During all of the Chris Paul trade rumors, almost all the so called “experts” are saying Paul needs to leave New Orleans in order to win and build a BIG THREE in Orlando, New York, etc… However there is one of these experts who sees it differently, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated believes that what Paul wants is a BIG THREE, but he wants the other two superstars to come to him in New Orleans. Let’s hope as Hornets fans that he is correct.
Well the first step in getting a superstar to join Paul in the big easy is next off season and Carmelo, as long as he decides not to sign the extension with the Nuggets. And yes this may just be a fan dreaming big, but it may not be as crazy of an idea as you may think. First off the Hornets will have the money to spend next off season as they will be gaining upwards to $30 million in cap space, mostly by losing Peja’s contract. So say Anthony signs with the Hornets, they still have money to get some more solid players, including possibly resigning David West.
Secondly, unless the Hornets struggled immensely in the first half of the upcoming season I do not see Paul being traded and if the Hornets want any chance of getting anyone worth talking about next summer, they will need Paul to be the centerpiece of the attraction to New Orleans, thus they must not trade Paul.
But even with the game’s best point guard would Melo want to go to an even smaller market team than Denver? Most likely no, but maybe Anthony will see the Hornets as a chance to find Clyde to his Bonnie, or vice versa, in CP3. And if Monty Williams can impress this season to show the rest of the league that the Hornets do have a solid immediate future, then the Hornets are starting to look pretty good. Carmelo will be 27 next summer and looking at the prime of his career where he will be looking for another superstar, and how many true superstars are there out there? First rule out the Heat with their big three (Wade, James, and Bosh). Then Kobe will be getting another year older and I do not see the Lakers winning more than one more championship after this season. So truly how many other superstars are there left that will also be entering their prime of their careers? Paul, Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, Kevin Durant, and who else? I do not consider Amare Stoudemire a superstar, sorry Knicks fans.
The Magic are paying currently three guys over $15 million in the 2011-12 season (Howard, Rashard Lewis, and Vince Carter). Thus they do not look like they will have the money for Anthony. The Jazz are in a similar situation with three guys making over $10 million in the 2011-12 season (Mehmet Okur, Al Jefferson, and Williams). They do however have more cap space, but not quite as much as the Hornets. Then there is the Thunder, where Durant and company are young and talented with some cap space. But Durant plays the same type of game as Anthony at the same position. I do not see Melo and Durant playing together, although that would be scary to see. And So that leaves CP3 and the Hornets in a city that a 27-year old would enjoy very much.
There is of course the chance that Melo decides to go somewhere else, like New York (which he has said he would like to play for) but if the Hornets can look like a solid playoff team this season…who knows what can happen. The Hornets have the money, young players, new coach, and a superstar point guard. But as the great John Lennon said “So you may call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Maybe Carmelo is a dreamer too.
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Written by Andrew Tressler