NBA Trade Rumors: Chris Paul To The Atlanta Hawks? No Way...

Hunter AlexanderContributor IJune 23, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 22:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the New Orleans Arena on March 22, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Jeff Schultz wrote an article for AJC.com tonight and I feel compelled to respond (link to article is at the bottom of the page). His basic premise is that the Hawks need to keep the momentum of the past few years rolling by trading for Chris Paul, who apparently is available. However, the main reason this will never happen is neatly spelled out by Schultz himself in his opening paragraph:

"After consecutive years of first-round wins but second-round humiliations, the Hawks are in a precarious situation. They are mandating improvement at a time when their best — albeit sometimes unpopular — player, Joe Johnson, is entering free agency and owners have a death grip on their wallets."

The last line is the one to note - the Hawks ownership group is in full penny-pinching mode. And that's without mentioning that these clowns probably can't agree on pizza toppings, much less a complicated, high-profile trade. Has the Joe Johnson/Steve Belkin fiasco already slipped from our collective memory?  We're expected to believe that the same ownership group who disagreed so vehemently about trading draft picks for a promising young player (Johnson) that they're still dealing with the ramifications in court five years later will be able to smoothly pull off a deal of this magnitude?  To put it mildly, I think not.

With that in mind, a Chris Paul for Josh Smith trade proposal is completely unrealistic and Schultz has got to know that too.  Sorry Schultzy - I usually think you're pretty much on-point and an amusing read, but you missed your mark tonight.

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/06/22/as-free-agency-looms-hawks-cant-afford-to-slide-back/

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