Sunday , Jun , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nets to trade for Chris Paul so they can sign LeBron James?

There have been rumors that the Nets might pursue point guard Chris Paul through a trade. Since they don’t seem to be all that high on any of the players they are likely to get with the No. 3 pick, such as Georgia Tech`s Derrick Favors, Kentucky’s  DeMarcus Cousins or Syracuse`s Wes Johnson, they could trade the pick to get an established player.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’ve been making nice.

Since being named coach of the New Jersey Nets, Avery Johnson and Devin Harris have praised each other publicly. Johnson has insisted he’s proud of Harris’ development, while Harris has insisted his development is because of Johnson’s teachings.

Can you feel the love?

Such a dog-and-pony show is necessary because these two had a tumultuous run together with the Dallas Mavericks.

Johnson was coaching a Maverick team that was expected to win a championship. As a former point guard he was particularly hard on Harris, a young table-setter with heaps of potential.

Something was off, though. Johnson quickly lost faith in Harris and signed off on a controversial trade that sent him to, ironically, the Nets for Jason Kidd.

But Kidd couldn’t put Dallas over the top. Johnson was promptly fired. Harris made the All-Star team in 2009, but struggled with injuries in 2010.

Yet, they are back together, insisting fences have been mended and Kumbaya has been sung. For now.

Reports indicate the Nets are dangling their 2010 draft pick in hopes of plucking Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets. CP3 heading to The Swamps of Jersey/Borough of Brooklyn makes sense for three reasons:

First, New Orleans is a struggling market. With second year point guard Darren Collison in the wings, they could swap Paul and his max deal for cheap talent.

Second, New Jersey is now a have-market. New owner Mikhail Prokhorov – also known as Russia’s richest man with a net worth of $18 billion – wants to make headlines this off-season. Acquiring Paul, who is arguably the game’s best point guard when fit and healthy, would achieve this end.

Third, and most importantly, Paul is tight with LeBron James, the jewel of the 2010 free agent class. And Prokhorov would surely use Paul and rapper/minority owner Jay-Z to recruit James to the East Coast.

So the Nets are looking to upgrade the one-spot. If Paul is acquired, Harris would surely be dealt.

Before dismissing this rumor remember that Nets’ senior executive Rod Thorn admitted to reporters that Harris and center Brook Lopez do not have untouchable status and could be moved.

Maybe Harris` lovefest with Johnson shouldn`t be believed. And maybe New Jersey trades him.  

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