LeBron James didn't sign with the Knicks but he might wind up making them a better team all the same.
Chris Paul wants to be traded from the New Orleans Hornets to a team where the point guard can team up with other star players in an effort to win some titles, according to a report by Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. At Carmelo Anthony's wedding earlier this month, Paul allegedly made a toast that hinted at this desire. He referred to himself, Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire as the Big Three that was going to take down the Heat's actual trio of stars in the years to come.
Stoudemire is in New York already and, per the report, Paul would like to join him. Anthony is still a year away from free agency but if joining forces is really the new hotness in the NBA, it's pretty clear where he'd be signing if the Knicks were able to land Paul in a trade this season. They aren't the only spot he's considering, though.
Paul's list of preferred destinations consists of the Knicks, Magic and Lakers, and members of his inner circle already have sent word to the Hornets of his desire to be traded to one of those teams, sources say. If Paul has his way, he's played his last game in a Hornets jersey.
The Lakers don't seem to make much sense as a destination because they run the triangle and any deal for Paul would rob them of integral rotation pieces on a team that isn't particularly deep. The Magic make a lot of sense and would probably be rushing to make a deal that would give them the best pick-and-roll combo in the entire league. Mike D'Antoni's offense, however, makes the most sense for a point guard looking to flaunt his talents.
If the Hornets want to get a point guard back in return for Paul, the timing could be a problem. The Knicks can't trade Raymond Felton until December because they signed him as a free agent and that could limit the package they could send back to New Orleans for Paul. The Hornets do have Darren Collison, however, and that might mean they'd be open to something that included other Knicks pieces like Anthony Randolph or Wilson Chandler.
Or they might not be open to this at all because they have Paul signed for two more years. And thus we begin the mysterious dance of the NBA summer of a lifetime all over again.