Paul Wants (Big) Easy Way Out of New Orleans
In a report first published by CBSSports.com, New Orleans Hornets' star point guard Chris Paul has requested a trade from the team to a contender where at least a second superstar is placed.
Paul has stated that the trade demand would come unless the Hornets are committed to building a winner. He has scheduled a meeting on Monday with the team and new general manager Dell Demps and ownership about the direction the team is going and the future of the star guard's role with the team. If New Orleans is unable to satisfy Paul, he will ask Demps and management to seek trade possibilities from the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks, and Portland Trail Blazers. The Knicks is Paul's top choice as he would love to team up with Amar'e Stoudemire and hopefully Carmelo Anthony in the Big Apple to form a Big Three that would counter the star power that formed this summer in Miami with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh.
Paul was drafted in 2005 by the Hornets, and adopted the city of New Orleans as his hometown and was a major force in the success of the team's presence in the city. He has taken the Hornets to the playoffs in 2008 and 2009. He signed an extension in 2008 that keeps in with the Hornets through 2012. So while Paul wants out, the Hornets do not have to oblige to his trade demands right away, but in the same instance, the Hornets have also traded some of their best players away throughout their existence in the NBA-including their days in Charlotte (Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, and future star Kobe Bryant).
But if Paul does want out, his obvious top choice would be the Knicks for the reasons stated above. He would form a great duo with Dwight Howard in Orlando. In Dallas, he would have a reliable wing player in Caron Butler, would have a good shooter in Dirk Nowitzki. Finally, he would have a great young squad in Portland that is one piece away from being a serious contender in the Western Conference. That Trail Blazers team is led by Brandon Roy. Imagine the possibilities that Roy and Paul could do with LaMarcus Aldridge and a healthy Greg Oden in the Pacific Northwest.
The Hornets are not in a tough spot, but if they do not satisfy their star, Paul will put on a full court press to be out of New Orleans and in a new uniform by the start of next season. The interesting Summer of 2010 in Free Agency continues.