Posted on: July 26, 2010 2:18 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 2:18 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Chris Paul met with the Hornets earlier today to discuss his future with the team. Despite what might come of it, it's pretty certain that CP3 wants out and the Hornets want to keep him.
Following the meeting, Paul's folks issued this statement through the team which was also posted on CP3's Twitter :
“The meeting went well. It was great to get an opportunity to sit down with Coach Williams, President Weber and our new General Manager Dell Demps. I expressed my desire to win and I like what they said about the direction that they want to take the team. I have been a Hornet my entire career and I hope to represent the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana for many years to come.” Nothing surprising from that statement. Paul is far too conscious if the image issue it would create in publically demanding a trade. He remained positive and "hoped" to represent New Orleans for many years to come. It read as a nicely spun statement that neither confirmed nor denied any of the reports. Had CP3 definitively said, "I want to stay in New Orleans" or "I would prefer to look at my options" then we'd have a better idea.
But like I said, CP3 isn't going to start that type of public campaign. Of course, indications are the meeting went well and it's entirely possible Paul was completely encouraged and energized from it. Does that mean he'll be wearing No. 3 for NOLA this October? Yet to be determined.
Posted on: July 26, 2010 12:58 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 9:34 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
The words are not weak. Chris Paul, a young man that has brought himself to be not only arguably the best point guard in the National Basketball Association, but an important member of both the social and business communities in New Orleans and his home of North Carolina, is being regarded as weak. This behavior as of late, the trade demands , the partying, the sulking, it's not like Chris. This isn't who he is. At least, that's how it's being regarded in the media. In reality, nothing about his behavior seems out of order for a young point guard on a struggling team. So naturally, the wheels of blame have begun to turn. We like Chris Paul too much to make him into an egotist. There must be something else at play. Let's see... charitable, no... hyper-competitive... no, can't blame that, that makes too much sense... ah! I got it!
LeBron James DID IT!
But even as the idea sounds ridiculous and fabricated, there are good reasons to head in that general direction. Nowhere has that been as explicitly outlined as in Adrian Wojnarowski's article that all but drew scepters and pentagrams around James and his marketing firm, LRMR. That was then followed up by James tweeting :
"Best of luck to my brother @oneandonlycp3 . Do what's best for You and your family"
Which is a nice sentiment, but still seems like James intruding into matters which are not his business. And if that's a wee bit of tampering, we can only imagine what went on this weekend when the two were partying it up in Vegas . In the midst of all this is a report that Paul himself has not signed on with James' marketing firm , LRMR. This contradicts a July 8th report saying just that, along with the indication that Paul has joined CAA, which also represents LeBron James and the other two super-friends.
It's been confirmed that Paul has left Octagon, but not that he has joined LRMR. He's hanging out with LeBron, but we don't know if they talked about business at all.
The question we need to be asking ourselves is if Chris Paul is really that easily "corrupted" or "influenced" or whatever term you'd like. Is this player who has shown a tremendous amount of maturity in his short time in the NBA really being "turned to the dark side," or whatever overblown phrase you'd like to use, by a marketing firm that has yet to land a marquee client or business deal and a player that has yet to win a championship? There's no doubt LeBron is powerful, arguably the most powerful player in the NBA. And there's no doubt the two are friends. But in all of his dealings, CP3 has never come across as the type to be railroaded or to do as he's told. He seems much more like a motivated individual that keeps track of his dealings and has a clear set plan for establishing his legacy.
Turning his back on New Orleans doesn't seem like it's in his character, that's true. But for a guy who's known as one of the most competitive players in a hyper-competitive environment (ask Julius Hodge about that), a trade request from a team that's been spinning its wheels doesn't seem out of line. The most logical conclusion is that LeBron James definitely did have an impact on this, but not in pressuring Paul, but by leading by example, even if that example is currently being spit on by most of the free world.
James' decisions in the last two months have been driven by an athlete-centric decision tree. He's not putting the fans first. Not putting the teams (and thereby their owners) first. He's putting himself and his brand first. And in doing so, he's helped increase the arms race that started three years ago with the Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen trades that made Boston a champion and pushed the Lakers towards the Gasol acquisition. This is how you win championships, by playing on loaded teams, not by shouldering the burden. Paul has watched three of his best friends become a superpower, while he is playing for an 8th seed in the West with an aging core and two young Bucks, one of whom plays his position.
