Sometimes when a group of people get excited about something they follow up analysis with more and more analysis. This path is problematic when the answer is simple. Eventually, the group can arrive at final thoughts that are not optimal. We've all been in those meetings.
In the case of the potential Chris Paul trade, the answer is simple: do it.
There are some basic caveats of course. You have to keep Roy and, in my opinion, two out of three of Oden, LaMarcus, and Batum. Of that group LaMarcus is probably the least desirable to New Orleans since he is owed a lot of money and they already have a nice power forward. That brings us to Oden or Batum.
The idea of trading Oden remains unacceptable to many fans. I'm all for keeping him, but in the case where you can get a young player that is proven All-NBA quality, an exception should be made.
The Blazers are not "married" to Greg Oden. Also, can we stop comparing NBA relationships to matrimony? That has been irksome for a while. These are professionals in a business. If you want a framework to help explain things, economics is more useful.
Everything Portland has invested into Greg Oden the asset is something of a sunk cost. That we have invested so heavily in him for a while doesn't mean that we should exclude him from trades that will help the franchise. Holding an asset because of what you've invested in the past is a fantastic way to limit success.
The NBA seems to hold Oden in high regard. The word on Batum isn't totally out to the masses yet. I'd rather keep Oden than Batum, but the fact that I felt the need to say that speaks volumes for Nicolas.
Emotionally, it would hurt me more to see Batum leave. With Oden there has been frustration almost every step of the way. That makes it easier to see him leave. Batum has been the feel good story, always seeming to rise above expectations.
There aren't very many players that are on Chris Paul's level. He's a Hall of Fame guy. Opportunities to add that type of quality are rare. It would be a major change for the Blazers. It's scary. You have to give up high potential guys that you really like to do it. There's that risk that he will leave as soon as his contract is up. Doubt starts to creep in.
Because Paul was injured most of last year I think some of us have forgotten how dominant he is. Remember in 2008, when many became convinced that Dwyane Wade wasn't really an elite player? We have bad memories. The only reason there is a best-point-guard-in-the-NBA debate today is because Paul was injured last season and we forgot a little bit.
Chris Paul is worth the risk. It's worth a little Brandon Roy pouting over his loss of ball domination rights. It's worth parting with a beloved young player. He's that good, and thats why it's that simple.
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