CP wants out?

Back again.

I was going to write about the New York Knicks today, and how their fans should not be disappointed with missing out on LeBron, but rather optimistic about what the reconstructed roster may be able to achieve next season. However, that can wait. It’s far more important to talk about Chris Paul’s apparent trade demands.

For starters, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that would be thinking this, I don’t even think Chris Paul is the kind of guy that would demand a trade. He’s a good guy, class act, plays hard and helps in the community. It seems totally out of character, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the demand has come from the folks at LRMR, LeBron James’ marketing company that recently recruited Paul (yes, the same ‘brains’ behind LeBron’s ‘Decision’).

But apart from that, it would seem that Paul realises that he’s the one that signed the contract in the first place to be the star of the team and therefore should feel obligated to fulfil that contract. I agree with what Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo Sports has already written about the Paul subject so head over there and have a read.

I actually want to talk less about Paul specifically and more about the whole idea of demanding a trade – publicly at least. All this really does is let everyone know that you’re fed up, that you’ll eventually become a distraction and make your team absolutely desperate to deal you – therefore, severely damaging any trade value that may exist and limiting the assets your current team may be able to get back in a deal.

Why do players do this? Surely is much better for both parties to do this quietly, helping the current team get the best deal available and helping the player to not look like a total jerk. If Paul comes into the 2010/11 season and averages similar numbers to the start of last season, then the Hornets can demand a king’s ransom for him. People forget that when healthy, CP is a top 5 talent in the league and a legitimate MVP candidate.

However, now they may have to settle for cents on a dollar, because it’s been (apparently) made well known he’s keen to get out. These situations don’t normally end well. Stephen Jackson made it known he wanted to get away from the Warriors last season and they had to settle for a deal with Charlotte for an injured Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic. Al Harrington also said he wanted out of Golden State (gee, players tire of Don Nelson, don’t they?), and ended up receiving a superfluous Jamal Crawford in return, who was later moved at the conclusion of the season for – wait for it – Acie Law and Speedy Claxton.

I cannot for the life of me understand why players can’t keep quiet, be patient and work out something mutually beneficial. Maybe it depends on the calibre of player. Kobe Bryant went on a tirade against team management in the summer of ’07, telling them that he wanted more help or he wanted to be traded to Chicago. The Lakers explored some options, including possibly acquiring Ben Gordon and Luol Deng from the Bulls, or getting Kevin Garnett from Minnesota (the Minnesota deal ended up falling through because of the insistence that Andrew Bynum be included, and of course KG got traded to Boston and the rest is history). Eventually, a month before the trade deadline of the ‘07/08 season, the Lakers capitalised on Pau Gasol’s urge to be out of Memphis and made a lopsided deal that has resulted in 3 straight trips to the finals and 2 straight championships.

So we see there that if you are arguably the best player in the game, you may be able to get away with it, somewhat. Therefore, maybe Chris Paul’s (apparent) trade demands can work in his favour and he can force his way to New York for Eddy Curry’s expiring and Danilo Gallinari. I don’t know. I just think it would be more beneficial for Paul’s image to be quiet, sit tight and get optimal value for the Hornets next season. Then again, maybe he can just weasel his way out and then look to LRMR to fix up his image. I mean, I’m sure they’re not that busy trying to fix LeBron’s.

Cheers for reading.

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