Tag:Chris Paul
Posted on: November 29, 2011 8:09 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 8:12 pm

Rumor: Celtics want Chris Paul for Rajon Rondo?

Posted by Ben Golliverrondo-paul

In a past lifetime, Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge was a all-state high school baseball player and Toronto Blue Jays draft pick. He hasn't stopped swinging for the fences since. 

SI.com reports that the always aggressive Ainge, who transformed the Celtics into a title-winner by acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007, is targeting New Orleans Hornets All-Star guard Chris Paul.
But according to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation, Boston general manager Danny Ainge is highly motivated to land an even better point guard than the one who led the Celtics to a championship in 2008 and an average of 58.5 wins in the last four seasons: New Orleans' Chris Paul.

Ainge, the sources say, has recently discussed trading Rondo in a deal that Nets Paul, but the Hornets don't appear interested in a two-team deal in which Rondo -- who has four years worth approximately $46 million left on his contract -- and Paul would switch places. So Ainge has been on the prowl for a third team that could provide the sort of young pieces Hornets general manager Dell Demps would covet as part of his possible rebuilding plan. The more pressing question, of course, is whether Paul, who can become a free agent after this season, would consider signing an extension with Boston.
With the Big 3 aging the Celtics are approacing a crossroads. Conventional wisdom dictated that they find a way to surround Rondo, a top-shelf, pass-first play-maker, with solid wing scorers and/or an elite big man. However, acquiring Paul would give Boston a point guard who is an exceptional play-maker while also being able to score in volume.

The problem here lies in Boston's ability to pitch Paul on its ability to win now and for the foreseeable future. Reports have surfaced that Paul's top choice is the New York Knicks, in no small part because perennial All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire are locked up for multiple years. In Boston, Kevin Garnett's contract is set to expire this summer and he's whispered about a potential retirement. Guard Ray Allen, who is now 36, will have his deal expire this summer too. If both depart, that will create significant cap room to build around a duo of Paul and forward Paul Pierce but is that possibility necessarily more enticing than the situation that might be available in New York? 

For superstars to change cities, it requires a balance between what the team has to offer the player and what the player has to offer the team. Right now, Paul has more to offer to the Celtics than the Celtics have to offer Paul. With a few delicate roster makeover cap moves and/or the promise of the right free agent signing next summer, though, and the proper balance could be achieved. 

Earlier Tuesday, we noted that Rondo's name was beginning to float in rumor mill discussions. 
Posted on: November 29, 2011 1:22 pm

Report: Celtics considering moving Rondo?

By Matt Moore 

The Boston Celtics are looking for one more title run with this group of All-Stars.

And they may be willing to sacrifice one of the Big 4 to get there.

In the ESPN report detailing Chris Paul's desire to join the Knicks, no matter how difficult that may be, another piece of info slipped in. This time, it was about the Celtics, and specifically, Rajon Rondo. From ESPN:
While Boston is not shopping Rajon Rondo, it would be open to trading him in the right deal, sources say. The Celtics feel they need more scoring to take the load off Paul Pierce.
via Chris Paul and New York's hopes - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN.

It's not the first time it's been suggested that Rondo could be on the block. He's consistently been mentioned as being included in talks, despite being one of the perennial league leaders in assist rate. Experts still have their doubts about him because of his inconsistent shooting and volatile personality. But there are some repors which indicate that this just isn't going to happen.

The Celtics moving Rondo would be more likely to occur in a move to acquire Chris Paul from the Hornets. With their projected available space in 2012, assuming they don't break the bank on Green or re-sign any of the big three to a massive extension, they should be in line to nab at least one major free agent, especially if Paul Pierce retires or is given the amnesty. A trade featuring Rondo, the Clippers' protected pick they acquired in the Perkins trade, and pieces might make Boston a great fit for Paul.

But it should be clear, the Celtics' management still believes very firmly in Rondo and what he's helped them accomplish. It's unthinkable that a point guard of Rondo's caliber would be traded, but that's the environment we operate in when Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are (potentially) on the market.
Posted on: November 29, 2011 9:31 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:46 am

Report: Lakers want Chris Paul AND Dwight Howard

By Matt Moore

The Los Angeles Lakers have a championship core. This same group of players were responsible for two out of the past three titles, and even without the services of Phil Jackson, there's every reason to believe that this team as-is can win another title with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum as its engine. But what comes after? The Lakers have begun looking to the future. They don't just want to stay competitive towards the end of Kobe Bryant's career, they want to transition seamlessly into their next phase of dominance.

And that means acquiring one of the big free agents in 2012, Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. Except they don't want one of those two. They reportedly want both.

