Magic GM Otis Smith gave hope to every Paul trade enthusiast in Orlando in an video interview. A reporter asked Smith, "With your flexibility, do you have a sense of something else will happen this summer or do you think the roster is where it's going to be?'
"I can answer that and say our roster is set, but there's a lot of movement in our league right now," said Smith. "You never stop working in this business until, so I never say neve.." This was a reference to getting Paul..
The Magic won't make a move for Paul this off-season and the Hornets won’t deal with the “face of the franchise” before the season begins.
Paul wants out. He has said the Hornets aren't focused on winning. So far, he's right. Last season, if everything had gone right, the team would have won about 48 games, and been closer to the playoffs. This was hamstrung by some very bad contracts.
So let's not act surprised that Paul sounded off this summer about wanting out. The Hornets weren't moving toward becoming a contender again. Paul is a media-savvy guy, and he's not going to use the word trade unless he's trying to make a point.
What happens if Paul is traded? Disaster. When a superstar is traded, there is never even close to an equivocal exchange. In the past, the best superstar trades ended up with the team giving the player away, getting back bad draft picks and a couple of average players. The draft picks are worthless because the team will have an improved record with the superstar, while the average players don't help much they keep the team from being bad enough to get good draft picks on its own.
With Paul gone, the Hornets will be middling team for years.
Paul is wondering if he'll ever win in New Orleans,\. A good GM, Jeff Bower, lost his job over this. At some point Paul is likely to walk into the corporate offices and spell it out that he needs a change. He figures to have a short list of alternatives.
No matter what you think of Hornets owner George Shinn, he's no fool. He remembers that the Hornets drafted Kobe Bryant, then traded the right for Viade Divac.
But Shinn has problems. He's looking to sell his team in a city with limited potential.
And, the Hornets have a one heck of a young point guard in Darren Collison. They're better situated than most to move a playmaker and come out of the experience whole, or better.
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Question to discuss below on our BuzzBacks: What is holding up the sale of the Hornets? How does it affect Paul's decision? Tell us why...