I’d sleep well that night (and be the first person to buy an Ibaka jersey the next day).

Michael McNamara- It is between OKC and the Clippers. With OKC, you can get a player who is already a star and could become a superstar in Russel Westbrook. A deal with the Clippers could result in a couple of premium draft picks (Minny’s pick and our own because we would be horrible this year after that swap). There is no guarantee that Westbrook would re-sign, nor is there a guarantee that he would be worth the max contract that the Hornets would have to give him. So give me a deal with the Clippers that looks like this- Kaman, Bledsoe, Gordon, Minny’s #1 pick and two future Clippers first rounders for CP3 and Ariza.

5.) Bottom line: How does this all play out?

Matt Moore- Not well. He winds up in New York, the Hornets get nearly nothing, and the effects are devastating. Sorry.

Zach Harper- I’d love to say that he decides to stick it out with New Orleans because I think it’s sort of a shame for him to leave. But I think he’ll end up on the Clippers by trade. Or he may sacrifice a lot of money to sign with New York. Either way, it’s back to the drawing board for New Orleans. Condolences.

Joe Gerrity- As much as I want to pretend that Paul is going to be here in a month, he’s not. Demps has 29 days or so left to find a suitable partner so Paul can get his max deal and the Hornets can start rebuilding. If I had to guess, I’d say he winds up on the Clippers. Demps has been known to find deals where nobody else sees them, though, so he might just surprise us all.

Jake Madison- It depends on if he’s dead set on New York or not. If he is it ends with the Hornets getting pretty much garbage in return. Assuming he is willing to go someplace else, then the Hornets could get a decent package of players and picks in return.

Michael McNamara- I think that Demps will play hard ball and threaten to go all-in on CP3, which will force Paul to agree to agree with extensions with teams other than New York. Demps will collect offers from everyone interested and at the end of the day, he will trade Paul and Ariza to the Boston Celtics for Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, and OJ Mayo (via Memphis). The Hornets will let West and Landry go and focus on the 2013 free agent class. Hopefully, by then they will have drafted well and go into that summer with Rondo, some budding stars, and 40 million dollars in cap room with the intent to lure guys like Kevin Love, Serge Ibaka, Eric Gordon, and/or Brook Lopez.

44 comments
Mikey
Mikey

The Clippers won’t bid against themselves. They know they could make the best offer without offering Eric Gordon or Deandre Jordan. Let say the Clippers make an offer of Kaman/Foye/Bledsoe/Aminu/Minny pick for CP3 and Ariza. Here is how it looks on the trade machine… http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6pjmorl The Hornets would receive two young players, a top five pick, and cap relief as the Clippers take on Ariza’s contract. The offer isn’t ideal, but it still blows away anything that the Knicks or Magic can offer.

L_REAZY
L_REAZY

Eric Gordon won't re-sign with Hornets after this year!

NOS-3rd Gen
NOS-3rd Gen

1)-IDK I don't really understand the new CBA!!! 2)-the Truth about it is I think he don't want to leave New Orleans, but he don't want to waste his life and career on a team thats not willing to give him a big 3 help. If the hornets can't show signs of maken it past the first RD of the playoffs and if they lose they better lose a close game in game 7. 3)-If CP3 wants to leave I would tell him that lets see where we stand around the Trade Deadline and if he's not convinced to stay then I would trade him!! 4.)- G.S. and Clippers with a 3-team trade Monti Ellis to the hornets w/D.Jordan and 1st Round DP from GSW Clippers get A.B.,CP3, and D.Wright GSW gets Okafor, and E.Gordon, and 1st Rd DP from Clippers 5)- I think if Hornets play their cards right they should focus on a NEW face of the Franchise just in case CP3 does leave for sure. Have some insurance, and if they form a BIG 3 in New Orleans and start looking for a replacement PG. who can distribute the ball somewhat like Paul. The hornets won't be complete screwed!! but it looks like CP3 is leaving why not look for an replacement during trade or signing!!!

