In the offseason there were a lot of rumblings out of the Chris Paul camp, as well as the Carmelo Anthony camp. Both stars were (are?) unhappy with their organizations and the direction of their teams.
Those rumblings have quieted down in Denver, but surely exist still. New Orleans seems to have dodged a major bullet (for now) because the team is off to a great start. Paul is saying and doing all the right things.
My question to you is, could the two teams make a trade with each other in order to solve their problems? I used the ESPN trade machine to come up with a few "realistic" trade options that certainly are entertaining. They might not make sense though. What do you think?
Chauncey Billups, Ty Lawson, NeNe and J.R. Smith
Chris Paul & Emeka Okafor
With this trade, NO would pretty much be "starting over." It obviously doesn't make much sense to them to do this right now (since they are winning with the team they have) unless Paul forces their hand. The Hornets already have almost $12 mill. in trade exceptions from 5 players. Smith is an expiring contract (they could resign him, but it wouldn't make sense). Billups and Nene have 1 year left (so does Lawson, but it would make sense for the Hornets to resign him). That means 3 of the 4 players are coming off the books within 2 years. They sign Lawson long term and then have TONS of money saved. They can either really rebuild with little money dedicated to players or use that money to sign a few players. Denver needs a few role players to go with Paul, Melo, Harrington and Okafor. Unlikely.... but the trade COULD work.
How about going the other way?
Trevor Ariza and the player formerly known as Peja (and his expiring $14 mill)
Short and sweet, this gives NO a lineup of: Paul, Okafor, West, Melo and whoever they plug in at SG. That's a pretty intense team (without much on the bench, although they don't have much now). Denver gets a very decent player in Ariza and after this year, TONS of room under the cap. They add Peja to the already expiring deals they have, such as Smith and K-Mart's $23 million combined. They could try to shore up their front court with 2 big signings (or another trade) and still be relevant.
What do you guys think? Possible? Stupid? Tweak it a touch?