Roundtable: Where Does Chris Paul End Up?

It didn’t take long for the rumors to start.  The lockout hasn’t even been over for a week and already Chris Paul has been connectedto a half dozen teams in either trade rumors or suspected possible free agent destinations.  It’s a bit of whirlwind and a little overwhelming.  So we put the question to the Crossover Chronicles’ staff to get their take in our latest roundtable:  Where do you think Chris Paul will finish the season?

Phillip Rossman-Reich

Chris Paul’s situation is certainly very unique. With the league owning the Hornets, I find it very hard to believe that they will take a deal for Paul without getting a star player in return. Plus, Paul does have a good connection to the New Orleans community. I don’t think he is going to throw that away so quickly.

The question then is where does he want to go? New York appears to be the favorite, but New York spent all of its assets to acquire Carmelo Anthony. There just is not a deal to be made unless the Knicks want to include Amar’e Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony, and that is not happening. If the Lakers want to get into the race, a package involving Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol seems to satisfy what New Orleans would want out of the deal. Notice that these are all big market teams we are talking about… lockout solved!

In the end, I think Paul is going to end the year in New Orleans. He will not hold his franchise hostage like Anthony did and will go into free agency looking to test the market. I don’t know if Paul will end up resigning in New Orleans. But at least for the end of the season, Paul should be staying.

Jeff Garcia

Destination New York City might be on hold for Chris Paul.

As much as his agent says his client is demanding a trade to the Knicks and Paul is saying it’s just “talk,” the fact of the matter is New York just doesn’t have anything of value New Orleans will want. Ronny Turiaf? Chauncey Billups and his expiring contract? Landry Fields? Iman Shumpert? Yeah good luck Paul because your current employer isn’t going to pull a trigger on trading you with what they see out in New York right now.

Seeing how CP3 is set on joining Melo and Amar’e, his best bet is simply to ride out the season. He will be a free agent after this season and then thoughts of him in a Knicks uniform will materialize. In addition, the Knicks will have more than enough cap space to add Paul by then.

With that being said, New Orleans will be Paul’s home for this season. Though if I am New Orleans, one team I might be calling is the Clippers.  If I want something for Paul, and if he does indeed say he’ll walk after this season, the Clips have the assets the Hornets will like to consider.

Kyle Boenitz

Chris Paul (Getty Images photo via Paul has been huge for the city of New Orleans and the Hornets franchise, but it’s time to let him go. The sooner the league-owned Hornets realize this, the better off they’ll be. Paul clearly wants out, and if they don’t move quickly he’s going to be gone for nothing at the end of this year. The Hornets know this, it’s just a question of who they want to shop him to.

The obvious answer is New York because of the rumors that Paul wants to play for the Knicks. No kidding. Who wouldn’t? Paul would no doubt love to be part of the “new” big three with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, but it’s just not in the cards. New York has nothing to offer to the Hornets. “The Big Apple Trio” wasn’t meant to be.

I see Chris Paul in Los Angeles, throwing alley-oops to Blake Griffin. That would be a fun, athletic, young team for Paul to lead and the Clippers have plenty to trade. The Hornets will definitely be in desperation to get something done before the season starts, if they don’t they’re headed to the Western Conference basement for the next couple years.

Brendan Bowers

I think Chris Paul will finish the season in New Orleans.  They can’t trade him.  Especially if you consider the NBA currently owns and operates the “small market team” this superstar currently plays for.

To trade Paul now would be to admit that nothing was accomplished at all with regards to all that talk about competitive balance, giving smaller market teams a better chance to re-sign their superstars and all that other rhetoric.

This isn’t to say I think Chris Paul will eventually re-sign and stay with the Hornets long-term, but I think he at least finishes this season there.  Even if it might be better business to try and trade him now.  This is going to play out something similar to that cutting the nose off thing to spite the face as far as the Hornets are concerned, and the end result will be now deal for CP3.  He’s stays down in Nola for as long as he’s contractually obligated.

My Take

I’ve been looking at every scenario.  I’m trying to figure out a way the Hornets get something for Chris Paul.  And deep inside of me, I just KNOW the Hornets won’t let Paul just walk away.

They will not trade him right now, though.  That much I’m confident in.  There’s no need to start taking deals now when, in a shortened season, contenders who may be dealing with injuries or unexpected shortcomings will most certainly get desperate near the trading deadline.  It behooves the Hornets to wait and see, like the Denver Nuggets did with Carmelo Anthony, what teams REALLY want Chris Paul.  

Since we’re talking about a mid-season trade, it probably won’t be Boston, since a sign-and-trade with Glen Davis would be necessary to facilitate the deal.  It won’t be the Knicks, because they’ve just got nothing of value to trade. They gave it all up in the Melo deal.  The Clippers have the pieces.  And they’ve got Blake Griffin.  And they won’t get Dwight Howard, no matter how much they’d like to think they can.  So I think Chris Paul, if he gets traded anywhere, will be to the Clippers in a deal that includes Eric Gordon and DeAndre Jordan.  

Since I’m stuck in this internal battle between “there’s no way he goes to the Clippers” and “there’s no way he stays in New Orleans,” I’m going to say he finishes the season with the Clippers. And with that move, Clippers begin trying to position themselves as LA’s team once the Kobe Bryant era is over.