Best Haul for Paul & Will His New Team Have Horns Like Darth Maul?

No. Sorry to disappoint or raise eyebrows, really. Chris Paul will not be playing for the Chicago Bulls or even the Milwaukee Bucks.  Plain and simple, plus that was the first corny rhyme that came to mind.

Moving on to the vetoed group of players that the Hornets almost obtained for Chris Paul:

Vetoed Players Supposedly Going to New Orleans for Chris Paul:

F Lamar Odom (from Lakers)

PF Luis Scola (from Houston)

SG Kevin Martin (from Houston)

PG Goran Dragic (from Houston)

In most situations trading superstars results in a big rebuilding year or the mesh year where all the players learn to play together in order to move forward as somewhat of a respectable squad. We saw the Timberwolves struggle post KG. Cleveland and Toronto were two of the worst teams in the league last year after falling victim to the creation of the Super Friends.

This wasn’t Al Jerfferson and spare parts for Kevin Garnett. It would have been a pretty good return for the Hornets. Odom can guard any position. Scola is a very underrated big man. Kevin Martin could give you 35 at the drop of a hat.  Dragic was once perceived as Steve Nash’s replacement. This wasn’t a bad return at all. In all essence it made the Hornets better. Yes, that’s right better, better without their best player and face of the franchise. It’s more of a complete team if this trade would have gone down. A starting five of Dragic, Martin, Trevor Ariza, Scola and Okefor with Odom as a sixth man, or even Scola and Odom down low. It’s a pretty intriguing scenario. One that might not mark high in the books of the average fan, but for someone who knows basketball, or at least thinks they do, this makes some sense.

That situation could have snuck New Orleans into the playoffs as a 6 seed max. They’d be better than the Nuggets with half of Denver’s core in China with no way out in the near future. Memphis is on the rise but could take a hit if Marc Gasol leaves. Dallas could slip up a bit with the loss of Tyson Chandler to the Knicks. I’m not saying Dallas gets a 7 seed or even misses the playoffs all together, but it will be a tougher road to hoe without Chandler. Utah has a problem with a gargantuan frontcourt logjam. Phoenix is on its last Steve Nash-supported leg. San Antonio is aging, and this might be its last window of opportunity. Portland just lost Brandon Roy to retirement. New Orleans would have had a shot.

Let’s look at the other vetoed components of the deal.

Other Vetoed Components of the Deal (in imitating voice from the heavens kind of voice)

The Lakers would have obtained Chris Paul obviously, but Houston would have come away with Pau Gasol in this trade. Which is extremely intriguing to think about when you imagine the many stockpiled picks and former lottery or 1st round picks that Houston has on its roster. If you’re wondering where a recent first-round pick went from the last couple years, they are probably in Houston: Hasheem Thabeet (now in Houston) Jordan Hill (Houston) Courtney Lee (Houston) Terrence Williams (Houston) Patrick Patterson (Houston) and finally Jonny Flynn (you guessed it … Houston).

You add Pau Gasol to that mix, plus players like Kyle Lowry and Chase Buddinger as well as recent first rounder Marcus Morris. It’s not, or rather would not, be a team that would be favored in Vegas for a title, but the playoffs certainly would have been in sight.

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