NBA Rumors: Likely Landing Spots for Hornets' Chris Paul

Michael MillSenior Analyst IIIDecember 3, 2011

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - OCTOBER 01:  Chris Paul, of the New Orleans Hornets, speaks to the media prior to the CP3 All-Star pickup game at the Winston-Salem State University - C.E. Gaines Center on October 1, 2011 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Since the announcement that the 2011 NBA season is on, immediate speculation and trade rumors surfaced heading into the short offseason.

Between now and the season tipoff on Christmas anything is possible.

Some of the big trade rumors that have surfaced have included both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.

The nationwide belief is that a trade involving Howard may be a stretch, but Paul could actually be on the move.

Here are three likely landing spots for Chris Paul this offseason.

Boston Celtics

ESPN reports that the Celtics may be one of the top teams interested in acquiring Chris Paul.

The move would likely be an exchange between Paul and Rondo along with other key players heading to New Orleans.

The big block in the way here is the difference between the two players' contracts. Boston has Rondo locked down for another four years. Paul, however, is heading into the final year of his contract.

For the trade to happen the Celtics would have to convince Paul to sign a contract extension before anything would go down.

Los Angeles Lakers

Although it's pure speculation, Mark Heisler with believes that the Lakers could bring in Chris Paul if they wanted to.

Heisler says that a straight up swap for Paul with Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol is a possibility.

It's unlikely that a straight trade for either would be the best option for New Orleans. They will likely have offers much higher than these.

If the Lakers are willing to make a move, Paul should be on their radar.

They are in dire need of a point guard with Paul's ability now that the triangle offense is gone along with Phil Jackson.

New York Knicks

Forget the big three in Miami. The New York Knicks would have a big three of their own if Paul came to town.

Earlier this year Paul came out saying that the Knicks were at the top of his wish list.

The trio of Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire would immediately make the Knicks one of the top teams in the East.

The only hesitation with this trade is fire power.

What would the Knicks really have to give up in order to bring Paul to the city? They wouldn't drop Anthony or Stoudemire.

Other than that, the only real incentive they may bring to the table is draft picks. I'm not sure that will be enough.