Chris Paul Prefers to Play for the Orlando Magic | Magic Basketball

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Jul 23

Chris Paul Prefers to Play for the Orlando Magic

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Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Via Chris Broussard of ESPN.com:

The Orlando Magic have replaced the New York Knicks as the top team on Chris Paul’s list of preferred destinations, according to league sources.

Paul believes the Magic, with Dwight Howard, would be a better fit for him. Also, Paul realizes the Magic have more to offer New Orleans in a trade and therefore views it as a more realistic landing spot.

Here’s my brief commentary on the Chris Paul rumors.

38 comments
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Jayson

Yeah, Okafor can't play alongside Howard. Which makes acquiring Okafor a tough pill to shallow, in a sense, because his minutes are going to be limited playing behind Howard. I'm sure, if push came to shove, Van Gundy would opt to play Okafor and Howard together in spurts but that would be an expensive price to pay for a back-up center. A "tax" for acquiring Paul, I suppose.

As for your trade suggestion, I don't think Carter, Nelson, and Gortat would be enough for Paul and Okafor. The Magic would have to throw in $3 million in cash, as Ben suggested at OPP, to cover most of the $4 million that it'd cost the Hornets to waive Carter and his expiring contract. Also, draft picks would need to be inserted in the deal.

@Billy (slickw143)

Yeah, I don't think Paul leaving the Magic would be a concern. As long as Orlando is winning a championship with him in that two-year window, there would be little motivation for him to leave.

@Tim

Can't trade draft picks in back-to-back years. It's not allowed due to the Stepien Rule (it's a fascinating one) in the collective bargaining agreement. It'd have to be the 2011 and 2013 first round picks to get around the loophole of trading multiple picks in future years.

As for Okafor, he's not much of a passer. At all. Okafor's assist percentage with the Hornets this season was 3.5 percent, which is so bad ... it's hard to effectively describe how pitiful that number really is. Gortat was no better, at 2.4 percent this season. Yikes.

Posey is worthless, at this point in his career. Maybe a change of scenery would do Posey some good, but I wouldn't count on it. Theoretically speaking, Posey would back up Richardson and you hope for the best. Pietrus would back up Redick, which is fine. In 2009, Pietrus played a majority of his minutes at shooting guard so it's a role he's familiar with.

I have concerns about how the second unit would play together but I don't want to cross that bridge unless Paul is with the Magic, which is far from a guarantee.

eltharion_doa
eltharion_doa

@ Tim - Okafor's passing isn't anything to write home about, unfortunately. Pretty similar to Gortat, although he turns the ball over less.

Tim
Tim

@ Kenneth
I don't think it's really presumptive to consider the exact ways that a possible, even if unlikely, trade would have on the team. It's not really that different than looking at how great Paul is, or the numbers he puts up and saying that you hope he joins the Magic, except that it's more detailed.

I've always figured the most logical trade was
VC, Jameer, Gortat, Anderson, 3 million and 2011, 2012 draft picks going to NO
CP3, Okafor, and Posey coming to Orlando.

I knew Okafor was all right, but I'm interested to see how he would play in the Magic's system. It sounds like he actually be an upgrade over Gortat on the court, even if his price is ridiculous. Does anyone know if he is a strong passer? Is his low-post game more effective than Dwight's (if we're stalled in the halfcourt against a team that is staying home against our shooters, can he consistently make a play if fed the ball or demand the double team and pass out?) because if he can consistently, effectively do that than I'm even more excited about that.

Also I remember Posey being a threat to knock down the 3, but not a big ballhandler or rebounder but I haven't looked into it much. I know he's supposed to be a good perimeter D guy too, but he's 33- is he still an above average stopper? I would think we would have Q-Rich start at the 3, with Posey coming off the bench behind him (both should fill that role of being a catch and shoot 3 and D guy) but would we be able to handle some of the quicker 3's in the league? I would imagine that's where we would give spot minutes to Mickael Pietrus, but I see him usually coming off the bench with JJ starting. I think JJ is a better ballhandler and spot-up shooter and would get the nod here, but regardless it's important to have quick guys playing the two, since they'll be the ones primarily recovering if CP3 gambles for the steal.