Paul can't stand to be left behind. That's what James has shown him. That if he wants to keep up with the tone of progress, he's going to have to take matters into his own hands. The question is if the Hornets are going to blink first.
Posted on: July 26, 2010 8:38 am
Edited on: July 26, 2010 2:36 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Posted on: July 24, 2010 1:16 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2010 1:18 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Chris Paul situation is heating up. He has a meeting with the team Monday that could influence him to stay or maybe to go. And now there's a report telling the world where he wants to be: Orlando.
Chris Broussard of ESPN reports the Magic have emerged as Paul's top preferred destination, supplanting the New York Knicks. In the story, Broussard mentions that while the Knicks are still high on Paul's list, he believes the Magic would be a better fit. Plus, CP3 also realizes Orlando has much more to offer New Orleans in a trade and thus believes it's a more realistic destination than New York,
CP3's desire to play in New York is largely tied to Carmelo Anthony and the chance to form a new Big 3 in the Big Apple with Amar'e Stoudemire. But that's not a guaranteed situation, especially with reports indicating Anthony prefers to re-sign with Denver. On top of that, the Knicks probably will be able to present the least attractive offer to the Hornets. Ken Berger's original report mentioned the Hornets would want to move Emeka Okafor with Paul, and if the Knicks took back Okafor, they wouldn't have the cap space to sign Anthony anyway in 2011.
Paul does have two years left on his contract so the Hornets don't have to move him by any means. But the team understands the predicament its star is in and realizes the unwanted situation new coach Monty Williams would have starting his coaching career with an unhappy star.
That's why the Hornets may indeed decide to trade Paul. But New Orleans would not limit itself to the four clubs on Paul's list, Broussard points out. Instead, the Hornets would look for the best deal for its franchise, according to his sources.
Currently the four teams Paul reportedly prefers are the Knicks, the Magic, the Mavericks and the Trail Blazers. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on Friday that Paul's agent Leon Rose reached out to all four teams this week. The Bobcats and Nets have also made inquiries about packaging a deal for CP3.
If Monday's meeting doesn't go well for the Paul camp, there are teams lined up ready to pony up just about anything to grab CP3. This thing is getting good. Well, that is unless you're a Hornets fan.
Posted on: July 23, 2010 11:09 am
Edited on: July 23, 2010 11:10 am
Posted by Royce Young
Chris Paul is meeting with the Hornets Monday to discuss his situation, the team's vision and where he fits in with all that. That still doesn't mean he doesn't want a trade.
An article from the Times-Picayune today quotes a source close to Paul and offers some insight as to why CP3 is looking elsewhere.
“No one from our camp has said that Chris demanded a trade,’’ the Paul confidante said Thursday to the Picayune. ”But they (Hornets) have not put themselves in position to win this season. We have the same team as last year, basically. The only thing that matters to Chris is winning.’’
While the source said it, we all already know why Paul wants out. Reportedly, CP3 is growing more agitated watching guys like Matt Barnes, Mike Miller and Shaq sign elsewhere. Mentioned later in the article is another quote from the source: “Are they even calling guys and trying to get them to play? We would have loved to hear that Mike had narrowed his choices down to the Hornets and Heat. But we’re never in the running for players.“
What's most interesting is that there's really no denial involved. The person close to Paul never says CP3 doesn't want out. Typicaly, that sort of stuff happens. But not in this case. For instance, the parting quote: “Chris is still true to his words that New Orleans is his first choice, but if they are not committed to winning in the 2010-11 season, he would be open to a trade,” the source told the paper. "The Hornets have not put any pieces around him this summer to make him think otherwise.’’
Monday's meeting could likely be the hammer that nails something down either way. Paul will either come out relieved, encouraged and motivated, or he'll leave saying he's got to get out. At this point, signs are pointing to the latter. Then it'll be a question as to if the Hornets will oblige him in his request.