QueenBee
QueenBee

Joe if you get a chance to interview CP3 ask him what would his Papa Chilly do?

hornets989
hornets989

what do you expect paul to say? "i really want to leave and play in new york" how toxic would that make the locker room? he's playing it right, just focus on playing ball and your teammates rather giving in to the media frenzy. just remember whatever he says in regards to his future will be over analyized and repeated to nth degree for the entire season. melo anyone? no one wants to see that. thats why you hire an agent to be the "bad guy"

J
J

Heres the reality if no team is willing to trade for Paul than you've a problem.I would trade him because of the knee issuse over 30 years when we had the Jazz they had a injury prone PG the late pistol pete once he had the servre knee injury in 79' thats was the end of his career and the Jazz in NOLA.I don't think the Hornets want history to repeat it self but then again the Hornets be here with or without Paul it be setback for a while but not in worser shape than the Cavs.

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

It's not like he has Greg Oden's knees & gets injured year after year, I wouldn't say his knees are the problem (Lakers are not trying to ship Kobe because of his Knee problems) & I dont think you try to ship a proven superstar because fear of future injury, even after he came back from injury he had very productive numbers, Also I dont think we would have a problem looking for a team that wants Paul (Who wouldn't want him)

QueenBee
QueenBee

Paul's knee, Paul's knee. Paul's knee is fine. He ran into a cameraman and had to have surgery. It wasn't like he had knee surgery because his knee all of a sudden started disintegrating and falling apart.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Queen, He's got small market knees. Just admit it.

Brandon
Brandon

What about three team trade: Hornets get Stephen Curry, Andris Biedrins warriors second round pick Warriors get Chauncey Billups Renaldo Balkman, cash considerations and knicks two first round draft picks Knicks get Chris Paul himself (I believe he would truly only sign an extension here and maybe clippers) I think we cant sign david west and keep okafor. I wont allow it. So if we dont sign dwest we neeed Nene. If we sign Dwest, trade okafor. No more undersized front courts.

Ben
Ben

I am a Clippers fan in SoCal. GM Olshey is not going to gut the team for Paul. Gordon and Griffin, and perhaps Jordan, are untouchable. Olshey has repeatedly said the Clippers are building around Gordon and Griffin. Jordan stays because he's BFF with Griffin. Clippers will do anything to keep Griffin happy. What's left for trade are the promising second year duo of 1) Aminu and 2) Bledsoe, then 3) Mo Williams, 4) Kaman who I think the Clippers are willing to unload, and he's on the last year of his contract, and 5) the Minny pick. Maybe Clippers are willing to trade four of the above, but more likely just three. I am suspecting that's not enough for the Hornets, at least early in the season.

Blow It Up
Blow It Up

Do the Magic trade. I'd root for Paul and Howard to beat punk Heat And Knicks. Later trade Reddick, Nelson, Bass and Okafor for picks. That's 5 picks (including Magic's), in addition to Hornets own lottery pick. Hornets in the lottery for a few years, will yield a Gordon + Griffin + Jordon, or a Westbrook + Durant + Ibaka, or a Rose + Deng + Noah of our very own.

chiefyoungblood
chiefyoungblood

If it comes down to Clips and Thunder , much prefer Clips packages with picks than Westbrook

Schmide234
Schmide234

Would anyone consider taking Deron Williams, a young talent, and unloading a bad contract with the Nets? Williams (if he liked the team enough) could replace some of Pauls greatness and maybe even lead the teams to some wins. It would be with both players agreeing to resign however and I dont know if Deron would.

Mac
Mac

Knicks are not a trade partner. Doubt OKC will bite on an older player, they're looking long-term. Injury prone Paul is not worth shakeup in OKC. Same could go for LAC, but they are less deliberate an FO, has no concept of being a winning franchise, and have Hollywood syndrome. LAC should take patient approach (think: they could have amnestied B Diddy, and had Irving, Griffin, Gordon, and Harrison Barnes!) Return only real trade partner is LAC, who are DUMB to give up Gordon. Should offer Wolves pick and Kamen, or no deal saying "you won't do better than 2 top picks next summer" and play hardball. Only other partner is an unpromised CP3 to ORL for Reddick, Nelson, Bass (and maybe trade those guys and have a ton of picks in next years draft.

edbballin504
edbballin504

I think CP3 resigns with us for the max. CP3 is different from the Lebrons and Melos of the word. Sure they are his buddies, but he's different. TRUST ME! lol

edbballin504
edbballin504

At the end of the day, when you know you have a potential knee issue, you dont pass up guaranteed 5 years, nearly $100/mill. This is an opportunity to change the lives of yourself, family, extended family, generations behind you. Commit to the team and I bet Demps can build a solid team around you. With our core returning, we are one solid wing position away from being a contender. CP3 and D West will leave a legacy similar to what Stockton and Malone left in Utah. Being a "hero", effecting lives is what CP3 and West are all about...loyalty, respect are also important and this organization is now all about that. We are blessed to be able to have the Hornets as our home team, soon we will all be witnesses of why. GEAUX HORNETS!

