Chris Paul Will Leave the New Orleans Hornets in 2012

Mark Evans@@SKsPassthePillCorrespondent IIIAugust 15, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets looks on while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Chris Paul is an elite player in the NBA, and I have been stated on the record that he is the best point guard in the league.

We all saw him put the Hornets on his back against the Lakers in the playoffs while averaging 22 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds and 2 steals per game. Paul gave his team a fighting shot against Kobe Bryant's team without their second best player, David West.

So who else was there to help out Paul with West injured? Emeka Okafor, Carl Landry, Trevor Ariza, Marco Belinelli. Oh yeah, and Jarrett Jack.

You get my point, right?

Without Paul, this is a terrible team.

With Paul, they at least have a chance to compete with the league's best, even if they don't have their second best player. CP3 is just that special of a player and competitor.

I am not a Hornets fan, but I'm sure that New Orleans fans have loved watching Paul over the years and can't thank him enough for his contributions to the team and the city.

And we all know his contract situation. He will be a free agent in 2012, along with fellow superstars Dwight Howard and Deron Williams.

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

So what's in store for the game's best point guard?

Sorry, Hornets fans, but it looks like CP3 will be leaving for greener pastures.

What does New Orleans have to offer Paul in the long term?

Well, certainly they have the home town advantage. Paul could have the opportunity to play his entire career with the same team, if that interests him. Maybe he could recruit other players to join him the way Dwayne Wade did.

Similarly to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Hornets have struggled to put a championship caliber team around their star player. David West is a nice piece, but after that, there is not much.

And when there are many of teams that have plenty to offer CP3 for his services, it's hard to believe that the Hornets can keep Paul.

The Knicks could have quite the roster with Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.

He could be the main man with the Los Angeles Lakers and have a great shot at multiple championships.

Maybe Orlando.

Or he could just team up with Dwight Howard somewhere else and be a part of the best point guard/center combination in the league.

But it seems as if Chris Paul's time left in New Orleans is limited. Lots of teams will be fighting to sign CP3, and New Orleans just doesn't seem to have much of an advantage.

All that being said, I don't know what Chris Paul will do. The only person that knows that is CP3 himself.

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