I see the Magic running a lot of 1/5 pick and rolls (obviously) but also several 2/5 pick and rolls (JJ's especially god at delivering the ball to Dwight) from the wing. As I've said before, with both Q-Rich and Rashard as threats against defending 3's in the post, I'd like to see (for Q-Rich(can Posey post-up well?)) some post-ups, and for Rashard some plays designed to get him guarded by opposing 3's in the post. Also over the last season Rashard was starting to find some success cutting to the basket, and hurting opposing 4's with his speed, anyone know if that will be successful with CP3 running the point?

With Bass and Okafor it's really our second unit that's going to have to change a lot. That's why I'm wondering particularly if Okafor is a good passer. If Okafor can draw a double and get the ball out to either our shooters or Bass around 15 feet that's a pretty strong unit. The defense should be there with Posey, Pietrus, and Duhon on the perimeter which hopefully will help some of Bass's problems rotating on defense. Plus Duhon's a good passer off the pick and roll, but not a great shooter and Bass and Okafor gives us to big bodies for him to run staggered pick and rolls off of in case teams play back on him.

There's a couple of things I'm still curious about, but it's starting to look like this trade is absolutely fantastic for the Magic since the only pieces we don't really get any value on is Anderson and draft picks (which likely would be 28,29, or 30 so not much value there). In fact on the court it seems like this a pretty pure upgrade with mostly just the salary taking a hit. I would assume Bass would remain on the trade block for another young stretch 4.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

I don't think Paul jetting is a concern, unless things really fail hard here. He is really, really competitive and loves winning, maybe to a fault. That's likely a big part of what's driving this right now. There are plenty of little anecdotes about him being hyper-competitive even with things like bowling and video games.

He knows that he and Dwight would be a deadly combo for years. Keep shooters and a good wing defender or two around them and that's a contender year in, year out.

As far as injury concerns, they're really overblown. Last year was the first year he really had affected by injury, and 3 of his previous 4 years he played at least 78 games. He had one injury (I can't remember if it was a groin or a wrist, but after he came back from that he tore his meniscus, same thing that Jameer came back from fine). And even then, he was putting up over 18 points and 10 assists while shooting 49% from the field and 40% from 3. Oh, not to mention over 2 steals and a TO/Ass ratio of better than 4:1.

Jayson
Jayson

I would think that Gortat would be part of the deal. It wouldn't make sense for either team not to include him. The Hornets will want a starting caliber Center for half the price of Okafor, and Gortat fits the bill. And the Magic will almost certainly have to take on Okafor's contract if this happens. And the only thing worse than paying your second string Center 12M is also paying your third string Center 6M. Gortat would still have some value for the Magic as a tradeable asset going forward, but he would have more value to the Hornets.

Carter would probably go as well. He is in the last year of a max contract. And the Hornets, if they trade Paul, will be in immediate rebuilding mode. getting Carter's 15+M off the books would give them cap flexibility needed going forward.

To the Lakers guy, appreciate your contribution and civility, but Okafor is not and cannot play PF (at least in my eyes). The guy doesn't have a great 10-12 ft jumper. His skills are duplicative of Dwight's, which would create a real log jam in the paint. Not to mention we would have to change the way our offense has been run for the last few years, and I don't think that Van Gundy would do that given the success we've had.

I think that we would get Okafor and Paul in the deal. We would give them Gortat, Nelson, and Carter. That seems to make the most sense for both teams. Maybe they throw in Posey or Peja, and we toss in Bass or Anderson, but essentially the deal is the same.

I think that we should make the deal, but I also think that MagicfaninT's concerns regarding the long term are valid. I am not convinced that Paul would not jump ship in two years and join up with Amare in NY (especially if Melo ends up there next year). We would have to win a championship in the next two years to keep him here. I don't think it would cripple our franchise in the next few years if Paul did leave. We would still have D12 and Lewis's monster Contract would be coming off the books along with Paul's, but we would be taking a gamble with the "assets" that Otis has been accumulating over the past few years. That being said, gambling is the name of the game. We have to make this happen if we can. But it comes with risks...

