Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Indiana Pacers win, New Orleans Hornets lose four-team, five player trade

Four NBA teams have agreed to a five-player trade that will send Trevor Ariza to the New Orlean Hornets and Darren Collison to the Indiana Pacers, two league sources said.

In the proposed deal, the Houston Rockets will send Ariza to the Hornets, who in turn will send Collison and James Posey to the Pacers. The Pacers will send Troy Murphy to the New Jersey Nets. And the Nets will send Courtney Lee to the Rockets.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Four teams with different agendas have connected for an end of summer trade to address their needs before the 2011 season begins.

The winner in this blockbuster is the Indiana Pacers. While they gave up Murphy’s expiring contract and took back an over-the-hill/overpaid Posey, they also got a budding table-setter in Collison.

The second year point guard is lightning quick and excelled when starting for the injured Paul. Look for Collison to star in Indiana next to Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, and Lance Stephenson.

By swapping Ariza for Lee, the Houston Rockets gain cap relief. This summer, the Rockets spent $87 million to re-sign Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry, while also adding Brad Miller.

Ariza, the Rockets’ prize free agent signing of 2009, became expendable after the deadline day acquisition of Kevin Martin from the Sacramento Kings.

Murphy will provide depth and experience to a young New Jersey Nets frontcourt. Best of all, his deal comes off the books at year’s end, which makes him an attractive trading chip.

The loser in this trade has to be the New Orleans Hornets. Yes, Ariza is a fine player. And yes, today they’re a marginally better team.

With this trade, the organization seems to think they have a shot at re-signing Paul. Let’s be real: they have zero shot. None.

Add up small market New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, and owner George Shinn’s thriftiness and the club can’t generate enough revenue to sign a star-studded supporting cast for Paul.

I know this. You know this. Paul knows this.

He’s gone when his contract expires at the end of 2012. There’s no chance of an extension.

Two summers from now, Paul will walk on the Hornets like Kaiser Soze walked on the police station in The Usual Suspects. Unlike the finish of this classic flick, there will be no suspense or surprise when CP3 leaves.

We know what’s coming. This is expected. Like Lindsay Lohan going to jail. Like the sun rising. Or, in my case being from Vancouver, like the rain falling.

So why not trade Paul and rebuild around Collison?

After all, Ariza, while a fine player, won’t appease Paul. He wants LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Miami. He wants Amar’e Stoudemire and (possibly) Carmelo Anthony in New York.

He doesn’t want New Orleans. In fact, he won’t re-up with the Hornets regardless of who they sign or trade for.

Rather than face reality, Hornets management is delusional, aiming to please the snooty super model girlfriend (Paul) who is bidding her time until she can break up with them. 

Instead of waiting for the inevitable, the club should trade Paul while his market value is relatively high, get back draft picks, expiring contracts, and blue-chip prospects, and make Collison the starter.  
 
It seems New Orleans’ blunder is Indiana’s victory.

–Oly Sandor.

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