edbballin504
edbballin504

We wouldn't have traded Darren Collison had we not known something. Demps and Monty have proven they have what it takes to turn this team around once they get the right pieces in place. Just like we believe in them, so does CP3. Why would CP3 tweet about the importance of stability for his family (esp is son). He talked about all the moving etc. Then the next day hes talking about checking his son into his new school and unpacking boxes. Why go through a move for a month when you know you are about to relocate? Just leave the family in NC until a permanent spot is granted. Why were they in NC in the first place, not in NOLA? Well thats because we were all expecting a year long lockout so why not go home during that time?

lancebrou68
lancebrou68

Joe I think ur giving up a lil to easily lets just see how everything plays out and have faith

BJAH
BJAH

Hey, I'm really sorry about asking this questions on this thread, but I'm been out of town and about to leave again. First, losing Paul would make me sick - already have a stomach ache. HOWEVER, my real (out of place, sound like a fool) questions is: Are the Hornets staying for the long-term in New Orleans, Paul or not, or is there still a real chance we will lose them this year or next. Thanks.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

All the news has been good on this front . . . We are rounding third and I don't think the ball can get to the plate in time to stop us from scoring. Look for news in the next 15 - 60 days on this and more. A surprise may be coming soon as well. . . Stay tuned and run some tussin on it.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

If OKC offers Westbrook, we take that in a heartbeat. If not. Bynum? Gordon? I watch these guys play a lot. To me, Bynum > Gordon. I really don't see Clips giving both Gordon and Jordan. Only one. And either way. Bynum > then either.

Bee-fense
Bee-fense

I'm still not sold on Westbrook, watching him self-destruct OKC in the playoffs wasn't fun

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

The difference? We can get the Twolves 1st + Gordon while Bynum won't come with anything else that enticing. Furthermore, Bynum is perenially hurt and has shown no inclination to want to play defense for 48 minutes a night 82 nights a year.

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

Its really a no brainer. We need to trade him, since he will not stay, it is obvious. Our best trade partner is the Clippers, by FAR. Not even close. First Chris would accept the trade so we keep the relationship friendly, and second we would get by far the best young promising talent that any team could offer us. Jordan will be a 10-10-and 3 blocks a game player for his career. Bledsoe will be a solid PG for the future, and we can get a top 5 draft pick, and do our best to try and get gordon (the tough part which may hold back the trade). The facts are that it is almost imparative that he leaves, and that we need to trade him early on so that we get the best value for him and so that we have a bad record by the end of the year so we can get two great lottery picks (This year's draft will be one of the best in a while). Make it happen Dell

J
J

Come on 12-9-11 i want to know who we going to sign

J
J

The best thing to do is to have CP3 to recruit players in free agency and in trades.

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

But Chris Paul doesn't want to and isn't going to. That's just the reality of the situation for us now. It would be awesome if he would, but we need to move forward.

David
David

You think his wife wants to give up 60 million dollars in order to live in New York? Didn't think so.

AgentZiko
AgentZiko

So agree. No woman would advise their husband to do that.

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

For Question 2.) I feel that Chris Paul wants to stay but wants to compete for a ring even more & I think he needs that 2nd star player with him on the wing & solid big men (I feel like the Clippers have that in Eric Gordon,Blake Griffin, & DeAndre Jordan)

QueenBee
QueenBee

Like I said, Demps being from the school of Holt, Buford and Popovich, I'd like to think he's a smart man. He'll know what to do.

J
J

Deron Williams would be a great signing next season

Trey
Trey

Hey guys dont you think Charlotte would be a good trade destination for paul? They have Kemba Walker, who could be a premier point guard in the league. Just my 2 cents.

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

Yeah, but I've heard no indication that he's actually willing to stay there long term. They would give Walker up plus more in a heartbeat if that were the case.

James Online
James Online

His wife wants to live in New York. Just like Melo's. That's the unspoken factor.

bee dat
bee dat

If the trading partner is the clippers, I would hope we would get one or both of their top assets, jordan (via sign and trade) and or gordon. you probably have to take kaman back to offset paul's salary, and foye instead of bledsoe if you want to unload ariza's, or more ideally, okafor's contract. unloading okafor's contract would seem to be a top priority noone mentioned if we're planning to rebuild. a limited 15 mil dollar 6'9 center is a luxury only for a team that is trying to be competitive.

