Free agency drama continues. It looks like the Lakers might be back in the hunt for Chris Paul, because the Hornets (owned by the league) are asking for 4 players and a pick from the Clippers, and they do not think it is worth it. They have a young team built for the future and wanted to keep most of that intact, rather than having just two players (Paul, Griffin). Most likely, he will not end up with the Lakers because the Hornets want a younger team, one that only the Clippers can help them out with. However, if the Clippers give away rising star Eric Gordon and a first round pick (from the Timberwolves so most likely a top 10 pick), it will be near impossible to resign Chris Paul after the season. They need someone else to attract him other than high-flying Blake Griffin.
Ever since Dwight Howard said he would only play for the Magic, Lakers, Mavericks, or Nets, many trade rumors have settled down. Until yesterday, when the Nets started to push heavily to get the big man to the Dirty Jerz.
On a quieter note, the Denver Nuggets re-signed Nene, the #1 free agent of this lockout-shortened season (Remember, Paul and Howard aren’t free agents yet).
The NBA is basically revolving around Chris Paul and Dwight Howard right now and where they will end up, either before the season (12 days away) or during the season. Neither the Hornets or the Magic are willing to lose their stars after this season without getting something in return. Negotiations have re-opened between the Clippers of Los Angeles and the Hornets, to send Chris Paul to LA. The Clips have also won a waiver bid on Chauncey Billups. Although Billups has gone on record to say that he will not report to any training camp of a team that is not in direct contention for a championship this season, so we will see how that goes.
The Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard may be able to stay together if they can show that they want to make the Magic a legitimate championship contender by signing more stars around him, such as Billups. Might be kinda tough to get him away from the Clippers because they are looking to become the new number one team in LA with their young team. They think that they can overcome the old age of Kobe, Gasol, and Fisher, and constantly injured Andrew Bynum (now that they lost Lamar Kardashian). Even without Chris Paul, they are young and Mo Williams, Gordon, and Blake Griffin could spend a lot of years there. But can they compete for a title? Could they even win their division?
With all the trade rumors going around the NBA prior to the shortened season beginning, I thought it would be fun to get your guys take on who will be the best team in the league come June. It looks like the Heat are signing Shane Battier who will most likely be the biggest role player in the league this year.
All of these scenarios are based upon the rumors that are going around. For example, the only way the Lakers will most likely get Paul is if Howard goes there too to create their own big 3, and that the Celtics will only get him by giving up Rondo, Green, and 2 first round picks. Any other teams that you think have a legitimate shot, post in the comment section.
Although there was much speculation about Chris Paul coming to Boston in place of Rajon Rondo (which would be amazing and anyone who says otherwise does not know what they are talking about), it looks like it will not be happening because Paul knows the age of our team. He will not sign an extension beyond this first year. Besides, there are still rumors floating around that he is making a dream team #2, with Melo and Amare in New York. Keep in mind though, KG said the same thing in ’07, as well as Melo. Hmmm.
The Indiana Pacers are also trying to work a deal out to bring Rondo to their team but without a third team involved, Danny Ainge would be foolish to look too far into this. They do not have anyone that can replace Rondo’s athleticism and we cannot rely on Delonte West as a starter (assuming that we re-sign him and he doesn’t get caught with guns on his motorcycle or fornicating Lebron’s mommy). With most of our team entering senior citizen status next season, it will be tough to get any big name player to sign a contract here. Therefore we need to stop remembering the past big 3 for what they were and think about alternative scenarios that could give us the best opportunity to compete with the Big 3 of the Heat, which will be stronger than last year, and the possible Big 3 in New York.