From Mark Heisler, who covered the Lakers as a beat writer before taking up with SheridanHoops.com:
When the NBA couldn’t get a full ban on sign-and-trades, it left his Lakers in position to pull off a coup they’re dreaming of, which would make signing LeBron James pale by comparison.

If Dwight Howard and Chris Paul wind up on the market — a safe assumption as far as I’m concerned — the Lakers could offer Andrew Bynum for Dwight and Pau Gasol for CP3, or vice versa.

Nothing says that they will be enough to land either player, but it should put the Lakers in the running for both.

Oh, and Dwight likes the Lakers. Asked which All-Star he would most like to play with last season, he answered “Kobe Bryant.”
via Lakers will look to acquire Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.

Just to review. We just had a five-month lockout because teams were upset about large market teams acquiring multiple stars, scavenging small markets and leaving them with nothing. And the Los Angeles Lakers and their 17 professional basketball championships are aiming for both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. Glad we lost those 16 games over this.

There are a large numbrer of reasons why this is unlikely to happen. For starters, Chris Paul reportedly has New York as his first choice. Secondly, the biggest advantage the Lakers have is the assets to trade for Paul which the Knicks don't have. But the new CBA does have one new stipulation to prevent such dealings, the extend-and-trade adjustments. While sign-and-trade restrictions don't take effect until 2013, early reports indicate that extend-and-trade restrictions are immediate. The changes say that the same setup that Carmelo Anthony used to get his way to New York and get the extra year on his deal via Bird Rights is different.

The changes to the CBA suggest that teams that extend-and-trade a player can only extend him for three, versus the maximum four-year extension or five year re-sign he gets for staying with the home team. The only way around that is a six-month waiting period. The Hornets could re-sign Paul to the full Bird rights extension and then trade him, but they would have to wait six months. But a more likely scenario would see the following scenario: the Lakers can trade for Paul in the final year of his contract and then extend him, but that must be done after six months. Which means, they have to acquire him six months prior to his free agency beginning on July 1. Which means they have to acquire him by... January 1. With a season starting on the 25th. Not exactly a lot of time to pull that off.

All of these elements are in place for Dwight Howard, and Deron Williams (should the Nets just give up for some reason) as well.

The most likely scenario involves Paul entering free agency, and then signing a four year contract with Los Angeles or New York. But if the Lakers were to acquire Paul prior to free agency, it would give them an extra year to offer Paul, and it's hard to imagine him passing that up. Max contracts with bird-rights are five years, as opposed to the four-year counting option-year of an extension.

But if the Lakers want to acquire either player (or both, if we like fantasies), then they're going to need to trade some of that core. Specifically, Jim Buss would have to give up on his pet project, Andrew Bynum. Lamar Odom and pieces might be able to acquire Chris Paul, but there's no sense in bringing in Howard and pairing him with Bynum. Either playing power forward would be clunky and awkward. Where this leaves Pau Gasol is yet to be seen.

Hornets fans have to love all this. LOVE IT.
Posted on: November 29, 2011 1:11 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 2:43 pm

Cap rules make Chris Paul to Knicks difficult

Posted by Ben Golliverchris-paul-carmelo-anthony

That didn't take long.

Less than a week after NBA owners and players tentatively agreed to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was designed by the league to improve competitive balance, a report has surfaced that a small-market perennial All-Star wants to play for a star-studded, marquee big-market franchise.

ESPN.com reports that New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul is intent on signing with the New York Knicks.
Paul’s first choice by far is to team up with the Knicks’ Anthony and Amare Stoudemire to form yet another Eastern Conference Big 3, according to sources close to the situation.

The Knicks should have enough room beneath the salary cap next summer to offer Paul, who can become a free agent after this season, a contract starting around $13.5 million, just below the maximum. And while New Orleans could offer him more money, Paul, like his buddies James and Wade did a year ago, will gladly take a little less to join the team of his choice. 

Paul’s current team, the poor, league-owned New Orleans Hornets, will of course do everything they can to avoid losing Paul for nothing. That means trying to trade him before or during this truncated 66-game season, according to sources.
Paul and the Knicks have been linked before. Last month, a report surfaced that Anthony wanted Paul in New York. In September, a report surfaced that former Knicks GM Isiah Thomas is close with Paul and was "working behind the scenes" to convince Paul to sign with the Knicks.

While this is not the first report of mutual interest between Paul and the Knicks, it's certainly the most detail-laden. The Knicks have obviously planned to make a big splash in the summer of 2012 by stocking up on contracts that expire this season. They can make a compelling financial case, even if it's not the best possible offer available to Paul. 

