Paul Fleeing the Nest?
For months, its been speculated that four-time All-Star, Chris Paul, would at the very least test the water of free agency when he becomes a free agent at the end of this upcoming season (if there is a season to be upcoming). The Hornets' front office has done their best to bolster the roster with pieces that could help Paul achieve the goal of winning an NBA Championship, but these pieces, and New Orleans' dream of keeping Paul in town, could be done. 30-year old free agent, David West, totaled 18.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game this past season- his fifth straight year averaging at least 18 and 7, turned down the three-year, $26+ million extension earlier this year to test the waters. Carl Landry, a starter at power forward for one-third of the season, is also a free agent and is already being targeted by teams; Landry averaged 12 points and 5 rebounds last year. Even backup center Aaron Gray is testing free agency when there is one, meaning franchise point guard could have lost West, Landry and Gray this offseason.
Adding to their troubles, the Hornets did not have a first-round pick in the 2011 Draft last week, trading it away to acquire Jerryd Bayless from Portland, who was then sent to Toronto. The pick was used by the Bobcats (via the Blazers) to select versatile forward Tobias Harris; Harris would most certainly would have been a promising prospect to pair with Chris Paul in the future. Instead, the Hornets' nest is looking empty and could look even more barren in a year when Chris Paul becomes the target of NBA teams across the country, specifically the New York Knicks
By President Corey Ruff - 6-27-11