CP3 in CLT?

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MJ hangs with an interesting crowd

This Can Still Happen

Back in the June of 2005, the Bobcats had an opportunity to draft local legend Chris Paul with the third pick in the draft.  The Blazers held the pick and offered the selection to Charlotte for the 5th and 13th choices in the draft.  The ‘Cats turned them down and the rest is history: Blazers dealt the pick to Utah, and New Orleans (picking 4th) scooped up the the NBA’s best under-30 PG.  It was rumoured that Paul wanted to play in Charlotte.  He was from Winston-Salem and had played college ball just up the road at Wake Forest.  The Bobcats needed a point guard.  They needed a star.  This can still happen.

Watching the New Orleans game on Wednesday night, it struck me: Chris Paul is going to be traded.  Maybe this summer.  Maybe sometime during next season but soon.  Here’s why:

  1. New Orleans is a small market team that’s losing money almost as fast as the Bobcats.
  2. George Shinn is in “SELL“-mode.
  3. Chris Paul is due $49 million over the next three seasons.  His replacement against the Bobcats, rookie phenom Darren Collison, is due just $5 million in the same time span.
  4. The Hornets have more than a couple of holes on their roster to fill.
  5. Hometown hero D.J. Augustin is way “OVER” (You bet he’s Over) with the local crowd.
  6. Anybody ever seen those Nike Air Jordan CP3s?

So what kind of a deal could the Bobcats put together to entice New Orleans to let go of their superstar???

The Trade

Well, from a salary perspective, the ‘Cats are going to have to return a few things in exchange for Paul’s $14.9 million dollar cap number.  They’ll also have to offer the Hornets some attractive pieces in exchange.  Here’s my proposal:

  • D.J. Augustin.  Again, hometown hero.  Still on a rookie deal until ’12-’13.  While not remotely in Chris Paul’s league, D.J. could form a great combo with Collison and help stretch the floor with his long distance shooting.
  • A Sign & Traded Tyrus Thomas.  Something like 3 years, $18 million sounds about right.  Another local product (high school in Baton Rouge, later LSU).  Thomas not only turns the local turnstiles, he would be a welcome athletic addition to a fairly unathletic frontcourt (Emekatron 2000 and David West).  The Hornets could then shop West (who has a great contract that declines in salary) for a physical starting two guard.
  • Gerald Henderson.  Let’s face it.  If Larry Brown is coaching the Bobcats, The Sequel is never seeing any PT and that’s not good for a young player’s game (just look how Darko’s skillz atrophied in Detroit).  The Hornets need a tough, defensive minded 2-guard to pair with Marcus Thornton and Gerald Henderson just may be that guy.
  • Salary Relief.  New Orleans currently has $73 million committed in salaries for next season.  This before factoring in any draft picks or filling out the roster.  The assumption around the league is that the luxury tax will lower to around $69 million.  By trading Paul for Thomas, Augustin and Henderson, the Hornets will save $4.5 million next season (putting them under the tax threshold).

From a Bobcats salary perspective, this trade would put them at EXACTLY the tax threshold ($69.8 million) with only eight players under contract.  The question is, would Michael Jordan spend an extra $5-$10 million if it meant bringing in a superstar like Chris Paul?  I think he just might.  The Bobcats would enter next season with:

  • PG: Chris Paul
  • SG: Stephen Jackson
  • SF: Gerald Wallace, Derrick Brown
  • PF: Boris Diaw, Alexis Ajinca
  • C: Tyson Chandler, Nazr Mohammed, Gana Diop

Now, there’s obviously a crowd at Center but the good news is that both Nazr Mohammed ($6.8 million) and Tyson Chandler ($12.75 million) represent expiring contracts in a year in which those will be very, very valuable (free agent summer ’11 looks like it’ll rival summer of ’10).  Could the Bobcats trade Mohammed for someone like Kirk Hinrich?  Maybe.  Take one or both centers off of the roster and run a platoon of a re-signed Theo Ratliff, Gana Diop and a (hopefully) developed Alexis Ajinca and then resign everyone’s favorite utility players Stephen Graham and Larry Hughes to veteran minimum deals and you have:

  • PG: Chris Paul, Kirk Hinrich
  • SG: Stephen Jackson, Larry Hughes
  • SF: Gerald Wallace, Stephen Graham
  • PF: Boris Diaw, Derrick Brown, Alexis Ajinca
  • C: Tyson Chandler, Gana Diop, Theo Ratliff

Not bad.  And considering that Larry Brown will run basically an eight or nine man rotation throughout the season, 10-14 depth isn’t that big of an issue.  This team could go deep into the Playoffs and finally bring star power to the CLT.

-ASChin

19 thoughts on “CP3 in CLT?

  1. Jared

    Rice and Geiger actually had big roles on some of the best Hornets teams. I don't know if D.J. and Hendo can do the same. If I were the Hornets I'd want D.Brown instead of Hendo. Brown could be what Julian Wright never was and cost at lost less to boot.

    It's possible that we could trade for CP3. N.O. certainly did us a favor in taking Okafor's over-sized contract. I think we'd have to give them a lot of cap relief.

  2. Disclosure

    Glen Rice was the best player in the history of the Hornets. Bob Bass was a genius and saved Shinn on many occasions.

