With Chris Paul reportedly demanding a trade from New Orleans, the question arises-- where might he go if NO meets his demands? Paul has apparently been unhappy with the direction of the Hornets franchise, their inability to properly build around him and the overall changing environment in the NBA.
According to the reports, Paul would prefer a trade to the Knicks, Lakers or Magic. But amongst those teams, what is his most likely destination?
Paul's 2010 salary comes to roughly $15,000,000. To make a trade work, the Knicks would likely only be able to include Eddy Curry as a primary trade chip. While Curry's expiring deal would provide relief for the Hornets, a Paul for Curry trade could become the most lopsided trade in modern NBA history. Orlando can offer either a mix of pieces or the Vince Carter contract, the latter of which should not whet the Hornets whistle. A trade involving Brandon Bass, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat would work financially, but Chris Paul is better than the sum of those parts. Ultimately, the Lakers are the only team that can offer an all star player in return for Chris Paul-- Andrew Bynum. While a trade for the two works straight up in terms of salary, you'd expect LA to toss in plenty of second rounders and/or cash.
With that, if the Chris Paul roomers are true, it's likely that the Lakers could provide the best one-to-one trade option, with the Magic having the best pieces-for-talent trade option. Should Paul somehow find himself in Orlando, Florida could become the ultimate ECF battleground for the first half of this young decade.
Should he wind up in LA... the sports media will devour themselves whole and pull out all kinds of ridiculous hyperbole. Me? I'll just go ahead and pen the Denver Nuggets in to be the Western Conference Champions in 2010-11.
What say you? Will Chris Paul part ways with NO? Where might he end up?