As with Anthony, if Paul's heart is set on New York he certainly has the leverage to get there. It's just a matter of when and how. Whether Paul gets there quickly via a direct trade, slowly by waiting to sign with the Knicks in the summer, or by taking a circuitous path, like the one traveled by New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams, who was traded without warning by the Utah Jazz and recently said he's keeping his options open for this summer, remains to be seen. But if Paul has the will expressed in this report, there's a way for him to land in New York.

The question, as CBSSports.com Ken Berger points on in the following video, is how much of a financial hit joining the Knicks would mean for Paul and whether that hit becomes so large as to be prohibitive. Would losing out, potentially, on tens of millions of dollars still make the move worth it?

"I'm sure Chris Paul and the Knicks are first on each other's lists, but although extend-and-trades and sign-and-trades are still allowed in this agreement, there are a lot of restrictions," Berger explains. "You can't necessarily do what Carmelo did in the extend-and-trade to get to the team you want and still get max money. Chris Paul could only get one year added to his two left. And with sign-and-trades, you can't do what LeBron did to get to Miami and get max money, you have to take a 4-year deal and less than max raises."

The Knicks have staggered their superstar acquisitions more than the Miami Heat did in landing LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh during the summer of 2010, but they're following essentially the same blueprint and strategy. Even though Paul's biggest salary payday would come by staying with the Hornets, we've learned it's not always about maximum NBA salary for elite basketball players. Paul, like Anthony, is a featured Jordan Brand sponsored athlete and would surely have access to new, additional off-court revenue streams playing for a championship-contending Knicks squad. But could that make up tens of millions of dollars in salary difference?

This report didn't take long to surface, but it will feel like forever until the script plays out, especially for Hornets fans.
Posted on: November 18, 2011 8:41 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 9:10 pm

NBA stars to play Barack Obama fundraiser game

Posted by Ben Golliverbarack-obama

Do you support United States President Barack Obama, like professional basketball and have $5,000 sitting around? If so, I know just the event for you.

President Obama is hosting a Washington, D.C. exhibition game featuring some of the NBA's biggest stars on Dec. 12. The only catch? Tickets start in the triple digits, with proceeds from the game going to the Obama Victory Fund to support the President's 2012 re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The Obama Classic Basketball Game, announced on BarackObama.com, is expected to feature NBA and WNBA stars past and present.
Please join us in Washington, DC for a game featuring basketball's greatest super stars in support of the Obama Victory Fund.

Confirmed to play: Ray Allen - Carmelo Anthony - Chris Bosh - Vince Carter - Tyson Chandler - Jamal Crawford - Kevin Durant - Baron Davis - Patrick Ewing - Derek Fisher - Rudy Gay - Blake Griffin - Tyler Hansbrough - Dwight Howard - Juwan Howard - Antawn Jamison - Dahntay Jones - Brandon Knight - Kevin Love - Jamal Mashburn - Cheryl Miller - Reggie Miller - Alonzo Mourning - Dikembe Mutombo - Chris Paul - Quentin Richardson - Doc Rivers - Steve Smith - Jerry Stackhouse - Amare Stoudemire - Tina Thompson - John Wall - Russell Westbrook. More players to be added soon! 
Tickets for the game start at $100 and escalate to $5,000 for courtside seats. The venue is currently listed as "to be announced."

Obama, a huge basketball fan, has said in recent months that the ongoing NBA lockout has left him "heartbroken" and "concerned." Asked recently if he planned to intervene in the NBA's ongoing labor dispute, Obama said that he "wouldn't intercede" because he has "some bigger fish to fry."

I guess putting the still-unemployed players to work fundraising for a president re-election campaign technically counts as frying a bigger fish. The message here: ask not what the President can do for your job, NBA players, ask only what you can do for the President's job. 

But, seriously, if this is anything like the Carrier Classic -- a college basketball game played on an aircraft carrier that Obama and his wife attended on Veteran's Day -- then it will be all sorts of awesome.
Posted on: November 18, 2011 6:32 pm

3-on-2 Fast Break: Dwight Howard vs. Chris Paul

By EOB Staff

The 3-on-2 Fast Break is three bloggers debating two players. We evaluate them on three different questions to provide context. So that would actually be 3-on-2-on-3, but that doesnt' happen in basketball, so we're stuck with this. This week's topic is Chris Paul vs. Dwight Howard.

Queston 1: Which player would you take right now to start a franchise with?

Royce Young:  Dwight Howard. And I'm not just picking him because of the "big men win championships" cliche that's not at all true. He's a year younger but also hasn't had to deal with any major injuries. He's consistent and with his body, he's not really all that likely to ever suffer a significant injury. It's hard to determine who the better basketball player is because they're so much different, but some of it certainly depends on if you value a center or point guard more. Howard's a force on both ends and while CP3 is the best point man in the game, Howard impacts everything. And I don't think he's a finished product yet.