David
David

The way I see it, Paul has 3 options: 1.) Re-sign with the Hornets for 100 million - Paul loves the City of New Orleans. The Hornets have a lot of good things going too, such as no terrible contracts clogging up the books, a great young coach-GM combination in Demps and Williams, 10,000 season tickets sold to an energized fan base, a new lease coming w/ the state to renovate the arena and increase revenue, a new TV contract coming that will produce more revenue, and a new local ownership group led (probably former minority owner Gary Chouest) by a billionaire owner who will spend money and that CP likes and respects. There are worse situations. Ask Kevin Love. 2.) Work with the Hornets on a trade to a preferred destination. The Knicks are out - they have nothing to offer! The hornets would be better off holding on to him, letting him play out the season, and see if he would really turn down 100 million to sign for 55 mill, pay twice the taxes, and be the 3rd highest paid player on his own team in New York. Not going to happen. To me, it would be better to be in a "LeBron" situation in Cleveland than crawfish to CP's demand and give him up for Landry Fields and a bunch of garbage. They can't even take back a contract. So, CP needs to decide this - IS signing an extension and being traded to rebuilding Boston, annual train wreck LA Clippers or Warriors, or another small market (Indiana? Minnesota?) more appealing than staying in New Orleans and working w/ people like Monty Williams and Dell Demps? There are only a few "big-market" teams out there. Mavs, Knicks, Lakers, and Heat are all tapped out financially or asset wise - they can only get him through trade, not free agency, so the Hornets hold all the leverage there (CP: Trade me to the Knicks/Lakers/Mavs/Heat. Dell Demps: No. CP: I'll just sign there as a Free agent if you don't. Demps: and take a 50 million dollar pay cut? I'll take my chances and hold on to ya buddy) Nets don't need a PG, and the Clippers would trade for him but prefer Howard. Options are limited. 3.) Play out the season and walk as a free agent. He can sign for 100 million with New Orleans, and only max out at 76 with anyone else. Now where to? Are Phoenix or Houston better options than New Orleans when you are giving up 25 million bucks to sign there? You love New Orleans but prefer a bigger market, is Portland or Indiana or Milwaukee considered a much "bigger" market than New Orleans? New Orleans may not be a big market population or fortune 500 wise, but it is a big-event market - Mardi gras, jazz fest, essence fest, super bowls, final fours, BCS games, big time concerts and live music - much bigger event city than, say, Houston, for example. What's it going to be? Bottom line is that the Hornets hold much more leverage than Chris Broussard and the rest of the talking heads would leave you to believe on ESPN. Paul has a tough decision to make, is leaving a promising situation in New Orleans worth leaving to go to a situation that is not your ideal situation? (Knicks, Lakers, Heat?) I know what my decision would be, but then again I am one of those 10,000 season ticket holders.

L_REAZY
L_REAZY

Hasn't the organization put CP3 through enough? 7 years and they only put a contending team around him once? Let him go where he wants ... MAAAAAAN! New Orleans can still build a good team without him. See, there is a reason why players are choosing there own destiny these days, and its because organizations want to control everything about them. I don't blame him for leaving if the Hornets play hardball. L_REAZY

L_REAZY
L_REAZY

... in saying that ... its still ONLY the New York Knicks or Los Angeles Clippers! I conceed: 3-Team trade with Knicks, Sixers, & Hornets; Hornets receive- Iguodala, Fields, Billups, 1st rounder Knicks receive- Paul, Brackins, & Meeks Sixers receive- Okafor & Ariza OR Conventional trade with the Clippers; Hornets receive- Gordon, Aminu, Kaman, Williams, Foye, & 1st rounder Clippers receive- Paul, Okafor, & Ariza ... Hornets build for the future quicker with the Clippers trade, and stay competitive. ...Clippers set themselves up for a dynasty next season with the possible addition of Dwight Howard, while also bringing Okafor off the bench this season behind DeAndre Jordan. They might have to go with; G-Paul, G-Ariza, F-Gomes, F-Griffin, C-Jordan ... for most of this season, but they'll strike gold next year with Howard, Griffin, & Paul. The Clippers would do this deal if Paul signs the extension. L_REAZY