JoeybarZ
JoeybarZ

The possibility of the magic ending up with both centers they wanted in the draft makes me chuckle... Does go to show you how much of a talent gap Dwight created between himself and the number two pick... I've kinda avoided posting on the cp3 situation, because I haven't really decided how I feel about it... I admittedly was singing the trade jameer song last offseason, but I'm not thrilled of the idea now... Cp3's injury scares me, as does jameers issues... Guess it's a grant hill induced phobia... But if i'm Otis I'll probably pull the trigger on it... Because if he doesn't, and they fail to succeed with jameer at point he'll be crucified for letting him and melo go to ny... Wrongfully I might add...Oh and I hear shaqs going for cheap... Shaq diesel "bring the rain" off the bench... Teach Dwight a few things or two in the post, win a ring and retire his jersey... Jokes... Or is it...

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Frenchfried , @Adolfo

If there is a trade with the Hornets, best believe Gortat will be included.

As for Okafor, he's a good player, consistent double-double threat, and what not. The only problem with Okafor is that he's overpaid, which is one of the main reasons that he would have to be packaged with Paul in any deal for New Orleans to have any incentive to make a deal.

@Kenneth Agosto

David Stern didn't speak out against LeBron's choice. That's not correct. Stern spoke out against LeBron's choice to have a one-hour show on ESPN to ANNOUNCE his decision.

As for LeBron's "great" supporting cast, Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference debunks the theory that they were any good in the first place.

-- http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=6812

@eltharion_doa

I don't agree that LeBron already tarnished his legacy. People are so quick to trash LeBron but they're fickle, as they were when Kobe vehemently demanded a trade in 2004 and now have brushed aside that episode. When LeBron's chapter in Miami is closed, then we can talk about his "legacy" or whatever.

eltharion_doa
eltharion_doa

For what it's worth, I don't think there's anything wrong with what James did, but I do think it's going to inevitably tarnish his legacy and stop him being compared to the likes of Jordan, Magic, Bird and even Kobe.

@ Adolfo - Okafor's numbers are OK, a little better than Gortat's. 13 points and 11 boards per 36 minutes, compared to Gortat's 9.5 and 11 per 36. He's also a very solid defender. His problem is that he's horribly overpaid, not that he's *bad*.

Kenneth Agosto
Kenneth Agosto

Tim, at this point to begin considering how will chemistry, nucleus, and coaching decisions play out for the Magic if Paul was acquired via trade it is a little presumptuous or at least premature considering that Paul hasn’t even talked to the Hornet’s about the possibility of him getting traded ?

On another note, the NBA is a very competitive sport. Traditionally we as fans appreciate a great athlete when he or she competes. Paul is trying to get traded to a team that could compete for a championship in the near future. Lebron on the hand is more concern with building his brand rather staying real to the game of Basketball, like real champions have in the past. Why fix something that is not broken? The fans enjoy watching a competitive game. We want to see the best go after the best. It is part of the game. When experts in the game, legends, and the commissioner, David Stern, publicly speaks out against Lebron’s decision; well, he knows he did something wrong. He better hope that the basketball gods smile down on him and grant him some rings to help fans forget this.

What Paul wants do is not quite as bad as what Lebron has done. Paul’s team is truly a terrible team. Lebron in Cleveland had a great supporting cast—perhaps as good as any elite team in the NBA, how else would the Cavaliers have ended up with the best record this past season?

Adolfo
Adolfo

I don't know much about Okafor's numbers (Eddy can help me here) but I think that If Okafor is included in some hypothetical trade Gortat will be included in the Magic's package, am I right?

About the Lebron issue, OK he did what it is the best for him, I agree, BUT he's no longer "The King" in fact he never was and now he will never be, the only and permanent king is called Michael Jordan, period.

magicfaninTN
magicfaninTN

@eltharion_doa
And if CP3 comes to Orlando, one wonders if he might have a longer-term goal for another (i.e. bigger market), so it raises the question of: is he worth trading the farm for a 2-year rental OR would coming to Orlando to play with Dwight be enough to get him to sign an extension. Probably worth it with Dwight's window being only so long.

