Chris Paul Rumors: After Meeting With Execs, Where Could He Be Shipped?
Up until now, it's all been conjecture. Agents and "parties close to" have been doing all the talking, saying that New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul wants out of town.
Paul and his representatives met with Hornets executives today and apparently did not present the list of teams he wants to be dealt to.
The meeting went so well apparently that Paul issued a statement through the team saying he was extremely happy with what he heard and hopes to be with the team for years to come.
That's today. The fact is that Paul is still infatuated with what LeBron James did with his buddies down in Miami. It's unlikely that fascination is going to go away.
ESPN is reporting that interested teams are still getting the cold shoulder from the Hornets when they call to inquire.
The team certainly could hold steady and keep Paul, but there's plenty of upside to maximizing his trade value while the market is hot for him.
So if a deal goes down, where is Paul likely headed?
10. New Jersey
The deal has been on the table forever. The Nets are the ones that started all this talk in the first place earlier this summer.
They were putting forward a deal that sent Devin Harris to the Nets. Problem is, the Hornets won't necessarily need a point guard in return since they have Darren Collison, who proved he can handle the role well when Paul was hurt last year.
The Nets have the cap space and the need to get a star in to town. They also have plenty of young interesting pieces to send back to New Orleans.
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Michael Jordan wants to make a deal like this happen.
Do they have a chance? Well, since Paul has no real say in where he goes, technically every team has a chance.
The Bobcats have some valuable pieces. They have an expiring contract in Erick Dampier and a solid vet like Boris Diaw that they were already looking to deal to Toronto.
It all depends on what the Hornets want to get back here. If they want cap flexibility, this is a good move.
If they want bankable future talent, it'd be better to look elsewhere.
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This is one of those deals that could be a strict salary cap move to get the Hornets well under the cap heading into next season.
New Orleans could deal Paul and Emeka Okafor and take back Mike Dunleavy (pictured), T.J. Ford and Jeff Foster and be well-equipped to make a run at a top-line free agent in the summer of 2011.
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This is a situation where both the Hornets and the Paul camp would get exactly what they want.
New Orleans could request Chauncey Billups in a deal, an equal salary swap for this season. Plus, Billups has a team option for 2011, so if the Hornets don't like what they see or decide to go with Collison, they could dump Billups and use the money to chase another free agent.
Paul gets the superstar he's dying to play with.
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This is a deal that makes no sense for Paul, but plenty for the Bucks and Hornets.
The Bucks could send Michael Redd's expiring $18 million contract to New Orleans along with cash and draft picks.
The Hornets get a decent player for a year and $18 mil off the cap next summer.
Paul would likely have to move to the wing, which won't fly well. But a Brandon Jennings-Paul-Andrew Bogut trio with Drew Gooden and Corey Maggette in the mix is a formidable lineup.
5. Oklahoma City
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This is another deal that works for both sides, though the Hornets would likely ask the Thunder to take on Okafor in the swap.
The Thunder have three expiring contracts that would not affect their core horrifically in Nenad Krstic, Morris Peterson, and Nick Collison.
Plus, they could deal Russell Westbrook in the deal, a likely move with Paul coming in.
The Hornets would have a $5 million option on Westbrook after this year along with $19.4 million in expiring contracts.
Once again, Paul gets the superstar to play with in Kevin Durant, who just re-upped with the team. So there will be no...well, Chris Paul-like drama with his contract.
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This feels like more of a deal that the Paul people wanted than what would work for the Hornets.
There are a couple of different deals that could be made here though.
The Hornets could take back Jason Terry (pictured) and DeShawn Stephenson and still have Terry's $11.4 million salary on the books next year.
They could take Caron Butler and Stephenson and be rid of all the salary after this year.
They could take on Terry, Butler and Stephenson and send out Paul and Okafor.
There's plenty of variations here. None of them feel fantastic enough to deal Paul within the conference.
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Listen, I'll admit it here and now.
I missed the boat on the Blazers in my first predictions on where Paul would go.
If Paul agent Leon Rose included Portland in the mix, it's clearly a place Paul has interest in.
There are plenty of deals that could work for the Hornets in return.
Portland could deal Joel Przybilla (pictured) and Andre Miller, two players with contracts up after the season (Miller has a team option).
The Blazers could take on Paul and Okafor and deal out Przybilla, Miller, Greg Oden and Jerrod Bayless.
There's a slew of options that could work and still give New Orleans value and cap relief in return and give Portland an upgraded core.
2. New York
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Say all you want about the Knicks not having talent to give the Hornets in return, but they have plenty of value to deal with.
New York could offer the expiring contract of Eddy Curry and an up-and-coming star in Danilo Gallinari. Plus, the Knicks could take on Okafor if they dealt someone like Wilson Douglas in the deal.
There's not a lot of now talent involved here for New Orleans, but it is $11 million in cap space for 2011 and two future stars to groom on the cheap.
This is a deal that gets Paul out of the Western Conference, gives them solid talent in return, clears out cap space, and clears out Okafor.
It's not just a slam dunk for Paul, who is apparently loving the idea.
For New Orleans, they get Vince Carter and his expiring contract along with Jameer Nelson, a solid replacement for Paul.
They shed $53 million in Okafor, plus Carter has the team option for 2011. So worst case, they shed $17.3 million in cap space.