Posted on: July 23, 2010 10:08 am
Edited on: July 23, 2010 3:30 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Dallas MavericksAdded: Tyson Chandler (trade), Alexis Ajinca (trade), Ian Mahinmi (free agency), Dominique Jones (draft)
Lost: Erick Dampier (trade), Eduardo Najera (trade), Matt Carroll (trade)
Philosophy: "It's now or never."
The Mavs' clock is starting to tick. Time is beginning to run out on the Dirk Nowitzki era and the team knows this. And every move this offseason was made in an effort to stay competitive, get to the playoffs and hopefully set themselves up for more midseason moves if necessary. The Mavericks have had the type of roster over the last 10 years that's always good enough to win 50 games, get to the postseason and maybe even win a series. But there's just never enough oomph to it and it seems like the Mavs are always a player short.
Tyson Chandler for Erick Dampier seems like a lateral move in a sense because does that really improve Dallas to the point that they're a legitimate contender now? Unlikely. The Mavericks picked up about 10 centers, but with Brendan Haywood now established inside, the Mavericks are looking to match up with Bynum and Gasol and with Chandler, things got a little better.
Houston RocketsAdded: Luis Scola (re-signed), Kyle Lowry (re-signed), Brad Miller (free agency), Patrick Patterson (draft)
Philosophy: "Keep playing chess while the rest, you know."
You might as well count Yao as addition as well, because getting the big man back is huge for the Rockets. But Houston re-inked Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola for the long-term and brought in Brad Miller as help/insurance behind Yao. The Rockets are a team that want sustained success but are looking to compete now. Daryl Morey isn't shy about being active to build a roster he prefers, and this offseason, he did exactly that. The Rockets drafted Patrick Patterson in the first round, re-signed a few players and attempted to address an issue inside.
Memphis GrizzliesAdded: Rudy Gay (re-signed), Tony Allen (free agency), Xavier Henry (draft)
Lost: Marcus Williams (free agency), Lester Hudson (free agency)
Philosophy: "Hang with us, we're getting there."
The Grizzlies have built a quality roster somewhat unconventionally. They've acquired a large bulk of it through the draft and trades, but really scored big last season when Zach Randolph decided he was ready to play without any baggage. The biggest thing the Grizzlies did this offseason was re-sign Rudy Gay. Now, is Gay worth $84 million? Eh, that's a pretty hefty price for him. But keep in mind, Gay is only 23 and had his best season last year. And someone was going to pay him. It basically came down to if Memphis wanted to hang on to its franchise player, they were going to have to overpay. These are the type of things that can hurt in the long term, but it was a choice the Grizzlies had to make and they chose to keep their most talented player. Hard to say it's really that dumb.
The Tony Allen signing is a slight headscratcher, mainly because where does he fit in for quality minutes? O.J. Mayo may be learning to play point, but he's still the starting 2. Of course there's Xavier Henry who the Grizzlies drafted and though he can play small forward, he's a more natural shooting guard. Allen is versatile and brought in to defend, but $15 million over three years is pretty steep for a guy that might only play 15-20 minutes a night.
The one thing about the Grizzlies is that there doesn't seem to be any real direction. It's more a collection of talented players, but how do they fit together? How do they play together? Memphis isn't necessarily a player or two away from being a playoff team, but more an existing roster player elevating his game. Mike Conley Jr. definitely was an improved player last season, so maybe he's a candidate for a leap. Same with O.J. Mayo. The talent is in the cupboard, it's just about pulling it out onto the floor.
New Orleans HornetsAdded: Quincy Pondexter (draft), Craig Brackins (draft)
Lost: Morris Peterson (trade), Sean Marks (free agency), Chris Paul's commitment to the franchise
Philosophy: "Just trust us Chris! We'll get better!"
Ignore all that Chris Paul talk for just one minute. The Hornets, have been a pretty active team this offseason. And not just in terms of the roster. New Orleans has its GM resign, then hired a new GM, hired a new coach and is in the process of transferring ownership. Then they signed Luther Head and rescinded that deal. Plus they traded the 11th pick, Cole Aldrich, for Quincy Pondexter and Craig Brackins.
They've done a whole lot, while doing very little. But it all comes back to Paul. The main goal of this offseason is to set up a new front office, install a new coach and somehow convince your soured star to stay true to the mission. If that gets done, this is a slam dunk of an offseason for the Hornets, considering the circumstances. If Paul walks, the summer months were nothing short of a disaster.
