That is precisely the question Hornets247.com writer and fellow TrueHoop colleague Ryan Schwan has decided to find out. Last week Schwan sent out an email asking all of the TrueHoop blogs to give their best shot at squirreling away Chris Paul from the Hornets. Luckily, I didn’t need to really think long and hard about what I, given the opportunity to have complete General Managerial control over the Celtics, would part with to obtain the services of Chris Paul.
The answer? Nothing.
The reasoning was simple. If one wanted to propose a deal involving any relative feasibility, they would essentially need to provide for three things: taking back Emeka Okafor’s contract, giving up young talent, and providing New Orleans with future financial flexibility.
Those truths considered, the Celtics would also have to offer the very thing New Orleans would be giving up: a top five point guard in Rajon Rondo. I toyed with the idea of playing coy and sending Schwan a link to this trade with a point by point analysis of why this trade would work. Something along the lines of:
“The Celtics get their power forward of the future in Emeka Okafor. Okafor will provide the perfect replacement to Kevin Garnett for a multitude of reasons starting with…”
But honestly, I couldn’t even bring myself to joke around. The bottom line is that the Celtics have their point guard. What they could use is depth at the wing position and front line. That is why when Ryan presented this idea to the class, I sent him a link to a post I wrote last week. If you didn’t catch it, I essentially used Indiana’s Danny Granger, Mike Dunleavey’s expiring contract, and Rasheed Wallace’s impending buy-out to get Paul for the Pacers and send David West to the Celtics.
I wrote last week that this deal was a pipe-dream and there was no chance the Hornets would give up both of their best players for cap relief and Danny Granger. With that off the table, the Celtics shouldn’t give up hope just yet of snagging David West for Rasheed Wallace’s contract. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated intimated through Twitter that if New Orleans were to keep Paul, they may be able to convince Carmelo Anthony to come along next year. In order to do that they would have to shed some contractual weight. ESPN Insider’s Ryan Corozza took that a step further and suggested that the contractual weight-shedding could be David West’s contract:
“If the Hornets can make a few smart moves to clear some more salary (or if David West opts out of the last year of his deal), Melo could conceivably be had — especially if he comes under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement.”
It’s hard to say whether or not West would opt out of 9 million guaranteed. Hell, in a down market he could command a lot more from a team looking to make any kind of splash in free agency. Then again, no one knows what the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could bring. If the Hornets decide they can’t take that risk, they may be willing to ship West out for cap relief.
Regardless of what happens, be sure to check out Hornets247.com tomorrow where Schwan will post all of the offers he received and rank them by whatever criteria he decides on. Feasibility? Hilarity? Who knows. Either way, it should be a fun read.
Also, feel free to tell him as Celtics fans, “if your coming here looking for a Chris Paul taker, I’ve got one thing to say to you, ‘Stop looking at me Schwan!’“