Lebron James decided that it was time for change. Announcing his decision to millions of viewers during an ESPN special, "The Decision" was one of particular relevance to all Hornet stakeholders. Lebron’s desire to bring a championship to Cleveland could not be matched by his desire to win a championship for himself. He stated, "I wanted to do what was best for LeBron James... At the end of the day"
After the various Chris Paul rumors that swirled the various media outlets Hornet fans can somewhat sympathize with this move. But the biggest move in sports since the Wayne Gretzky debacle sheds light on the Hornets because they need to wake up before they are next.
Following the trend? Could 'Melo and Paul decide to leave their teams and join up elsewhere? Let's hope not.
It’s no rumor that Chris Paul wants to win a championship. He’s come out and said it numerous times because he realizes that he’s in his prime and an NBA career is a relatively short one. I think that the Hornets organization needs to take serious note of this and make the necessary adjustments in order to help Paul make a championship run.
Assessing the Cavaliers roster it becomes clear to many that they did little to bring James a second talent to help spread the load of a playoff run. Most now have come to the notion that the Caviliers will end up being the worst team in the league without James and I think this is an indicator of how bad James’ team-mates were. I mean if you take Kobe of the Lakers will they be as bad? No.
Lebron never had a top 30 talent to help him reach his ultimate goal of winning it all. Looking back at past NBA Champions it is clear that a certain pattern emerges.
2009: Kobe Bryant/Pau Gasol
2006: Dwayne Wade/ Shaquille O’Neil
Looking at those it’s clear that every superstar needs a sidekick who must be at least a top 30 talent. Some may argue about Tony Parker being a top 30 talent nowadays but in 2005 he was. That’s something that Lebron never had in Cleveland. Heading into the Summer of 2010 it was generally speculated that the Cavs needed to do something to bring in some talent, but they couldn’t.
Now you might ask, what has this got to do with the Hornets? Well I thought that these trade rumors would be suffice enough to answer that question. Chris Paul wants to win a championship, now. And just like Lebron he won’t have a problem leaving the team that drafted him to achieve it. I myself was in some kind of denial that CP3 would never abandon New Orleans, but I am wrong.
The Hornets need to bring in a top 30 talent in order to compete with the Lakers, Celtics, Magic, Heat and others. There are teams on the rise and the Hornets have to pull the trigger on something before CP3 falls through their fingers.
Some may argue, "Hey we’ll give him the MAX and he’ll have to stay!" I think now it’s clear that even the best of the best are willing to take a pay cut to have a chance to win it all. Who’s to say that Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard aren’t conspiring to play together some day.
That being said I think it’s time to do something. Looking at our salary situation its evident the Hornets have a chance to bring in some contributors. But looking from Paul’s perspective is there anyone that is a top 30 talent? The answer is no, not really. I love David West, heck he’s my favorite player. But he’s not a player who can help Paul make a big championship run. Bringing in a guy like a Danny Granger or Luol Deng may be something. But I think the Hornets have to do something or else Chris is going to leave the first instance he gets to.
Looking at our current roster I think there’s enough talent to surprise a number of teams and get into the thick action of the playoffs this upcoming season (if we move Songaila’s contract and sign a couple of nice free agents). But again, Paul wants to win big, not compete.
Clearing the roster and starting again is absolutely the wrong thing to do. The Hornets have some great talent on this team and some solid pieces to make a championship run in the near future. Collison and Thornton are great complements to CP3 in the backcourt. West and Okafor are nice big men but I get the feeling that we need to add a third big man to that rotation a la Los Angeles Lakers. New Orleans has some youth coming up through the ranks in Quincy Pondexter and Craig Brackins.
But this is hardly enough. In order to keep Chris in New Orleans it needs that second chip, that second big name. Look around the league and you’ll find that with each contending team there is one top 5 talent and another top 20 or so. The Lakers (Kobe and Gasol), Heat (Lebron, Wade and Bosh), Celtics (Pierce and Garnett), Thunder (Durant and Westbrook/Green), Magic (Howard and Carter) and the Nuggets (Carmelo and Nene) all have the core necessary to make a run. The Hornets do not. They have some good players but no Ying to Paul’s Yang. The organizations needs to get it soon or else they may be facing the same fate as Cleveland fans tonight who are in a state of depression as their leader leaves for a brighter future.