| 06-07-2010, 04:34 PM||
Nets to trade 3rd pick for CP3?
[pic - click to view] BULLS: New Jersey Nets could look to pursue Chris Paul with No. 3 pick
There’s going to be a lot of trade talk around this year’s NBA draft, though it most likely will begin at No. 3. It’s almost certain the Wizards take John Wall with the first overall selection. While there have been rumors of trading Elton Brand and the No. 2 pick, the 76ers are most likely to take Evan Turner since new coach Doug Collins likes the big guard to go with point guard Jrue Holiday.
With the Nets seeking to make a big splash with new ownership, that cannonball I’ve been hearing about lately is Chris Paul.
The New Orleans Hornets are set to announce Monty Williams as their new coach this week after new Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau passed on the job. The Hornets, who are likely to be sold, have insisted they will keep Paul, who supposedly has expressed a preference for Williams.
But the fact remains Paul can become a free agent after two more seasons, so his value never will be higher. And if you have a rookie coach and the chance to start fresh, especially since it’s difficult to believe the Hornets can compete now in the loaded Western Conference, doesn’t it make sense to get a great young core in place? Maybe not to the Hornets.
Still, the talk is the Nets intend to make a major run at Paul with the No. 3 draft pick, who would most likely be Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors, a freshman power forward talked about as a future star.
The Nets pretty much know they have no shot at LeBron James playing in Newark at least the next two years. So how much excitement do you get from Amar’e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer or David Lee, the trio most likely considered Nets possibilities.
The informed speculation is the Nets will make a bold run at Paul.
The thinking goes like this: You get Paul and can play Devin Harris at shooting guard. Harris isn’t a great three-point shooter, though he has had decent seasons at 34 percent. But he is more a scoring guard than point guard. Plus, the way the game is played these days, it is useful to have a shooting guard who can handle the ball and make plays as opposed to just spotting up. The other, perhaps more likely, possibility is a sign-and-trade with the Hawks of Harris for Joe Johnson.
Harris would be a much cheaper alternative to Johnson and could play with Jamal Crawford, who really is better at getting his own shot than Johnson, though less a defender.
So how do they get Paul? The Nets mostly absorb the salary in their cap space, along with some of Johnson’s salary from the sign-and-trade if that is included. The Hornets get the No. 3 pick and likely a potential future star in Favors. The Nets have a few other pieces the Hornets might want, perhaps Yi Jianlian, Courtney Lee or the talented, if erratic, Terrence Williams.
It’s a two pronged benefit for the Hornets.
They have a highly regarded potential young backcourt in Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton. They add to that Favors and with a rookie coach it’s a heck of a core to build with. So what of David West?
He’s a highly regarded talent, so the Hornets would be in position to make another deal. One of the keys, of course, is finances. The new potential owner has been said to be looking for minority financing, which suggests the franchise still is facing operating losses. Plus, they’re in luxury tax territory already. It’s bad business to be there without a chance to seriously compete, which would be difficult to project now with the Hornets. Plus with still another natural disaster hitting the Gulf and the economy, there could be further financial woes for the small market Hornets.
The fact is they’ve had their run and it’s time for change. Jeff Bower is regarded as one of the league’s top general managers. With a chance to get pieces and move West, who only has one year left on his deal with an opt out he’d likely exercise as his contract declines, the Hornets could get in position to be making another run and build together with a promising young group.
So the nets would trade the 3rd pick and someone else like yi or courtney lee to the hornets for CP3, and would trade harris in a sign and trade to atlanta for Joe Johnson..
CP3, Joe Johnson, Terrence Williams, Brook Lopez and a PF from the draft could be a pretty good team.