Ben Golliver: The single most underrated statistic put up by Dwight Howard is that he has missed just seven regular season games in his seven-year NBA career. That's ridiculous durability, especially for a player his size, and it's a key determining factor when you're deciding who to select as a franchise building block. Your franchise guy has to be marketable, he has to be reliable, he has to have a good head on his shoulders, he needs to both offense and defense and he needs to log heavy minutes. Howard aces those criteria and, much like Paul, he makes role players better simply by his presence. Put all of that together and consider Howard's age -- 25 -- and Paul's history of knee issues, and it's no contest.

Matt Moore: Dwight Howard's healthy. That's a huge element. Paul's meniscus situation is enough to warrant the reigning Defensive Player of the Year taking this one. Howard is the one you have to build around, given his all-around ability and health. But to add a little bit of a shakeup, I'd argue that you need more built around Howard due to his limitations in the post. A mediocre offense around Howard? That team would get knocked out in the first... oh, I see you've heard that joke before, with the punchline being "... the Hawks!" 

Question 2:  Which player do you take right now if you want to win a championship as soon as possible? 

Royce Young:  Howard. It's simple: Howard needs a whole lot less on a roster than Paul does. CP3 makes everyone around him exponentially better, but still, he needs four other players on the floor with him that can score, defend and rebound. I mean, look at that Orlando team that Howard dragged into the NBA Finals. Hedo, Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, J.J. Redick -- not exactly a group of All-Stars. Give Dwight Howard something better than Vince Carter or Hedo Turkoglu on the wing and you're really just a player or two away from a title. CP3 can carry a team, but he's easier to stop than Howard. 

Ben Golliver: Although Orlando's 2010-2011 Magic campaign -- especially how it ended -- was discouraging and the rise of the Miami Heat was doubly deflating, Howard's Magic are never far from competing for a title. Five straight playoff trips, one visit in the Finals and another to the Eastern Conference Finals is a hell of a run for your team to go on when its star is between 20 and 25 years old. By comparison, Paul has won just one playoff series in his career and the Hornets have missed the playoffs three times in his career. Howard and Paul excel on both ends of the court but the gap between Howard and the rest of the NBA's centers is bigger than the BRI gulf. Paul is an elite, proven point guard but there are others at or near his level. Howard is in a class by himself and his game is predicated on doing winning things: shooting a high percentage, rebounding at both ends and playing active defense.

Matt Moore: Chris Paul. I'm extremely nervous about this, given that elite point guards, despite the glut of them in the league, have not won a title since Isiah (unless you count Tony Parker, who wasn't the best player on that team). But Chris Paul can do things and be unsolvable in a way Dwight Howard cannot. The model for Howard is pretty simple. Chris Paul is more complex. If you put Chris Paul in a Game 7 with everything on the line, you can count Paul's going to put in a heroic effort. Dwight Howard had the incredible Game 7 vs. Boston in 2009, we're not talking a huge gap here. But I believe Paul's combination of scoring, passing, and key play ability sets him up as the better option to win a title. Howard is solvable, even if that solution is the Hawks': "Let Howard go bananas, foul him a lot, and live with it as long as you shut down the rest of the team." With Chris Paul the answer is "hope the rest of his team is made up of mediocre players and he's missing his near-All-Star power forward." You have to go with the more complete player. 

Question  3: Which one do you take to win you a game in the 4th quarter? 

Royce Young: Chris Paul. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd want ANY player in the league more than Chris Paul to win my team a game in the fourth quarter. First, he's always got the ball in his hands. He's making every decision. He doesn't have to rely on anyone to get him involved. He scores points without even shooting. CP3 carried his Hornets against the Lakers in the playoffs by owning the fourth. Dwight Howard disappears from crunch time, but it's not always his fault. He has to have someone get him the ball, while CP3 can take over all on his own. 

Ben Golliver: Dwight Howard is a 59.8 percent career free throw shooter. Chris Paul is an 85.3 percent free throw shooter. I don't want to make that my sole determining factor but it's definitely a major deciding factor given that both players are perennial All-Star candidates who have been in their fair share of big moments. Combine Paul's dead-eye freethrowing and his excellent decision-making, play-making, and his ability to score off the dribble and from deep, and you've got a prototypical late-game point guard assassin. There's no flaw there. Howard's still got the Achilles Heel and it will dog him until he gets his numbers up or -- like Shaquille O'Neal -- wins a title to silence the detractors.  