@Billy (slickw143)
Personally, I wonder if MJ and Magic taking a shot at LeBron, etc isn't partly driven by their own branding. I don't see either "old" superstar wanting to give ground in the "greatest ever" column. Saying, "I didn't need that kind of help" leverages that.

@Frenchfried
Count on Gortat going out if Okafor is coming in. Somebody gotta play the 5 in NO.

Frenchfried
Frenchfried

@Tim Although it's hypothetical, I think the question of how Okafor will fit in is really interesting, because what will the Magic do with Gortat assuming he's not part of the trade for Paul/Okafor/etc.?

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Will , @Billy (slickw143), @Tim

Fantastic back-and-forth discussion. Kudos, gentlemen.

Will
Will

Sorry Tim! Tangent!

Tim
Tim

I'm not completely positive what this Lebron conversation has to do with the possibility of the Magic attaining Chris Paul, but at the very least here is what I think. Lebron didn't do anything inherently wrong by using free agency to join up with the Heat. In fact as a player, what he did was absolutely right and a huge step forward to changing the way we think of free agency and player's rights in professional sports. However there is a very real reason why a lot of people feel like it was the wrong thing to do.

Whenever you play even pick-up basketball you always have the best guys play on opposing teams and everyone else shuffles out from there, three of the best guys on the court don't come together and say OK, we'll be a team and you guys can play against us - everyone would say that that's unfair and probably more than a few people wouldn't even want to play the pick-up game. Now, we recognize that professional sports are very different from pick-up games but in this single way- never having had some of the best guys on the court come together during free agency and say we'll play together- up until now this was an area where professional sports and backyard games converged.

Sure there had been historically powerful trios in sports before, but they had always come largely from draft picks, or front office trades, or with one of the players on the decline in which case it just felt a lot like bad luck, bad office management, etc. It was never something we could really point at the player's and say that this is unfair.

In the end, maybe this is ruins Lebron's legacy, because this idea that the best players have to situate themselves to play against each other is too deeply ingrained in what our idea of basketball is. Or in the end, maybe this whole thing just becomes a footnote to the Lebron James, Miami Heat championship dynasty glory. Or hell, maybe in the end it ends up like when the Magic signed Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill and it just becomes a what-if and a footnote to whatever else happens in the NBA in the coming years. The point is we don't know. Nobody knows what Lebron James's legacy will be, because legacy is determined after the fact not during it.

And it all has little to do with Chris Paul, who is expressing his wish for New Orleans to either seriously concentrate on putting together a contender or trade him. There's way better things to discuss about the possibility of Chris Paul joining the Magic than what Lebron's legacy will be.

How will his game compliment the Magic? (besides extremely well)

Do you think SVG will allow him to gamble for steals?

Who will he bring with him (Okafor, Posey) and how will they fit in the locker room and on the floor?

If he brings Posey with him, who starts at SF and who at SG?

How will either Okafor and Posey fit in with the Magic?

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

I have to agree 100% with what Will said about the Bulls. People keep bringing up Jordan having Pippen or Magic having Kareem and Worthy. That stuff happened due to front-office trades and drafting. LA getting the pick to draft Magic (and later Worthy) in particular was a really crazy situation. As little regard as a lot of people have for Bill Simmons for his "analysis", he chronicled the whole situation leading to LA's team in the 80s in his Book of Basketball, and it was nuts.

This was literally a couple guys going, "Yeah, screw this, let's just join up together and take our talents to South Beach". If they were doing this really just to think it would be fun, then yeah, I can't fault them. It will be fun for three 20-something millionaires playing basketball and living it up in Miami. But if they were doing this to try to be the greatest... I dunno, MJ and Magic are two very different personalities and they both had some damning words in regards to it all.

Will
Will

Eddy,

You don't think LeBron copped out just a little bit? He had a lot of pressure on him year in and year out and every year he came up short that pressure just got harder and harder. In 2009, that was THE year they were supposed to win and, for the most part, the Cavs were the best team in the league. They couldn't beat the Magic or the Lakers in the regular season consistently BUT they did win 66 games and won nine of their first 10 playoff games, including eight in a row. Then. . .the Magic happened (matchup nightmare, etc).

