I had to think for a while before I started writing this piece because I knew that a whole bunch of dumb, single minded Knicks fans would come on to this blog talking about how, “Who wouldn’t want to play for the greatest franchise?” Okay, we get it. The bright lights, the big crowds, the history, it’s all great. I love history as much as the next guy, but you know what? Chris Paul doesn’t give two hoots about it.
He wants to win, end of story.
For those Knicks fans that don’t past the first paragraph, I’m not saying they don’t have a shot. With Caremlo and Amare they’ve got a solid foundation of talent on their roster. However they need to do a lot more to convince Paul that they have what it takes to win championships. I know that the Knicks got swept in the playoffs but they were injured, some real great excuses there. You want to talk about being injured and undermanned? Try looking at the Hornets in the playoffs. There was a team that was well coached (unlike the Knicks), had tough nosed guys willing to put their bodies on the line and had fans that were just as rowdy as any Knicks fan in the playoffs. The Hornets managed to snag two games from the defending champs, when it was apparent to the ENTIRE world that the Hornets didn’t have the size or talent to even keep a game close.
Chris Paul has stated that he wants to win. He wants a team that is committed to building for the future to be competitive and to do it in a smart manner. While many Knicks fans clutch to the much famed, drunken toast of Chris Paul at Carmelo Anthony’s wedding most people live in reality. Paul has actually stated, believe it or not, that the Hornets are certainly “serious about winning.” Nine months ago he said he would only stay with the team if they were serious about winning. You join the dots.
In a country that believes in democracy, equality, equal opportunities, it is downright insane that there is this love affair with big markets only being entitled to winning championships. If Los Angeles, New York, Boston or Dallas can’t spend in an efficient manner then they don’t deserve to win a championship. Why shouldn’t New Orleans be allowed to build around Chris Paul? Why does he HAVE to leave? He wants to win, not open up a 5-star restaurant in New York with celebrities visiting every day.
I can’t wait for the CBA, I’m hoping it makes things fair and allows every NBA team to win a championship. The NFL seems to manage itself well with markets like New Orleans, Indianapolis, Green Bay among others winning championships, why not the NBA?
The biggest thing restricting the Knicks going after Paul is their lack of expendable talent on their roster. The Knicks haemorrhaged all their trade assets when going after Carmelo Anthony. What I don’t get is why the Knicks don’t just build around the two players they have now. Acquiring solid role players will make them more complete and stand a better chance of going up against the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls. Getting Chris Paul through Free Agency would kill their flexibility to add solid role players.
I’m pretty sick of discussing this issue because in large part no large media outlet gives the Hornets a single chance in hell to retain CP. The Hornets do have a shot, but they have to act quickly. The amazing thing is that they can bring in talent over the next year via Free Agency or the Trade Market. What ESPN, Yahoo, NBA.com and CBS (which I think is just a New York site with Ken Berger) don’t seem to acknowledge is that New Orleans could, if done correctly, compete for a championship. Oklahoma City and Memphis are doing it this year, the San Antonio Spurs have done it in the past and the Portland Trail Blazers have been an injury free season away for a long time now.
If we look at the Hornets situation they have a core group of players, they just need to add more talent. They need a shooting guard who can hit the three and create his own shot, they need more size to help Emeka Okafor and they need to add some shooters. Accomplishing those needs is not as difficult as many of the large market media outlets think.
J.R. Smith is sure to have decreased his value monetary wise which is why Dell Demps will consider him. He’s a shooter who at times can manufacture his own shot. Finding a rebounding 7-footer who is athletic is a difficult task in itself, but bringing back Aaron Gray at a reasonable price as well as finding young talent out there can be done. Finally, there will be a few three-point shooters who could come in, on minimum salaries to help Monty Williams with his rotations.
Is this more reasonable than a Chris Paul to New York for Chauncey Billups and a bunch of trash? You bet yourself.
I’m not saying Chris Paul is going to stay with the Hornets, I’m not saying he won’t go to New York. What I am saying is that the Knicks are better off served waiting till free-agency in which case CP might not even be available. The Hornets have stated repeatedly they are going to build around Chris. The star point-guards confidence in the franchise is up because he sees a committed effort to win.
After all that is what he wants.