Last year, teams in the Eastern Conference were building their franchises so they could stop Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic.
Funny how a year changes not only a conference, but the entire Association. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNVyvrgqVi8
As you may have heard, the Miami Heat now have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. People have questioned that a team with three players of this caliber would take up all the money in the salary cap which would create difficulty in establishing a supporting cast. FYI, they all took a discount.
The three of them left a total of $50 million on the table that they could have got anywhere else.
With that money, the Heat have been able to put a decent supporting cast around the trio. They knew the opportunity like this would never happen again and likelihood to win multiple championships is realistic. They are now the team that you must go through to reach the NBA Finals in the East for the next decade. As of right now, there is no blueprint to beat the Heat until we see them play. My best bets are...
No. 1 Build a team with 8-10 legitmate starters
No. 2 Build a better Superteam (Good Luck)
No. 3 Pray for injuries
Now, don't worry Magic fans, you are very close and have the young talent to contend with your fellow Florida franchise. However, you must send a message down Ronald Reagan Turnpike to know that you will not back down. You must add another Superstar.
Enter Chris Paul.
CBSsportsline.com and ESPN's Chris Broussard have reported this week that Chris Paul is pushing to get out of New Orleans because he believes they are unable to contend for a championship in the next few years. Surprisingly enough, he is tradeable as the team is looking to cut money because the team is for sale. Last year, rookie Darren Collison filled in very well for Paul when he went down from a serious knee injury. Collison looks like the real deal and could possibly be an all-star for years to come.
It has also been reported that Paul and his agent are planning to meet with the Hornets on Monday. Hornets President Hugh Weber, new General Manager Dell Demps, and new Head Coach Monty Williams will try to convince him that the team is ready to contend. They better think of some trades quick because it is foolish to think that a .500 team can contend. Since the team is for sale and they are trying to save money, it is going to be hard to make a big splash to bring big a big name to the Hornets. They must look to rebuild and save for a free agency when the ownership situation is settled.
Paul has four teams that he is very interested in going to: the Orlando Magic, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, and Portland Trailblazers. Originally, sources believed that he was New York bound. At Carmelo Anthony's wedding, Chris Paul toasted that maybe one day that he, Anthony, and Amare Stoudemire would create a "Super Team" in New York. However, this is a dream scenario that would take at least a year to create since Melo's Contract ends in 2011 and Paul's the following year. This is where Orlando comes in.
Chris Broussard has just recently reported that Orlando is now the front runner to land Paul. It is also been reported that Emeka Okafor's contract might have to be moved as well to get Chris Paul. I played around on ESPN's NBA Trade Machine to see if I could create a realistic deal to make this happen. this is what I found.
Orlando receives: Chris Paul, Emeka Okafor
New Orleans receives: Macin Gortat, Jameer Nelson, Brandon Bass, Mickael Pietrus
Another possibility is to send Vince carter and Gortat for Paul and Okafor. However, I don't believe that they want a former superstar past his prime with an expensive price. I think the trade above is more realistic and better for both sides. The Magic would also most likely have to throw in an additional first round pick and possibly a second rounder. With the trade above, the depth chart looks like...
PG: Chris Paul, Chris Duhon
SG: Vince Carter, J.J. Redick
SF: Rashard Lewis, Quentin Richardson
PF: Emeka Okafor, Ryan Anderson
C: Dwight Howard, Daniel Orton
Not only does this team look good, it's deep.The tandem of Chris Paul and Dwight Howard the most powerful Point guard-Center combo since Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Just think about all the Ally-oops that those two are going to create. It will be scary. Okafor will be able to play his natural position at power forward and will create the most dominant defensive post that I can ever think of. Nobody is going to be able to drive to the basket. It is going to be a swat fest.
The only negative on getting CP3 is that he is injury prone. However, when he is healthy, he is the best point guard in the NBA. You can have Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, or Rajon Rondo any day. Give me Chris Paul because he is going to be back to his MVP caliber talent playing with the best center in the NBA.
Orlando would also match up really well with Miami. LeBron has struggled against Rashard Lewis in the past (look back at the 2009 conference finals). It will be very hard also for Wade and James to drive to the basket with two of the best defensive players in the league in Howard and Okafor. They will send everything back in their face.
Orlando has been knocking at the door for past few years. If they are able to make this trade, I will bet any amount of money that they will win at least one NBA Championship. Miami fans (new and old) will get nervous, and Lebron will eat his words for throwing the idea of eight championships out there. The NBA will run through Florida and L.A. for the next decade.
I leave you with this idea if you're not convinced yet. Chris Paul turned Tyson Chandler into an offensive threat in New Orleans with the Crescent City Connection. Chris Paul will bring out Dwight Howard's full potential. The previous sentence should be enough for Orlando to be on the phone right now bringing the superstar point guard to Disney World.