San Antonio Spurs
Added: Tiago Splitter (signed), Richard Jefferson (re-signed), James Anderson (draft), Ryan Richards (draft), Gary Neal (summer league signee)
Lost: Roger Mason Jr. (free agency), Keith Bogans (free agency), Ian Mahinmi (free agency),
Philosophy: "We're not done yet."
The Spurs are offseason savants. RC Buford and company know how to pay just the right money, push the right buttons and get the right players. And evidently how to talk people out of $15 million. Take say, Richard Jefferson for example. The Spurs lucked out when Jefferson opted out of his $15 million deal. He claimed it was because he wanted a long-term deal. The Spurs obliged, Jefferson took less money and it saved the Spurs from busting the luxury tax and kept some serious coin in their pockets. It's a fishy deal, but nonetheless, good for San Antonio.
Next, they signed Tiago Splitter. Splitter has been sort of a myth the last few years. A gifted big man that tore it up internationally, but couldn't come to terms with San Antonio. Well, the Spurs officially inked him to a sensible deal (about $16 million over three years) and not only is Splitter visions of the future for San Antonio, but he also helps now. They also added James Anderson, an All-American and prolific college scorer to replace Roger Mason Jr. The Spurs know what they want to do and while their core may seem ancient, the goal remains the same: build around talent and ride Tim Duncan until he can't walk anymore.
Posted on: July 23, 2010 9:34 am
Edited on: July 23, 2010 10:07 am
Posted by Matt Moore
Posted on: July 22, 2010 2:36 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2010 9:47 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Nobody is blaming Chris Paul for wanting out of New Orleans. The roster is a wreck, the Hornets fired a coach he liked, fired their general manager and ownership is changing hands. There's no direction and really, no immediate success on the horizon.
And today, CP3 got an endorsement for someone that may sour some on Paul's demands. LeBron James tweeted: "Best of luck to my brother @oneandonlycp3 . Do what's best for You and your family." At this point, LeBron endorsing CP3's idea to leave his club is like Bernie Madoff recommending the next Secretary of the Treasury.
Brian Windhorst of the Plain Dealer put it rather brilliantly in just 140 characters : "These days 'brand management' & 'doing what is best for your family' apparently means turning off as many of your fans as possible. "
It's almost getting to the point where someone could commit armed robbery or sell meth and it would be justified as long as they precluded it with a, "I'm going to do what's best for me and my family." Wait, actually that's the plot of Breaking Bad and honestly, within the context of that show, it makes total sense.
But this isn't life or death here. This is basketball . If I were being careless with words, I'd make some sort of comparison to the World Trade Center or poverty in Africa here. But that's the point - this line of looking out for number one is getting old, because we all really know it's just an excuse to get what you want. It's not about the greater good, it's about numero uno. Doing what's best for "me and my family" really just means, "Where am I going to have the on-court success, get the glory I feel I deserve and make bunches of money?"
What's interesting is that LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul all just made a trip out to Vegas to talk to Team USA as they prepare for the World Championships. So it's clearly interesting that LeBron wanted his encouraging note to CP3 to be public. He could've just leaned over and told him while out in Vegas together. And no one is so naive to think that Paul hasn't talked to LeBron and Wade about all this anyway. Maybe that's where the original seed was planted. Paul is repped by the same agent as LeBron so the people that orchestrated the King's departure from Cleveland could surely manufacture the same for CP3 and New Orleans.
The thing is, it's not a bad thing at all to do what you want to do. Actually, it's a good thing! LeBron wanted to go to Miami. He didn't really hurt his reputation in my mind, he just hurt his legacy. And if he's fine with that, I have no qualms. Paul could escape NOLA and be the good guy. He wouldn't take near the blowback LeBron has received and CP3 will be seen as the victim. Nobody would blame him for leaving.
But Windhorst's point remains - just because you do what you want doesn't mean everyone is going to be behind it. Paul's efforts to get out of New Orleans has already surely hurt his standing with the Hornet fanbase. But it's not about that for CP3. It's about brand, about money and about what's best for me. And I'm not entirely sure that's really such a bad thing. Or is it?