Matt Moore: When I say Dwight Howard, you're going to flip out. And I get that. Bear in mind that if you ask me "who do you take to win you a game in the last five minutes of a tied ballgame in the playoffs" I'm going to go Chris Paul all day, every day, for the reasons my colleagues noted. But There are another seven minutes in the game. And in a close game in the fourth quarter, you know what you want to avoid? A tied game in the final five minutes. You want to build a lead, take the lead, extend the lead, remove all hope. You don't want it coming down to roleplayers hitting miracle threes. You don't want it coming down to wing players for either side trading off-dribble ISO pull-up jumpers. You want it done. And the way to do that is to build a lead. A great way to do that is to gather fouls. Howard's free throw shooting is a nightmare, one I've ragged on and have argued is a viable reason not to vote him as MVP last season (thought I thought he was worthy of sharing the honor with Derrick Rose). But drawing fouls throughout the final frame puts pressure on the other team and forces in worse defensive personnel.  Howard shuts down the opponent and puts them on the bench. I want Howard for the whole final frame, even if I don't trust him with the shot or at the line inside five minutes. It's a subtle difference, but an important one.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 12:44 pm

Chris Paul, Peter Holt had shouting match?

Posted by Royce Young

NBA players are emotional. And extremely competitive. That's what they live off of, what drives them to be great. So as you could imagine, when superstar players get involved in these hotly contested labor negotiations, tempers flare a bit.

We already heard about Dwyane Wade and David Stern getting into a finger-pointing-shouting thing. Now, it's Chris Paul and Spurs owner Peter Holt. Via the NY Post:
According to a person involved in the process, the owners have played it wrong in challenging the players -- unless it is their intent not to have a deal. Which it may be.

Last month, during the first federal mediation, Chris Paul got overheated when San Antonio owner Peter Holt said of their revenue-split 50-50 offer, “Take it or leave it.’’

Paul shouted back several times: “Take it or leave it?’’ The union left it.

Billy Hunter actually referenced that dust-up weeks ago after talks broke down. With Chris Paul standing behind him nodding his head off, Hunter detailed the discussion.

"Peter Holt said, 'Well that's where it is.' So I said, or several people said, 'Are you saying this is a take it or leave it?' And he said yeah, that's basically what it is."

That type of exchange has been what many have feared as this process drags on. The longer it goes, the nastier it gets. It's hard not to wonder if the two sides will fracture themselves from each other so much and draw up so much animosity that after a deal is done that relationships are damaged.

I mean, Billy Hunter actually called the NBA and its owners the players' "adversaries" Tuesday after their meeting. Keep in mind, those "adversaries" are going to be the people signing their names on the players' million dollar checks once this thing finally ends.

It's time to wrap this whole thing up for a lot of reasons, but one certainly is that relationships could be fracturing. It's hard to just forget the animosity and frustration you had with the other side and just go back to working happily with them. The longer it goes, the worse it'll get.
Posted on: November 6, 2011 4:48 pm

The Biggest Game of the Night We're Missing: 11.6

Posted by Royce Young

Sunday night at Staples. It's almost, well, pardon me for this, a staple in the NBA.

Hornets versus Lakers is pretty much big because it's Chris Paul versus Kobe Bryant and you don't really need another reason to pay attention. Plus, remember how good that series what last postseason? CP3 relishes the opportunity to make statements about his place among superstars and against the Lakers is where you do that.

The Hornets though would be in a bit of a state of transition though. David West may or may not have been with them and without him, Paul and the Hornets would totally be handicapped with no chance. Well that's not true at all. Because if you recall, West didn't play during that playoff series last April and the Hornets darn near pulled that off.

But you can't deny that New Orleans would be missing a weapon like West. Against Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, the Hornets would need all the inside help they could get.

New Laker head coach Mike Brown is known for his defensive wizardry and while there's not a ton to gameplan for against the Hornets (basically it's, "See No. 3? Guard him with everyone) but Brown would certainly be tested to a degree. Chris Paul makes any team a tough cover because he can pass players open. When New Orleans starts hitting shots, they can become a fairly explosive offensive club.

All that stuff aside, it just comes down to CP3 against Kobe. In our dreams this game would be tight in the fourth quarter with Paul and Kobe exchanging possessions. They operate and dominate games in such opposite ways which is what makes this game such a joy. Kobe has the ball in his hands looking to create his own. CP3 has it looking to create for someone else.

And that video I put at the top? We'd see some of that too. Chris Paul loves to get the Laker big men to switch onto him and then he goes to work putting them in the spin cycle. That's what you want to see at the end of your lazy Sunday.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com