• I mentioned Shane Battier a week ago in a post listing wing players the C’s might be able to get using Sheed’s deal. I focused on teams over or near the luxury tax line, because such teams have extra motivation to shed payroll. Here’s what I wrote about Battier then:
Shane Battier’s getting old and the Rockets are stacked at the wing, but they value Battier’s leadership, and his expiring $7.1 million deal might be able to fetch more than Sheed and a draft pick.
“With a lot of key guys like Yao Ming and Shane Battier [at the end of contracts] and the lockout [looming] next year, we’re trying to make this is a special year and go as far in the playoffs as we can,” said Morey.
So Battier is off the market for now. If Houston decides to use Battier as a trade chip mid-season, the C’s likely won’t have the sort of assets the Rockets would want.
• Marc Stein re-tweets Tracy McGrady’s current wish list of teams:
Lakers, Heat, Bulls, Clippers. I’d be surprised if either the Lakers or Heat gamble on T-Mac. The Celtics aren’t on the list, and they can’t pay McGrady any more than the minimum. I’m skeptical that McGrady has much value left, but the C’s at this point need bodies at the wing spot.
• Teams are dipping into the minimum bin for wing players. The Thunder signed Royal Ivey today. Daily Thunder thinks the contract is a non-guaranteed training camp invite, and they’re probably right.
• The biggest news of the day: Chris Paul wants out of New Orleans, and he’d prefer to be dealt before the start of the season, according to Ken Berger at CBS Sports:
“He wants out,” said the person, who has been briefed on Paul’s strategy but spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly. “He wants to play with another superstar. He wants to follow LeBron’s model of teaming up with other great players.”
Great. Another super team that won’t be in Boston. Suitors for CP3 probably need to have:
• A very good young player, preferably a big man, they’d be willing to deal as the centerpiece in the trade (for New Orleans, anyway);
• The financial flexibility/willingness to take on any number of contracts New Orleans would love to get off its books in any Paul deal;
• The requisite filler players to make the deal work;
• Good draft picks.
Matt Moore lists some teams that fit the criteria. The Hornets are not going to get equal talent back in any theoretical Paul deal. You don’t get equal talent back when you trade one of the top 10 players in the league. But the Hornets don’t really have to get equal talent in order to salvage something out of dealing their franchise player. They’ve got a second-year point guard (Darren Collison) who looks ready to put up a 15-8 season should he start. He’s not Chris Paul, but he’ll do. If you can nab, say, Andrew Bynum for Paul, get a pile of draft picks and clear some bad long-term contracts? That’s not the end of the world.
The problem is there aren’t many players like Bynum—potentially available young guys who aren’t All-Stars yet but are very close. That’s why Bynum’s name comes up in trade discussions involving just about every supposedly available superstar or pseudo-superstar (i.e. Chris Bosh).
Seriously: How many are there in the league? David Lee? He’s an All-Star, but we’ll count him. Brook Lopez? Sure. Devin Harris? Not good enough. Rodney Stuckey or Andrea Bargnani? Please. Carl Landry? I like him, but let’s be serious.
LaMarcus Aldridge or Russell Westrbook? Maybe, but their teams view them as cornerstones already. Kevin Martin? He’s already 28.
Danny Granger or Andre Iguodala? Hmm…
Dell Demps, the brand new GM in New Orleans, will have a tough time getting an acceptable deal. And so the odds are long that Paul is anywhere but New Orleans when the NBA tips off again.