Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA for my money. Has been for years. He would make the Warriors better instantly. Since getting him would require landing Tyson Chandler — Woj of Yahoo! Sports reported that CP3 might consider the Warriors if they land Tyson Chandler, who Paul had great chemistry with in New Orleans a few years ago — the Warriors would instantly become a playoff team.
It’s not going to happen. It’s titillating, no doubt, the thought of landing a player of Chris Paul’s caliber. But it’s a pipe dream. Paul will not sign with the Warriors. He wants out of New Orleans because he’s tired of being the main act in a two-act team. Like his friend LeBron James, Paul wants to win a championship or at least compete for one ASAP. So why would he sign a long-term deal with the Warriors? He won’t. And if he doesn’t, I’m told there is no way the Warriors give up Stephen Curry for him.
But, for the sake of conversation, let’s just say Chris Paul says he would sign with the Warriors. Let’s say the Warriors sign Tyson Chandler and now CP3 is on board.
The Warriors should not pull the trigger. As much as I love Chris Paul, there are several reasons that would not be a good trade for Golden State.
* Let’s look at the numbers.
Chis Paul 15.8 points, 9.8 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals, 2.21 turnovers
Steph Curry 18.6 points, 5.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 3.05 turnovers
Safe to say CP3 has the better numbers, which makes sense considering he’s the better player. But let’s look at another number.
Chris Paul $16.36 million
Steph Curry $3.12 million
Is Paul $13 million better than Curry?
The Warriors will get better at the point guard position if you replace Curry with Chris Paul. But will they get that much better to justify spending $13 million more at the same position?
Certainly, Curry will command big money at some point. But it won’t be what Paul is set to get (a max deal or close to it). And Curry has two more seasons under his rookie contract.
* That’s not all Chris Paul would cost. A couple of sources have told me the Warriors’ offer includes Klay Thompson and Ekpe Udoh. So in addition to a huge pay raise at the PG slot, the Warriors would have to give up their last two lottery picks.
The Hornets would have to take another contract with Curry and/or they’d only get one of my young talents. Curry, Klay and Biedrins is a lot easier to swallow. For the Warriors to eat lots more salary, give up young players and not get salary relief — isn’t that too much?
* How is Chris Paul’s knee? That’s a lot of money if he’s lost a step.
* In addition to Paul’s huge salary, the Warriors will have Tyson Chandler’s fat deal, which I’m now told the Warriors would do good if they got him to start at $12 million. They will have David Lee’s fat deal. They will have Monta Ellis’ considerably large fat deal. They can waive Biedrins through the amnesty, but next season you’d be looking at well over $50 million for CP3, Chandler, Lee and Ellis – maybe closer to $60 million.
That team is better. It gets you in the playoffs. But how far? It would have to be a championship core considering the Warriors would be near or over the tax.
The Warriors would almost have to trade someone else. Monta is the most likely, and I’d still want to pilfer Chicago’s roster.
* CP3 and Monta together is dangerous. Of course, the Warriors could trade Monta for the best offer they can get. But if they don’t, their backcourt would feature two players who MUST have the ball. Curry has the skills to play off the ball, giving Monta time to dominate the rock.
What happens when Mark Jackson, a true point guard, gets Chris Paul, the best point guard in the game? Monta gets pushed off the ball permanently. I once thought he could work off the ball, as he did with Baron. I currently believe those days are long gone. Monta is too used to being the man here. I don’t see that going well. And CP3 has the credibility to bark back at Monta, unlike anyone currently on the team. He won’t defer like Curry. A Monta-CP3 backcourt has chemistry issues written all over it.
* How long before Chris Paul wants out? He clearly wants to win a title. The Warriors, even with him, don’t figure to be close for years. In two or three years, will he be vying to get to New York? Will he clash with the coach, or the front office, or whisper trade demands on the low?
Again, I love Chris Paul. Best PG in the league. But there are risks to getting him. Perhaps enough to make it a bad move for the Warriors.