Blog Entry

CP3 drama and other free-agent buzz

Posted on: December 1, 2011 8:29 pm
And it begins.

Get ready for a replay of the Carmelo Anthony saga, with Chris Paul playing the role of protagonist and the big, bad Knicks once again in the villain role.

Cue the small market-big market theme song.

Seen this movie before. It's called "Gone With the Wind."

With Yahoo Sports reporting Thursday that Paul's representatives have informed the Hornets that he will not sign an extension with the team and that he wants to be traded to the Knicks, and with the Hornets immediately shifting into damage-control mode, we're right back where we were with Melo and the Nuggets. There are several key differences, however, that should be noted.

First, as pointed out earlier this week, the new rules take some leverage away from Paul in his bid to get to New York. Oddly enough, the rules that emerged from a lockout that was supposed to be about keeping small-market stars from fleeing to big markets also has taken a measure of protection away from the home team.

But Paul has done something important here that Anthony and his camp -- the same folks from Creative Artists Agency who orchestrated the union of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami last July -- didn't do. Paul has gotten started with his exit strategy much earlier.

Actually, it was last July when Paul's reps first informed Hornets brass that he wasn't sticking around and wanted to be traded to the Knicks, Lakers or Magic. At the time, the world was focused on LeBron and then the Knicks turned their focus to Anthony, who waited until the free-agent dust settled before clamoring to be dealt to the Knicks to team up with Amar'e Stoudemire.

Anthony got his way -- got his cake and was able to eat it, too. He did this under the old rules, which allowed him to get the same max extension (three years, $65 million) that he could've signed had he stayed in Denver. That avenue is no longer available to Paul. An extend-and-trade deal would only get him one year added to the two years he has left, a non-starter for a superstar of his caliber.

An extension with New Orleans would only net Paul two more years for about $39.6 million. This is nothing compared to what Anthony got, and not even close to the extensions that James, Wade and Bosh turned down before joining forces with the Heat. They did so by getting max length and dollars via sign-and-trades, and that option isn't open to Paul, either -- at least not in the same lucrative way. If he opts out and exits New Orleans via a sign-and-trade, he'd only get a four-year, $74 million deal -- compared to the five-year, $100 million the Hornets could offer. Factor in the notion that the Knicks, as of now, don't have close to the assets necessary to pull off such a deal, and it becomes even less likely.

Which brings us back to the original point: Even though it's December, it's technically July on the NBA calendar. Paul's efforts to determine his own destiny are starting much earlier than Melo's did for a couple of key reasons: 1) With Nene and Tyson Chandler the only potential max free agents in this class, there's no one to steal the attention the way LeBron, Wade and Bosh did las July; and 2) the new rules dictate it.

The Hornets' best chance of not getting stuck losing Paul for nothing is to trade him by mid-January or so. This way, New Orleans gets prime assets from a team where Paul is assured of re-signing with, and Paul only has to wait until July to opt out and get his five-year, $100 million deal from his new team once a newly imposed six-month window expires for players to sign new deals after getting traded.

The clock is ticking on Paul's time in a Hornets uniform, and this will unfold much more quickly than the Melo saga did -- in part, because of the new rules supposedly designed to keep star players from changing teams. Go figure.

There's one key difference so far between Paul's approach and Anthony's. Paul and his representatives have yet to say the words that would turn this saga into the kind of circus that the Melo drama became -- the words that Anthony made abundantly clear last season. What are those words? "I will only sign with the Knicks."

If Paul says those words, the tables turn and the game changes. And the Hornets might be inclined to call Paul's bluff and see if playing in New York with Stoudemire and Anthony is worth about $45 million to him -- the difference between what the Hornets could offer him next July and what the Knicks could offer, given that they currently only have about $13.5 million in projected room as the starting point on a four-year deal.

One thing is clear: We've seen this soap opera before. Getchya popcorn.


With the National Basketball Players Association reformed as a union Thursday with more than 300 authorization votes from players, the union and league can now begin hammering out the fine print of the agreement and negotiate the so-called B-list issues -- such as drug testing, the age limit, etc. A ratification vote is expected by next week, allowing training camps and free agency to open as projected on Dec. 9.

But -- and you knew there would be a but -- there could be a problem for the dozens of players who signed overseas contracts during the lockout. FIBA rules do not allow the paperwork excusing such players from their obligations to be submitted until the CBA is ratified. Once that happens, teams and agents say they're concerned that there could be up to a 48-hour delay in getting the paperwork processed and freeing the players to return to the States.

Thus, there is concern that such players -- the biggest star being the Nets' Deron Williams -- won't make it back in time for the start of camp. League officials are looking into the matter, but here's one way to look at it: If this is the worst fallout from the five-month lockout as far as basketball operations go, so be it.


Sources say there's mutual interest between the Bulls and free-agent forward Caron Butler. But Chicago hasn't ruled out also making a push for restricted free agent Marco Belinelli, whose defensive liabilities wouldn't thrill coach Tom Thibodeau but whose shooting prowess could help open the floor for Derrick Rose. ... Sources confirmed this tidbit passed along by's Ben Golliver: Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich had shoulder surgery a few weeks ago and is expected to be out until late December or early January.
Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:53 pm
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Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:43 pm

CP3 drama and other free-agent buzz

Not sure where your getting your information Soesahed but D Williams didnt demand a trade from Utah, they traded him a year before he could become a free agent because they thought he wouldnt resign and they did it for the best package they felt they ould get.  He never said trade me or asked for a location to go to(who in their right mind would request a trade to NJ?!!!) that was all the Jazz' doing!

