Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
A few days ago, Ryan Schwan of Hornets247 conjured up a neat idea of “virtually” trading Chris Paul for fun. The premise was simple — any TrueHoop Network writer could participate and submit an offer to Schwan, then he would gather the offers, rank them, and trade Paul to the team with the best bid. I went ahead and threw my hat into the ring to try to see if I could put together a deal that would stand out from my colleagues and appeal to Schwan the most.
I tried to make my offer as realistic as possible and in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, but it’s worth noting that I didn’t hesitate to pull out all the stops to try to come away with the best deal. The process, itself, was transparent so everyone involved knew what the bids were, which made it an interesting exercise since we could all see what people were willing to give up for Paul in an alternate reality. Schwan won’t make the decision until later tonight, so none of the participants knows who won the bidding war.
However, feel free to check out my offer.
New Orleans Hornets receive:
— Vince Carter (semi-expiring $18.3 million contract in 2012, $4 million guaranteed if waived before June 30, 2011)
— Jameer Nelson
— Marcin Gortat
— Brandon Bass (or Ryan Anderson)
— $3 million in cash (to cover the expense of waiving Carter)
— 2011 first round pick
— 2013 first round pick
Orlando Magic receive:
— Chris Paul
— Emeka Okafor
— James Posey
Yes, it works in ESPN’s Trade Machine.
Three quick notes:
— It’s important to note that in real life, general manager Otis Smith would definitely pause at the prospect of acquiring Okafor, let alone him and Posey. Both players are overpaid, and Okafor would be an extremely expensive back-up center that wouldn’t receive much playing time. There’s no way that Okafor and Dwight Howard would be able to play together, other than in spurts, so it’d make little sense for them to start as a tandem. This is one of the many reasons why people wonder if a third team would have to be involved to take Okafor off the Magic’s hands. As for Posey, he’s 33 and a shell of his former self (he posted a PER of 8.7 this season, which is awful). The Hornets gave him the full mid-level exception in 2009, and the contract was a mistake from the start.
— For those that are curious, the projected starting lineup for Orlando would be Paul, J.J. Redick, Quentin Richardson, Rashard Lewis, and Howard. Coming off the bench would be Chris Duhon, Mickael Pietrus, James Posey, Brandon Bass or Ryan Anderson, and Okafor. But remember, Okafor has no business being a reserve when he deserves to start somewhere even if he’s overpriced. Nevertheless, this is why the Magic are the preferred destination for Paul. Smith has accumulated so many assets (one of his favorite words), with the blessing of Rich DeVos‘ open checkbook, that Orlando would not leave the cupboard bare with Paul on board. And there’s no question that Paul is aware of that.
— The questions that I’ve pondered with my offer is if Schwan, or the Hornets for that matter, would be willing to acquire Nelson with Darren Collison on board? Collison and Nelson can each play off the ball, at times, but still. Also, is New Orleans saving enough money with Carter’s semi-expiring contract? There’s no question that the Hornets would be accumulating young talent but there are other teams in the NBA that can help them shed more salary, even immediately. That’s one of the reasons why the Charlotte Bobcats have been listed as a potential destination for Paul because they have Erick Dampier’s $13 million contract that is unguaranteed. Which means that the Hornets could waive Dampier and save money right away.
Is my deal good enough?