As the NBA off-season menu has read more often than not in the last few years, there is another superstar who could possibly be on another team because of his upcoming free agent status.
This year, such as last year, Chris Paul finds his name at the very top of the list alongside a man known as Dwight Howard. Also similar to last year, is the amount of teams who supposedly want to sign the superstars and the media hoopla surrounding the year/year and a half extravaganza.
At this point, it will never end as another year brings another superstar at the end of his contract. Honestly, I don’t mind the first couple of months because Carmelo Anthony in New York rather than Denver and LeBron James in Miami rather than Cleveland are nice landscape changes that brought intrigue to what the big cities can do with the stars and how the smaller market teams revamp their rosters after the big named players leave.
However, in this case. Paul to another team doesn’t help anything.
CP3 needed to get out of New Orleans because he was about to drown on the sinking ship. He didn’t have anyone around him who could play except for David West and he was on his way out to — now with the Indiana Pacers. In six seasons the Hornets made it to the playoffs three times and out of the first round once. The postseason success or lack thereof, was not because Paul didn’t play superstar ball.
He was the reason they won any games.
This situation is different.
When I look at the Los Angeles Clippers’ roster for the upcoming season, I have to ask myself why any point guard would want to leave. He doesn’t have to do all the scoring because he has Blake Griffin, Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and Lamar Odom — who have all been double-digit scorers for the duration of their careers.
Not only does he have players around him who can carry the load if need be, but they make his job easier.
Griffin has proven he can grab any Paul pass out of the air and throw it down. Jamal Crawford, Billups and Butler are marksman who love catching passes for wide-open jump shots, while all of the above would accept a gift for an easy lay-up or 10.
The same goes on defense. In New Orleans, Paul was the only perimeter defender who could stop guys until Trevor Ariza came along. Eric Bledsoe, Billups and Hill are known to be solid defenders.
Honestly, this sounds like a dream for a guy like Paul. Especially, if you think about the playoff picture and how the Clippers got to the second round last season without Billups, Bledsoe or a bench.
Dallas Mavericks’ beat writer for the Dallas Morning News Eddie Sefko wrote that Dallas was more appealing to Paul because LA is not his kind of city. The glitz and the glamor are passed over for a smaller city with family values, he seems to think.
But what I remember is basketball players go to the NBA to win. Whether it’s to reshape a losing franchise or further a winning legacy is here nor there, players want to win.
Paul has the opportunity to do exactly that with LA because of the team, not because he does or doesn’t like bright lights. He’s been there a year after being in New Orleans for six. I don’t know anyone who can make a move halfway across the country and adapt in 12 months.
If Paul did go to the Mavs, how would he win. Dirk Nowitzki looked like a shell of himself last season. Shawn Marion should call it quits, as well as, Vince Carter. Darren Collison wouldn’t see the court at the same time, so he would be null and void. Yi Jianlian, ha and Delonte West can’t stay out of headlines long enough to actually care about basketball.
The only two and a half players Paul would have to work with is O.J. Mayo, Chris Kaman and Nowitzki. I’m calling Dirk a half until I see him back at his true form. I’m not ashamed to say the lockout was a cause of his rough season, as long as he has a better season this time around.
I don’t know about you, but it only makes since to stay in LA. If Howard goes to Dallas and they’re able to get Paul as well, then maybe. However, they don’t have Howard, who loves to be the star of the show and is in the biggest show in the NBA.
With the Clippers, Paul has an opportunity to win, an opportunity to help change the culture of a notorious losing program and an opportunity to work with one of the best young talents in the game who wants to play the same fast paced game Paul does in Griffin.
Staying in LA –as a Clipper — should be obvious.
Topics: Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups, Chris Kaman, Chris Paul, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Morning News, Darren Collison, David West, Delonte West, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard, Eddie Sefko, Grant Hill, Indiana Pacers, Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom, Lebron James, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, New Orleans Hornets, O.J. Mayo, Shawn Marion, Trevor Ariza, Vince Carter, Yi Jianlian