With the latest trend of big players signing with major market teams in the offseason or just getting whatever they want via trade, the Hornets have got to be thinking about whether or not Chris Paul is going to leave them.
The Nuggets and Jazz made the right moves by moving their unhappy franchise players in return for youth, draft picks and cap relief, and the Hornets are going to look to do the same if they get any hint that Paul wants out.
With that being said, here's a list of trades that could be interesting if the Hornets do look to trade their go to guy.
This is the trade that people keep talking about. I mean, Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Chris Paul toasting to play together makes it a guarantee right?
Don't worry, I'm not serious, but it is a slight possibility. Either this summer or over next season, the Hornets might want to trade Paul if they think he's going to leave, and the Knicks might be able to pull off a package just good enough to get him.
With Billups' expiring contract, Landry Fields and a first round draft pick in this years draft...the Knicks could pry Chris Paul away.
The first round draft pick isn't tradable due to NBA rules, but if it's a draft day trade, the Knicks could pick somebody for the Hornets and then make the trade. This won't be the most enticing of offers, and the Hornets will definitely be getting the worse end of the trade, but getting some young talent and getting way under the cap isn't the worst thing in the world, especially if CP3 tells the Hornets that he only wants to play in New York.
The Lakers are getting much older, and with all due respect, Derek Fisher is becoming less and less capable of being the starting point guard on a championship team.
The Lakers biggest advantage over other teams is their size, but with the league changing, they could look to trade either Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum to the Hornets as the centerpiece of a trade for Chris Paul.
Chris Paul would be the flashy, fast point guard that the Lakers haven't had in a long time, and his game is one that would fit with almost any player. He's an unselfish player that would gladly share the wealth with Kobe and whoever else is left on the team after the trade. As long as the Lakers held on to two out of Bynum, Gasol and Odom, then they would immediately be the favorites to win the NBA championship by a long shot.
If Chris Paul is made available, then it's almost a guarantee that Mark Cuban tests just how available he is. The Mavericks owner is constantly trying to make improvements to the team and will do anything it takes to win himself and his boy Dirk a championship.
The Mavericks would actually be able to make a nice offer to the Hornets if they are able to resign Caron Butler this summer. Signing and trading Butler ,along with a talented young player like Rodrigue Beaubois and a draft pick or two, should almost certainly get the deal done.
Beaubois would give the Hornets another young flashy point guard who isn't a superstar but is capable of being a very good NBA starter in a few years. Butler is a proven talent, and draft picks would allow the Hornets to fill some other needs in their lineup. Don't be surprised if Chris Paul wears a Dallas Mavericks uniform before he retires.
The Orlando Magic is another team that could come into play in the Chris Paul sweepstakes, if there is one.
The Magic will be attempting to do whatever it takes to get Dwight Howard back, and if they can pull off a trade for Chris Paul, they'll trade anybody outside of Dwight Howard for him. If all else fails for the Hornets, they could come up with nice package of players that includes Nelson, Redick, others and a draft pick or two.
The Hornets could come away with another point guard who's a more than capable starter and some good role players, while the Magic would have the most incredible 1-2 punch the league's seen in years. Seriously, Paul throwing alley oops to Dwight Howard would be the most beautiful thing the league's seen in a long, long time.
Perhaps the team that could put together the best package for Chris Paul would be the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks are a team whose style of play would be perfect for a good point guard, and they haven't had one in years. Mike Bibby was out of his prime when they had him, and Kirk Hinrich is a solid spot starter, but really isn't anything special.
Chris Paul, on the other hand, is very special. If he could be had over the summer or the course of next season, the Hawks might be willing to package Marvin Williams and Josh Smith to get the phenomenal point guard.
This trade would give the Hornets two very good young players, and the Hawks would finally get their superstar. With Paul, Johnson and Horford...the Hawks would be scary.