This year, with Shaq and Jamison, the expectations were even more! They didn't do as well in the regular season or playoffs and there is the whole debate on his ability to lead and giving up (can be argued for years). You don't think by placing some of the pressure equally on two other partners he isn't taking the easy way out just a little bit?The sad thing, let's say if I was right anyways, is that LeBron has put more pressure on him then ever. He's young: having the NBA, let alone a failing sports city, on his shoulders was tough. . .and maybe he isn't all he's cracked up to be. That's just me.

But you do have an excellent point that all the opponents of LeBron/Wade/Bosh's 'goon' behavior is that they were FREE AGENTS and did do what the wanted because they COULD. Even Dwight Howard, who, strategically isn't too happy about a super team entering his state, said 'look Cleveland, he served out his contract'. So. . .I agree with you on most points.

In regards to Pippen, Grant, Jordan: that was magical, not manufactured. Grant and Pippen were draft picks and it took a few years to gell. They didn't destroy an entire city, make a primetime special about themselves, and join forces because that was just good drafting and recruiting that happened to be legendary. I don't think LeBron and co are goons but I do think there were a lot of different motives going on and some of them weren't pure. Just me.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Ndiddy

Jameer will have to be moved in order to accommodate CP3.

@Alex

Agreed.

@Mikeyho

Chris Paul only has so much power over the situation. I don't think it's fair to hold a grudge against him, as @Billy (slickw143) stated.

@eltharion_doa

I guess it depends on your view of the situation.

@Kenneth Agosto

Lewis isn't going to be traded, anyway.

The Magic have a ton of assets that they can offer the Hornets -- Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass, Vince Carter (expiring contract), Marcin Gortat, Jameer Nelson, draft picks, and more. Nelson is an All-Star caliber point guard when he's at his best. Felton is not.

And as @WishingMagicFan, Nelson ate Felton alive in the first round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

@hulKK , @Will

LeBron did not take the easy way out. And Paul's situation is no different than Kevin Garnett's situation with the Timberwolves. People are hypocrites with these arguments. This isn't a new development. Like LeBron, Paul wants to win. I don't see the issue here.

Paul can't go to the Heat anyway. That's a moot point.

@Billy (slickw143)

LOL ... James, Wade, and Bosh aren't goons. They're geniuses. Were Jordan, Pippen, and Grant goons in 1992 when they were the statistically most productive trio in NBA history? But because James, Wade, and Bosh exercised their rights as free agents, it's not okay to team up and play together. Times have changed.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Kenneth Agosto

I don't want to get into this argument because I know it's going to lead to endless banter, but I want to say real quick that the criticism over LeBron's decision to join Miami is hypocritical. LeBron exercised his right as a free agent to join a team where he wants to win the most. This is partly the mainstream media's fault because of their obsession with rings and using that as the ultimate decider of greatness between Player A and Player B. I see nothing wrong with LeBron wanting to play with great players when Bird, Magic, and Jordan had the benefit of playing with great players themselves. They didn't pursue other teams, mainly because they weren't able to, but also because there was no incentive for them to leave. LeBron did everything he could to win in Cleveland but he was never surrounded with a supporting cast that could rival his peers. That's not LeBron's fault. Now we're criticizing LeBron because he wants to win? You can't have it both ways. Look, I didn't agree with his one-hour show on ESPN but other than that, LeBron did nothing wrong in my eyes. Questioning LeBron's legacy is stupid. All these cliched arguments and hypocritical views of LeBron are getting out of control. Thankfully there are writers out there, like Henry Abbott, that are calling "BS" of those views. I'll end there, because I don't want to argue about LeBron.

This isn't the forum for that topic.

Will
Will

@Billy. Yeah, I'm not necessarily bashing Paul it's just literally a mixture of the old/new mentality. Paul was rumbling about talking about trades but seemed to be committed until LeBron committed the apocalypse. I actually more credit Paul for not trying to go to the Heat but try to COMPETE. And he's being tactical. His skills combined with the best center COULD outdo the pure talent power Miami has put together (we don't know if they'll gel in Miami. . .it's likely they will BUT you never know whereas putting Paul with Howard is a guaranteed winner in terms of chemistry: natural PG facilitating a natural C).

