NBA: Will Chris Paul Join Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony in New York?
The first banding of the Big Threes happened in the 2007 NBA offseason when three-point king Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett joined Paul Pierce in Boston to mark the biggest turnaround in NBA history and ultimately the 2008 NBA championship.
On Tuesday, the NBA finalized a trade that brought Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to New York to join Amar'e Stoudemire. So, what's next on the agenda?
All signs point to Chris Paul becoming a New York Knick in 2011-12.
The rumor may be more fact than fiction, not only because Anthony and Paul are close friends, but because of CP3's situation in New Orleans. Alluding to the LeBron-Wade-Bosh trio at Anthony's wedding last year, Paul suggested, "We'll form our own Big Three."
The NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets last December to put a stop to the mountain of financial losses the franchise was incurring. Commissioner David Stern said, "We wanted to make sure it had a chance to demonstrate that it was an NBA city. It had the facility, it had an owner that was not prepared to continue to fund it, and we had a lot of relationships that we thought it paid to keep strong by stepping in and buying it, operating it, and shining up for sale in New Orleans."
Will Chris Paul join Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire in 2011-12?
However, that might not be enough.
With Paul's $17 million contract on the books through 2011-12 and with a player option for 2012-13, and Stern's clear strategy to turn the Hornets into a profitable franchise, the team could be forced to ship their superstar out to turn a profit in the long run.
New York is no stranger to big (and undeserved) contracts. Under Dolan's ownership and then-GM and head coach Isiah Thomas, some of the most ridiculous contracts in sports history have been signed.
7 years and $100 million to Allan Houston? No problem.
5 years and $30 million to Jerome James, who never averaged more than 3 points per game or was in any sort of playing shape in the 90 games he played? Check.
There are a plethora of other questionable moves that were made, but this is a different era.
Now, Anthony and Billups are on the books in New York. Billups probably won't be resigned in the offseason should the Knicks decide to go for CP3.
Paul is the type of individual who will sign for less money if it means winning a championship, and with a strong frontcourt in Anthony and Amar'e, the only thing needed to complete a New York Big Three would be a point guard and floor general to distribute the ball.
CP3 is the man for the job.
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