A Hypothetical Trade Offer for Chris Paul, Part II | Magic Basketball

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Jul 28

A Hypothetical Trade Offer for Chris Paul, Part II

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Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Since trade scenarios involving Chris Paul have reached a fever pitch recently, Ryan Schwan of Hornets247 felt it would be a fun exercise to open up the virtual bidding for the New Orleans Hornets’ all-world point guard and see which TrueHoop Network writer could come up with the winning bid. Yesterday, I revealed my Godfather offer — as Ben liked to put it — to Schwan for Paul and if this was real life, Magic fans would be very happy right now.

Among my peers, my trade proposal turned out to be the best.

However, I do have to splash a dose of reality to everyone. Even though I tried to make my offer as realistic as possible, I wanted to make it clear that general manager Otis Smith probably wouldn’t make the deal I made.

First, there’s little chance that Emeka Okafor would make his way to the Orlando Magic. Okafor’s four year, $53 million contract would be too much of a financial burden for the Magic to deal with in the long-term, even though their payroll wouldn’t change much if Paul was acquired in a deal right now. Yes, Orlando has shown a willingness to spend but they have their limits, and carrying the contracts of Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard, Paul, and Okafor would much too much to bear since they’ll each continue to escalate in value in future seasons. Likewise, who knows what will happen with the collective bargaining agreement.¬†Also, some people have suggested that Okafor and Howard can start together but they can’t.

And it’s the same reason why Marcin Gortat and Howard are unable to play in the same frontcourt, other than in spurts. Yeah, the Magic would benefit from the arrangement defensively and rebounding-wise but the spacing on offense would suffer. Like Gortat, Okafor has no range outside the paint and is not a credible threat offensively, which means that opponents would have an easier time either sending double-teams to Howard in the lane or rotating quickly to the shooters on the perimeter. Plus, Howard wouldn’t have as much space to operate on the low block. If Okafor had a reliable mid-range jumper, then I could see the possibility of him starting at power forward. But Okafor doesn’t have a jumpshot, and that’s where the discussion ends.

Second, Posey has a 10 percent trade kicker. According to Hoopdata.com (data via ShamSports), Posey is expected to earn $6,478,600 million with the New Orleans Hornets. However, if Posey was traded, his salary would jump up to $7,126,460 in 2011 and $7,617,940 in 2012. To put that number in perspective, Jameer Nelson‘s contract remains static at $7.6 million until 2013 when he has a player option. That being said, Posey’s pill is easier to swallow to compared to Okafor’s salary but it’s worth pointing out the type of money he would net if he were traded. Smith could manage with acquiring Posey alongside Paul, but not Okafor.

That’s why a third team would have to get involved to help the Hornets unload Okafor somewhere and maybe Nelson, too, for that matter (the Darren Collison factor). The point of this exercise is to show how difficult it’ll be for Orlando to pull off a trade for Paul.

It’s not impossible, but Smith would need to be creative.

11 comments
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Billy (slickw143)

I don't think the Magic would be taking a step back if they made a trade for Paul. Not with the amount of talent that's on the team. Orlando would have two of the top five players in the NBA (the best at their positions) surrounded by an excellent supporting cast and a great coach.

@Gustavo

I don't think the Magic become favorites with Paul. Orlando would simply have a better chance at winning a championship with Paul onboard for the immediate future.

@JP

Trading for Carter was still the right move, even though he hasn't endeared himself to Magic fans with his performance in the Eastern Conference Finals.

@Alex

You have to do what you have to do. Winning a title involves luck and risk. You have to be lucky and you have to take risks.

@Rick

It's still a possibility, even if it's remote. That's why the topic is being discussed. It's not a matter of being greedy. It's a matter of recognizing that there's a possibility, even if it's a slim one, that Orlando may be able to trade for Paul -- a top five player and the best point guard in the NBA.

Like @Alex stated, no one knows what the Hornets are thinking.

@derekk

I can ask Mark from ShamSports and see if you're right.

derekk
derekk

@Alex

It's guaranteed somewhere between 10mil to like 17mil-something in a deal that pays 22mil I think. I have no clue what the incentives are, so you can just as easily assume (until someone more knowledgeable steps in) that it pays the 17mil garantueed. That's still 5mil cap space, and potentially up to 12mil cap space... Not bad. But, after this summer's moves, it seems to me that, despite being able to probably have some serious cap space in 2 years, Otis is picking up Shards total contract and keeping the Magic with serious cap space in 3 years instead.

derekk
derekk

Hey E, I *think* Jameer's contract is back down to 7.6 or 7.8 because the All Star incentive is for only that year he made it. I'm not even sure if that's true, but for some reason that's how I see Jameer's contract value at now- 7.6-7.8mil.