  3. I agree about Glen Rice.

    Chris Paul is pretty awesome, and there's no way the new owner (who already holds a smaller piece of the team) would trade away the face of the franchise. Collison has been solid as a fill-in, but he's nowhere near the level of Chris Paul. The Hornets should work him into a deal with a Okafor for an upgrade at Center. Peja should be dealt this summer, as well.

    Is Cedric The Entertainer part of Jordan's ownership group?

    Does Nelly still have any stake in the Bobcats?

  4. The key to this suggestion is not that DJ+Tyrus+Henderson/Brown remotely equal Chris Paul on a talent level. No one's saying that.

    But Paul's huge salary relative to the Hornets' overall financial situation and the play of cheap rookie Darren Collison make it reasonable to fantasize about.

    One big sticking point would be likely friction between Chris Paul and Larry Brown. Would superstar Paul be amenable to the picky coaching style of LB? Doubt it.

  5. Reg — DJ could be an expiring: 2011-12 is a team option for $3.2 mill and 2012-13 is a QO. And if they want more expirings, we would have Nazr's $6.8 mil to add in.

    If they deal Paul, it'd be for a mix of young talent and cap relief: DJ/Ty/Nazr might do it, depending on what Ty's signed and trade deal would be.

    Could they get a better package of young talent and expirings elsewhere?

  6. reggie

    E,

    the hook in that deal is the Ty sining (like you said). im pretty sure they would probably only like something like 6mill a year for 3 years. IF that. (they really wouldnt want anything more than that; as would I if we're resigning him)

    that is a better deal than this current DJ/Hendo/Cap deal. id be more willing to do the DJ/Ty/Naz deal–but then this means that we lose Felton and have no back-up PG.

    and we all know that LB loves him some PGs.

    so if this deal happened (MJ, get on the phones NOW), we're looking at:

    Paul

    Jax/Hendo

    Crash/Brown

    Frenchy1/Frenchy2/(Brown)

    Chandler/Diop/(Frenchy2)

    maybe we'd have some spending money to get some low-life vets or D-Leaguers? and this also means we dont have another expiring until the 2011-12 season (Diop i think)

    very risky financially, but on paper, i really think this squad can kick ass.

  7. No hating on Glen Rice, Matt Geiger or Bob Bass here folks. Big fan of Rice's work while in CLT (all-star MVP fer cryin out loud) and Bass is the greatest GM nobody's ever heard of.

    But the deal is doable. If a twice in a decade franchise center can be traded (Mourning), surely an All-Star PG could move too. Plus, doesn't Shinn owes us something like this before he vacates the owner's seat for good? Hook us up George! I would officially forgive you for ripping our collective hearts out.

  8. Reggie

    This is a fantastic senario. Too bad i doubt the Hornets pull the trigger.

    I agree CP3 will be traded, but i doubt they would send him in this deal.

    Overall, this deal is very nice. An overall win-win for both teams. But the reason why im skeptical is because, like you said, the Hornets are losing money. Im pretty sure that they only deal Paul for some expiring contracts and cap space. They also may keep Paul because they know that people will pay to see him. Thats a marketing decision though.

    But yes, a Cats squad with CP3, Jax, Crash, Frenchy1, and Chandler, could do some serious damage in the east.

    Lets keep dreaming though.

  9. Let me just say that it is nice to have reggie back in the fold.

    Bobcats Baseline simply can't beast-it without you.

    I could totally see the Bobcats making a play for either CP3 or Steph Curry in the offseason. The price would be high for Curry but do you realize how freakin' profitable that kid would be? He could single handily bring an extra 800-1000 people to every game. My mom (the world's biggest Dell Curry mark) would be forced to buy season tickets. The question is, what would GS want from CLT to even consider moving him? I smell another trade column…

  10. Oh and mike15, to answer your question, Cedric the Entertainer is already under employment with another NBA team, the Sacramento Kings.

    He's Sean May's personal chef.

    OHHHHH! FACE! TAKE THAT FATTY!

  11. Jason

    The Warriors are moving Monta or Curry this offseason. Since Oracle's CEO is going to buy the team, sign Amare, hire Jerry West, and move the team back to SF, I'm thinking they keep Curry, cuz he's money here too (GSW sell more tickets than most other teams). Monta can't do anything but score. Curry could be the face of the new San Francisco Warriors franchise.

  12. Bobcats4life

    CP3 could go to Charlotte and would be willing to be traded there I BET YOU TO DOLLARS HE WOULD. He is from there born and raised (in that area) and played for Wake Forest and I doubt he likes the swamp down there (N.O) no offense to any swamp people down there with any Bug Spray available. Charlotte is a bigger city when it comes to basketball and the Carolinas is where basketball lives at and always has. Just look at the last few NCAA championships (excluding DUKE LOL) j/p. Jordan likes Chris Paul and would love to have Felton coming off the bench for him. Damn that would be good Chris Paul starter and Felton back up. That would be the best PG rotation in the league.

  13. All6Years15

    This deal is average, i propose a slightly different 1 trade DJ and Henderson and Diaw 2 round 2011 draft pick for Chris Paul, also sign livighston and trade him for Tj Ford then now that we got Dampier and Caroll Dump Dampier for salery cap and go get a good free agent so it would be
    PG-Chris Paul,Tj ford
    SG-Stephen Jackson,Larry Hughes,Matt Caroll
    SF-G-FORCE
    PF-Tyrus Thomas,Najero,Derrick Brown
    C-Nazr,Diop,and get a free agent

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