Chris Paul: ‘I’m open to being traded’
“My first choice is to be in New Orleans,” Paul said in a telephone interview from London. “I just want to make sure we’re committed to winning. If we’re not committed to winning and trying to get better so we can contend with the Lakers, the Celtics and all these other top teams, then I’m open to being traded.”
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Make no mistake about it, this is a trade demand.
The New Orleans Hornets lack the resources to compete: owner George Shinn wants to sell the team; The Big Easy is a great but small city; and following tragedies like Katrina and the Gulf Coast oil spill, citizens and companies have less disposable money to spend on tickets and luxury boxes.
Paul knows this. The Hornets know this, too. Forget that nonsense about New Orleans being CP3`s first choice.
Player and team are currently engaged in a public game of poker; neither is willing to admit they’d welcome a trade, but both sides would.
Simply put, Paul wants to win -and now. He understands winning is expensive. And organizations must spend to field a winner. For instance, the 2010 conference finalists – Boston, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Phoenix – were well over the salary cap and paid millions of dollars in luxury taxes.
(To be fair, the Hornets were also over the salary cap in 2010; however, they must cut costs.)
The Hornets haven’t treated Paul like an untouchable, either. Various websites have reported that management is listening to trade offers and are prepared to go with promising point guard Darren Collison.
Remember, Paul is owed at least $30 million for the next two years, while Collison has several years remaining on an inexpensive rookie contract.
So Paul and New Orleans could go in different directions this summer. It may be best for all involved.