NBA Trade Speculation: 10 Teams That Will Take Aim at Chris Paul This Summer

Mike Foster@michaelsfosterCorrespondent IMay 18, 2011

NBA Trade Speculation: 10 Teams That Will Take Aim at Chris Paul This Summer

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 28:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets walks off the court after a 98-80 loss as Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles after winning the series in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA P
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Rumor has it that New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul has wanted out of the Big Easy since the start of last summer.

    Heading into year two of his disgruntled situation, many believe Paul will actually make a move towards jumping ship this time around.

    Speculation has included names like the Knicks, Lakers and Magic, which all apparently are on a short list of potential targeted destinations.

    Here are 10 other teams that might go after the superstar point guard.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    CLEVELAND - MARCH 29: Baron Davis #85 of the Cleveland Cavaliers keeps the ball inbounds during the game against the Miami Heat on March 29, 2011 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by down
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    The Cleveland Cavaliers need to fill the "star" part of their roster, which has been left vacant since the departure of LeBron James.

    They have plenty of trade leverage with Baron Davis, a former Hornet, who could be productive and invited back to New Orleans.

    Chris Paul would ignite the Cavaliers team and fanbase and hopefully return them to playoff contention. The only thing that makes this trade less likely is the fact that Cleveland doesn't have a championship pedigree at the moment.

    Chris Paul would like to be part of a championship contending team.

Atlanta Hawks

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    ATLANTA, GA - MAY 06:  Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks drives to the basket against the Chicago Bulls in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 6, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    This might make a few Hawks fans cringe ever so slightly. If there was any positive that came out of the 2011 postseason, it was the fact Jeff Teague emerged as a very solid and confident point guard, thanks to plenty of postseason playing time.

    But Teague, while obviously much better, might never reach the lethal level that Paul is at in terms of being a game-changer.

    Hawks fans are also pretty weary with Joe Johnson's presence. He has struggled to achieve at a level that reflects his contract. 

    Could Joe Johnson or even Teague be involved in a Chris Paul trade? It's a possibility. The Hawks would have to do a lot of retooling, but with Josh Smith and Al Horford, they could quickly get back to their 50-win caliber.

Charlotte Bobcats

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 02:  D.J. Augustin #14 of the Charlotte Bobcats takes a free throw against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Bobcats 120-80.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges an
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Bobcats have a pretty potent point guard in D.J. Augustin, who even reminds some of a younger Chris Paul.

    But, like Teague, he's just not quite the star-caliber player.

    Chris Paul could become a target for Charlotte, a team that could use a big-name player on their roster.

    This would be a less likely trade because of Charlotte's steps still to take before they become a top team, but the Bobcats have been a team on the upswing.

    A good culture could very well exist in Charlotte, in terms of basketball. Paul could ignite that culture.

Los Angeles Clippers

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 07:  Mo Williams #25 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts to a call during their game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 7, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    It's hard to believe it, but the Los Angeles Clippers are a franchise ready to burst onto the major sports scene.

    One of their positions of need is at point guard, where Mo Williams and the young Eric Bledsoe are the one and two options, respectively.

    With the emergence of Blake Griffin, the Clippers are a star away from becoming seriously legitimate Western Conference contenders.

    Paul could be the answer. Obtaining Paul in a trade would be quite a difficult task for the Clippers to accomplish, but they could pull all of the stops and maybe find a three-way trade to get him to L.A.

    Not just in L.A., but in a red and blue uniform instead of a gold and purple one.

Sacramento Kings

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    SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 13:  Members of the Sacramento Kings look on against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 13, 2011 at Power Balence Pavilion in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or usin
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The Kings are, well, in a deep hole.

    They need to climb a long ladder to become relevant in the basketball world again.

    But they have talent, especially with Tyreke Evans, and are a player or two away from improvement.

    Chris Paul would be a great addition to the team, taking over the spot currently held by Beno Udrih.

    Needless to say, if any team needs a new face at point guard, it's Sacramento.

Houston Rockets

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10:  Head coach Rick Adelman of the Houston Rockets talks with Aaron Brooks #0 as Shane Battier #31,Kyle Lowry #7 and Luis Scola #4 stand by during a time out in the final seconds of the game against the Boston Celtics on January 10,
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Rockets would have to work a lot of magic, but they are another team who desperately needs any type of big-name player they can get.

    They would likely have to surrender a lot of draft picks and make some trades to get higher-valued players, but making a run at Paul would definitely be in their interest if they want a chance of improving their ballclub.

    While fairly productive, Kyle Lowry is not the long-term solution at point guard for the Rockets.

Denver Nuggets

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets dribbes the ball against Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at the Pepsi Center in De
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Ty Lawson, a former college basketball phenom, is currently the leader of the pack in Denver.

    Losing Carmelo Anthony drastically hurt Denver's perception, as well as their firepower.

    While Lawson is a nice option at point guard, the fact of the matter is Denver needs a big-time player who could cancel out losing a guy like Anthony.

    They have players to make an upfront trade, including guys like J.R. Smith, Nene and others.

Orlando Magic

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Jason Richardson #23 and Jameer Nelson #14 of the Orlando Magic against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NO
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Now we get to the teams who seem to be most poised to take a stab at Chris Paul.

    Up first, the Orlando Magic.

    Jameer Nelson has been a reliable and streaky point guard and a clutch performer in many cases.

    Paul, however, would love to be a on team with championship potential like Orlando.

    His presence could take this team over the top and put them back into the driver's seat in the Eastern Conference.

    Especially considering the fact Boston continues to get older and older.

New York Knicks

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24:  Toney Douglas #23 of the New York Knicks brings the ball up court against the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    The New York Knicks are stacked right now with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony at the helm.

    But if the current trend of the NBA indicates anything, having three superstars is the solution to building the optimal championship contender.

    Chris Paul would obviously fill the spot here and would be a nice addition to a team currently run by point guard Tony Douglas, who, while productive, isn't a long-term solution at point guard.

Los Angeles Lakers

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 06:  Guard Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers leaves the court after a 98-92 loss against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2011 at American Airlines Cent
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Derek Fisher did not have a good year for the Lakers in 2010, and it's obvious their primary position of need is point guard.

    The Lakers are in prime position to land Paul, if that's in their interest.

    With Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, the Lakers are in perfect shape to trade.

    They could fill their major position of need without losing firepower in the team.