Chris Paul Trade Talk:
Chris Paul has come out and said he wants to be traded, something that was reported on the web weeks ago, with Orlando looking like the front runners of any proposed trade. Let me start off by saying that if he went to Orlando to hook up with Dwight Howard, Orlando is your pre-season favorites in the East, simple as that. I know they’d have to give up pieces to acquire Paul, Vince Carter, Jameer Nelson, guys like that, but with Paul, Howard and the pieces remaining they’d be scary good. Now for the funny part – imagine he ends up in New York, with Amare. Then next summer, Carmelo signs as a free agent thus making a new “SuperTeam” in the league. LeBron has tweeted saying Paul should “do what’s best for him and his family”. How ironic would it be that what’s best for Paul – doing what LeBron advised him to do - would turn out to be him coming to the Eastern Conference and creating a major obstacle for Miami in the process? Serious question here – would you rather have Chalmers/Wade/LeBron/Bosh/Ilgauskas or CP3/Felton/Carmelo/Amare/Randolph?
Starbury in China:
A guy has rejected the lure of taking his talents to South Beach, instead opting to stay put and ply his trade in…China. Yes, it can only be one guy, Stephon “Starbury” Marbury. Or as I like to call him, “Tattoo Head”. Apparently – according to NBA Fanhouse – the former Knick has turned down a chance to join the newly formed trio in Miami, which surprises the heck out of me. I thought this would suit him perfectly; he’d look like Steve Nash dishing assists to Wade and co. but it wasn’t to be. By the by, hands up if you predicted that by July 24th, 2010 Stephon Marbury would display more loyalty than LeBron James?
Shaq still looking for work:
Shaq is still homeless, much to the dismay of Shaq I’d imagine. While obviously a shadow of his former self – albeit a rather large shadow – Shaq is still an above average NBA center. I’d have him back in Cleveland, but like Brendan previously mentioned, for nothing more than $2 million a year. If Matt Barnes gets two million form LA, that’s all Shaq gets from us. Although, Amir Johnson got $34 million from Toronto. Maybe he should take a trip up there…
Finally, Team USA is in the midst of scrimmage at the moment and the one consensus thus far emanating is that Kevin Durant will be the undisputed leader on the team during the World Championships. I’m down with that; you could do a whole lot worse, right? The final roster hasn’t yet been selected, but allow me if you will to give you my take on what Team USA should look like this summer. There seems to be a logjam at the point guard spot, which is a good headache to have if you’re Coach K. I’d start off with Chauncey Billups, purely due to experience alone, he’ll be the steady hand of the squad and my co-captain along with Durant. I’d also limit Billups minutes, splitting the remaining time between Rondo and Rose. Three very different guards that run very different teams, but three reliable floor generals regardless. At the two spot, I’d seriously consider starting Eric Gordon of the Clippers, with either of the two guards mentioned above coming off the bench to play minutes at the two also. Steph Curry should be used sparingly, but a very useful guy to have coming off the bench, right? The small forward spot is Durant’s spot – no wiggle room here. After him, my two guys would be Danny Granger and Lamar Odom, though Odom would be my starting power forward. I like Kevin Love as a bigman off the bench; his amazing outlet passes would trigger an unstoppable Rondo-Durant-Odom fastbreak onslaught.
Brooke Lopez would be my choice to man the middle, though ideally Dwight Howard would the guy playing here rather than sitting at home. So the starting five of Billups-Gordon-Durant-Odom-Lopez, with backups of Rondo-Rose-Granger-Love-Curry would be more than capable of winning it all. Other roster spots depend on how fit Amare and David Lee are, and if both were fit they’d be in my squad with both seeing major minutes, at either the four five. Defensively I’d look at Westbrook and Gerald Wallace for a spot in the squad, both guys can play multiple spots while offering defensive steadiness whenever called upon. While not having the star appeal of Kobe-Kidd-LeBron-Wade-Carmelo-Howard-Paul from a few years back at the Olympics, the team heading into the World Championships should still possess the talent necessary to strike fear into the hearts of opposing teams, just like Team USA should when it comes to basketball.