@ Kenneth

We are all with you brotha.

Kenneth Agosto
Kenneth Agosto

I agree Lebron has set terrible precedence in the NBA. I hope that he and his team struggle mightily against top teams like Orlando, Boston, and of course Lakers. Kobe is the closet thing to MJ, Lebron is trying to surpass MJ, but he doesn't have half the will, determination, and leadership skills MJ, Bird, Magic, or Kobe had. Lebron is acting like a little boy. Act like a king and man-up instead of running to elite players so that some day you could win more rings than MJ. When MJ, Bird, Magic and Kobe won their rings they deserved all the credit that is why they are so great. Wade already got a ring so Lebron it looks like you’ll be adding to Wade's legacy as a NBA player.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

I don't think there's a problem with what Paul's doing, and it's certainly not the first time this has happened. Anyone who's using logic can see that he's not on a team that's going to contend in the next 2-3 years unless Chris Wallace or David Kahn giftwrap them some awesome package of players. Players around the league know that what those goons in Miami orchestrated together is going to be very tough to beat. So what do you do? Try to play the lone ranger card and never win a title while staying loyal to a team? Join up with someone else to try to take on the Evil Empire? It's not easy.

As long as the Heat have their super trio, I don't blame any other player or team for trying to compete in a similar way. Miami upped the ante, it's almost foolish to not follow suit.

Will
Will

Paul is acting odd. He's combining two philosophies at once: the new-selfish LeBron/Bosh/Wade style of teaming up but also the MJ-I-want-to-beat-those-guys-I-need-a-ring mentality. It's weird. Do you praise him for trying to build his own super team and trying to compete or do you knock him down a peg credibility wise for the same thing? Hmmm. . .

hulKK
hulKK

I doubt the Hornets will let Chris Paul go. I also don't think they'll be able to bring in one more superstar to help out Paul and West compete against the Lakers. They'd have to find some other really stupid team to dump Peja and Okafor's bloated contracts onto. So unless the Hornets can promise Paul that they can bring in somebody to help the Hornets compete against the Lakers within the next yr and a half, Paul's play for the next couple yrs until he's a free agent would be completely irrelevant. That would be really hard for a player of Paul's caliber to do and would cause A LOT of frustration between the head coaches, players and the GM. Thank Lebron for punking under pressure and taking the 'easy way out" Now we're gona see this happen a lot in the league now. The NBA is about to be so predictable. and that's weak.

WishingMagicFan
WishingMagicFan

@Kenneth Agosto
Did you happen to watch the four games during the First Round series where Jameer made Raymond Felton look like he still belonged at UNC?

Kenneth Agosto
Kenneth Agosto

The Orlando Magic do not have more to offer to the Hornets in a trade for Paul. They have over paid Lewis, whom did not have a greater season statistically than Wilson Chandler. Nor did Nelson have a better season statistically than Raymond Felton--although Raymond Felton cannot be traded till December. Gallinari could possibly included in a trade, especially since the Knicks have said that everyone except Amare is negotiable.

eltharion_doa
eltharion_doa

I think Paul's had his head turned by Worldwide Wes. He's still worth having, but he's destroying his reputation here.

BigMike21
BigMike21

Just read this and I think I felt it move.

Will
Will

Who is Chris Paul? I don't even know who he is (unless he's on the Magic).

Mikeyho
Mikeyho

@Billy (slickw143)

Dell Dumps didn't ask him to be traded to the Magic. But I could hold a grudge against Dell Demps also.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

@Mikeyho
He has no control over it. Hold a grudge against Dell Demps.

Mikeyho
Mikeyho

I'm already holding a grudge on Chris Paul for not coming to the Magic after calling us out by name.

Alex
Alex

This whole think is really making me anxious. I just cant wait for it to be done and over with, whether he gets traded or not.

Ndiddy
Ndiddy

Hope they can work it out somehow...just don't want to get rid of Jameer...that's all

DGabriel
DGabriel

True torture. Nothing is going to happen. He wont be moved.