Since: Dec 29, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:22 pm

CP3 drama and other free-agent buzz

Should all of this come to pass, trust me:  To those of us in New Orleans, Chris Paul is no protagonist.  He's just as if not more guilty than the New York Melos errrrrrrrrrrrrr Knicks.

Drew Brees is a real leader. He came here when he was down and helped pulled himself, the Saints, and this city out of some of the darkest times in its history.  Now, quality players want to play a small market.

Yeah, I know the NBA isn't the NFL.  But then Paul is no Brees either.  When the going gets tough, NBA players get going...out of town.

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2011 12:33 pm

CP3 drama and other free-agent buzz

Both Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams destroyed their future teams by insisting on trades now when they easily could have waited three months for the season to end.  In the Knicks case, this would have resulted in a championship caliber team.  In the Nets case, they gave up two first round picks, one of which would have been the third pick overall.
So enough with these primadonnas....if these guys want to play GM let them buy the rights to a franchise.  Nobody cares what team Chris Paul wants to rape and pillage for the rights to sign him.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:57 am

CP3 drama and other free-agent buzz

I would agree that i would rather add dwight howard rather than chris paul because the knicks would jus dominate the boards with the best front court in the league BY FAR.. and because chauncey is more than capable of running the offense and he plays defense.. On the top side of that chauncey's contract is up after this year and not only would they have dwiight howard they would then possibly be able to sign chauncey back for a way lower salary if he wanted to stay and win.. which knowing chauncey he is all about winning so he would jump on that

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:53 am

CP3 drama and other free-agent buzz

TEEJAYTEE-  Are you kidding me right now.. Melo is undoubtedly either the best or 2nd best scorer in the league.. once he gets the ball on the foul line extended area in the triple threat position, its a wrap.. theres not one person in the league who can stop him from scoring once that happens.. AND if you knew anything about  carmelo you WOULD KNOW that carmelo IS strong. I will give you that he doesnt play defense all the time, but if you watched ANY of the games he plays, in the crunching time of the game he is one of the best defenders on the court.. Not to mention everytime he goes up against another superstar or another dominating team, he dominates the whole game and makes the other team look silly... He is BY FAR the best and most clutch shooter in the league, its inevitable.. He has more game winners at an extremely high shooting percentage than any other player in the league.. whether you like MELO, STAT, OR CP3 or not if you have a chance to put them all on one team YOU WOULD do it in a heartbeat!! Id take a gamble on STAT AND CP3'S knees anyday, anytime to have a chance to put them on my team.. KNOW YOUR SPORTS before you go on here running your mouth about statements that have no credibility.. If you dont like watching MELO on the offensive side of the court then you dont like watching basketball, he scores with such ease, its honestly AMAZING!!!   

Since: May 29, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2011 5:33 am

CP3 drama and other free-agent buzz

Here's hoping he gets want he wants.  Good.  Go to the Knicks.  Stoudemire's knees and back won't make it through the season.  Carmelo Anthony doesn't have an ounce of muscle tone on his entire body and he is the most overrated player in the NBA.  He's only effective when he can shoot fifty times a game.  He scores points.  That's it, but who isn't a scorer when they can shoot 50 times a game.  Add CP3's balky knee into the equation and you have a witch's brew.  Good luck NY.  You'll need it.

Since: Jan 24, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2011 4:07 am

CP3 drama and other free-agent buzz

Im sorry but the knicks dont need Paul...we need to stop going after questionable players who havent won in the league....Amare is a great player, but his knees are suspect and we dont kno when hes gonna go down....Melo has only been out the 1st round once and Chris Paul spent the majority of his tenure in New Orleans either not making the playoffs or getting knocked out early and Paul has questionable knee injuries...I think instead of going after Melo, the knicks shouldve made a push for deron williams and marc gasol....they are pieces that would maximize Stoudemire's talents and hide his weaknesses....but the two arent superstar personalties so the moves werent pursued....every season the knicks are one injury away from being out of playoff contention because they relying on superstars

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2011 2:07 am

CP3 drama and other free-agent buzz

Okay, so nobody want to play for anybody except Miami, New York, L.A. or Chicago. Fine, easy answer. If you are not a fan of those four cities, don't watch, don't go to games, don't buy team paraphanelia, don't spend a dime. If everyone does this, the NBA will fix the problem itself, if not, learn to live with it.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2011 11:46 pm

CP3 drama and other free-agent buzz

Not a chance Billups contract gets CP3.  First of all, New Orleans is way under the cap (they only have 5 players under contract right now), so they don't need an expiring contract to acquire a free agent.  It's important to know the Knicks do not have a first round pick available until 2018 since they have already given up 2012, 2014 and 2016 (rules prohibit trading draft picks in consecutive years).  CP3 has very little leverage to go to the Knicks because basically, the Hornets would be getting nothing of value in return. Which is pretty much the same as losing him as a free agent.   

The Hornets should call his bluff because he can't even come close to signing a max contract with the Knicks as a free agent next year,  the most he could get is about $11 Million a year and that's if the Knicks sign only minimum salary guys to their bench in 2012.  He wll have to forgo a lot of money to become a Knick.  Maybe he will do it, but $20 million is a lot of coin to pass up. 

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