Warriors Still in Hunt for Chris Paul, If and When Hunt Resumes

It would seem the Warriors got new life when the NBA nixed the three-team trade that sent perennial All-Star guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. One would think if shipping Paul to Los Angeles is off the table, New Orleans may be more inclined to give Golden State’s offer of Monta Ellis another look.

Since the NBA stepped in and killed Thursday’s blockbuster trade, with no explanation¬† (other than “basketball reasons”), teams are hesitant to workout any deals with the Hornets. Reportedly, not even the Hornets know what to do now. Still, I’ve been told the Warriors will continue to pursue Paul. No, they still aren’t willing to part with point guard Stephen Curry. But they do want their name in the hat for CP3, even without a guarantee. The only question is whether Paul is even available.

JOE LACOB (via text): “We are working every angle as hard as possible to improve this team. Sparing no effort or expense. But we must be smart and not reckless.”

One source told me the Warriors don’t want to give up on acquiring a big. But they won’t offer any significant money to anyone other than the top four bigs. Tyson Chandler opted for New York. Nene and Memphis center Marc Gasol are too costly (presumed to command some $15 million). That leaves DeAndre Jordan.

Though the Clippers have said they will match any offer sheet Jordan signs, expect the Warriors to take a shot anyway. If they call the Clippers’ bluff and succeed, they not only get a big man they like, but they cripple a division rival. (Remember, we are talking about Donald Sterling, who hasn’t exactly been a big spender.) If they don’t succeed, they make the Clippers overpay for Jordan, who they offered a five-year contract worth $40 million.

If they fail on Jordan, it may be time to ease off the gas pedal and find some quality role players to fill out the roster. At that point, you may see the Warriors get a cheaper center for the shirt term and hope Andris Biedrins returns to form.

Marcus Thompson