Chris Paul Saves the New Orleans Hornets from the League Cellar

Mark EvansCorrespondent IIIAugust 17, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets competes in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge apart of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

We've all seen how spectacular of a player Chris Paul is. And if you haven't, just ask Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers how difficult it was to contain him in the playoffs.

Paul is the total package. A scorer, a passer, a defender and a leader. He has excellent speed, strength and a toughness that can really fuel a team.

In many eyes, mine included, he is the best point guard the league has to offer. And with players such as Derrick Rose and Deron Williams at the top of their game, that's saying something.

We all saw how the Cleveland Cavaliers practically went from first to worst after the departure of their superstar, LeBron James. LeBron prevented that team from consistently being in the cellar of the league standings.

Well, Chris Paul has the same impact on his team. Without Paul, the Hornets would be one of the teams fighting not to finish in last place.

I mean, honestly, look at the roster. And with David West's injury, they really wouldn't have been able to beat anybody.

Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza are probably the two next best players after Paul and West.

Ariza isn't really much more than an athletic wing player who can play good defense and occasionally get to the rim. He only shot 40 percent from the field this season. And Okafor is more or less just a defensive presence who will grab rebounds and get some scrap points.

Oh, by the way, the Hornets will be paying more than $19 million combined this season just for those two players. And the owners wonder why it's hard to make money?

Nobody else is a game changer in any sense of the word. Carl Landry is really the only other decent player on the roster. After that, there's Jarrett Jack, Marco Bellinelli, Quincy Pondexter and Aaron Gray.

According to ESPN, Chris Paul added 18.3 wins to the team's total this season. Consider that the Hornets only won 46 games.

Need I say more?

So, Hornets fans, you may have to hit rock bottom for a season or two if CP3 decides to leave via free agency in 2012 before you can compete again. Because Chris Paul is extremely valuable and saves the Hornets from being irrelevant.

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