I'm also pretty sure the Magic will take on Okafor, Vanderweide sounded ready to pay it in between the lines of his statements in a very recent OS article (along with my reasons I said in first CP3 Trade Post).

I agree with everything else tho, it'll take a lot of creativity from Otis in what would be a huge trade that could possibly involve another team(s). There's no way Okafor plays well with Dwight, I'd see him as a more expensive Gortat. Great backup, can play with Dwight for brief defensive stretches, like said above. I'm sure the Magic could dump later down the road if he can't be 3-wayed right now. Contracts like Rip Hamilton's come to my mind where the Magic would have better talent diversity. So hopefully NO pulls the trigger on a deal this summer, I'm optimistic.

Alex
Alex

Wait, Rashards contract isn't guaranteed for the final year?

Hmmm... Ten million dollar buyout though.

Alex
Alex

Idk what Rick is saying.

And no one really knows what the Hornets are thinking. I wouldn't assume you do.

Rick
Rick

Why are we still talking about Chris Paul coming to Orlando? It not going to happening. And if it does, it wont happen til next season, at the earliest. The Honest don't have to trade Chris to Orlando when other teams could offer more cap space for NO.

It funny how greedy we've gotten after one trip to the final since 95. The fact is would a heathly 08-09 Magic team (with Jameer) really have beaten a healthy Celtic team with K.G.? I honestly say no. Ill admit Hedo a better fit than Vince but Vince is still a much better place that is being used like he's 23 and not 33. With that said, there no way Vince could play any worst than he did last season and I believe most Magic players, and Vince, knows that.

Alex
Alex

As Eddy said, it's not so much the money that is the problem. Its having a lack of flexibility.

Ok, I get that. But I'm torn about that. I want flexibility. I think Otis has done a really great job so far. I don't want to end up like the Knicks or the Hornets with a Salary Cap mess.

But on the other hand, championship teams usually make a commitment and take a risk. Boston took the big three idea despite that it would only be a three to four year window. They knew it wouldn't last, but paid past their prime players.

LA got lucky with the Gasol heist.

We *may* need to commit to taking on Emeka if it means having Paul and Howard for the next 10 years.

But, like I said, I'm torn about it.

JP
JP

@Gustavo

A bit harsh to label "done a ton of crap" on Otis in my view. He overpaid Rashard yes, but ALL GM's make a mistake or two if they do a job long enough (look at how Dumars at Detroit was lauded for seasons and is now a pariah? Both assertions are unfair.)

Trading for Vince is at worst, a neutral move. Hedo didnt cover himself in glory last season on his vastly improved new deal. The same deal by the way that if we had it on the books now, our chances of getting CP3 in any of these hyptothetical trades would be considerably more remote then it is now. Not to mention we might not have matched the Mavs offer sheet to Gortat last summer if we'd retained Hedo, yet again, another crucial centrepiece of any deal we could offfer for CP3.

Gustavo
Gustavo

If Okafor is what it takes to get Paul, Smith should definitely do it.

The Magic is already commited in tons of luxury tax money, so the owners are willing to spend to win the championship. I don't see the actual roster making it through LA and Miami, but with Paul, the Magic automaticaly become favourites. And Okafor would be useful in a potential NBA Finals against the Lakers.

If Okafor is what it takes to get 2 top 10 NBA players together, it's a no brainer.

Smith has alrealdy done a ton of crap during his time as a GM (giving max to Rashard, trading for VC, etc.), if he doesn't pull the trigger because of Okafor I believe he'll bury Magic's title hopes, even with the best and most dominant big man of the world on the roster.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

As far as fielding a team for this year, I think if we were to make this trade, we'd take a step back because of all we'd be giving up, the flotsam we'd be taking back, and the effect it would have on the "chemistry".

However, I'd still make this trade all day, every day, even if we couldn't find a third team. If the defensive bonuses of playing Okafor and Dwight together wouldn't be worth it, we'd have all year to to trade him. There would still be someone to take him, even though he's overpaid, because he is a good player, as stated. I'd say he can go to Minnesota, but he might be too good for Kahn to take. Having the foundation of Paul and Dwight would be something to make us contenders for years, so whatever.

Or maybe I'm just being selfish since Paul is one of my 5 favorite players in the league, and I want to see he and Dwight shatter any alley-oop records there might be.