Just when you thought that Chris Paul ultimately held all of the power regarding where he might get dealt to—since nobody in their right mind would give up so much without an assurance of him sticking around for more than one season—think again.
There are at least three teams that would reportedly make a trade for Paul without any guarantee that the point guard would sign an extension to stay put in that city once his contract runs out at the end of the season. One of those teams that would pull the trigger is the Boston Celtics. (ESPN)
There is also a small handful of teams that has informed the Hornets they are prepared to trade for Paul with no assurance that they can keep him beyond this season. That list, sources say, includes the Rockets, Boston Celtics and defending champion Dallas Mavericks.
Boston would appear to have the most to offer in such a scenario if the Celtics are willing to include point guard Rajon Rondo, but sources say that the Hornets are convinced that they can receive more from any of the so-called gambling teams than from the Knicks, who are widely regarded as Paul's No. 1 preferred destination.
I know I'll probably get destroyed for this, but I don't care. I would still do this deal yesterday. It's as risky as you could get because there is probably less than a 50/50 shot of having him stick around longer than one year. Paul wants to play in New York. Everyone and their mother knows that. Sure, he could come in and get exposed to the history, passion, commitment to winning and everything else that the Celtics have to offer and decide in the offseason that this is the place that he wants to be. It's entirely possible. I, however, am not banking on it to happen.
So why even bother? Because this is more than likely the last chance for this group. It isn't a coincidence that Danny Ainge structured all of these contracts to expire at the same time. The window's being held open by a decaying stick and it's going to slam shut in July. Why not make one more run at a title with guns blazing and all hands on deck? Take the court each night with as many weapons as possible. This might be hard for Celtics fans wearing their green-tinted glasses to hear, but Chris Paul is a better player than Rajon Rondo. I repeat, the Celtics would end up with the better player in this deal. Ainge would have done his job, improved this team and made them a legitimate title contender instantly.
Besides, the Celtics are going to be rebuilding—or reloading—next summer anyway. They'll have a gazillion dollars to play in order to see what they can do. Maybe they would be able to sign a bunch of big-named free agents. Maybe they wouldn't. It's uncertain and as clear as mud, but I feel that the risk for this one season is entirely worth the reward. Whether they do the trade or not, next season probably isn't going to be full of rose pedals and potpourri. Make yourself better right now and see if you can make that one last miraculous run before everyone rides off into the sunset.
Then again, I don't get paid the big bucks to make these decisions. Have fun, Danny.