With the NBA season less than two weeks away, we are approaching the end of free agency and the beginning of training camp with full teams.
In fact, Paul has been twice nixed from playing in Los Angeles as both the Lakers and Clippers withdrew from talks after David Stern and the NBA owners, who own the Hornets, decided they wanted more for the four-time All-Star point guard.
With those stiff parameters, it would be safe to say the Golden State Warriors should not bid for Paul as the asking price will most certainly be too steep for the team's liking.
Besides, the team's weakness is not at point guard, but rather at center.
They should give the Magic as much as they want, barring trading Stephen Curry. That means, they should keep Monta Ellis, Klay Thompson, Ekpe Udoh, David Lee, Andris Biedrins and Dorell Wright all open for consideration.
Using the NBA Trade Machine, I concocted this trade:
Orlando Receives: Monta Ellis, David Lee, Dorell Wright and Ekpe Udoh
Golden State Receives: Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu (Marcin Gortat's trade exception was used)
Who is going to give a better trade than that?
The New Jersey Nets' only asset is Brook Lopez and would likely need to concoct a three-team trade. The Lakers can offer Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Sure, on the surface, the Magic might like this deal more. But when you look deeper, you can see the flaws with this trade.
Gasol is being paid more than $18 million over the course of three years, which is an extremely steep contract. And Bynum? He has missed a combined 72 games in the past three years.
The Warriors truly have the most to offer the Magic. Throw in the fact they can take the awful Turkoglu contract and the deal gets sweeter.
The Magic will have a core in this deal that could legitimately challenge for the four seed in the East, and this is without Howard.
The Magic's starting lineup and key reserves:
PG: Jameer Nelson and Chris Duhon
SG: Monta Ellis, Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick
SF: Dorell Wright
PF: Glen Davis and Ekpe Udoh
C: David Lee
Heck, the Magic can even go after Josh Smith with these assets and make their team even better.
In this trade, the Warriors lose a lot. However, they solve the Monta Ellis-Stephen Curry problem along with losing a bad contract (David Lee) and acquiring arguably the second-best player in the league.
If I am Otis Smith, I do not buy Howard's possibility of staying in Orlando. Instead, I get a king's ransom from the Golden State Warriors.
If I am Larry Riley, I take this deal to secure one of the top PG-C connections in the league. In addition, I put my team on the map.
In truth, this deal benefits both teams greatly.