LeBron James is heading to the Miami Heat, but there’s room in the state of Florida for another superstar – at least, there should be. The Orlando Magic should aggressively counter Miami’s new and deadly trio of players (pending contract negotiations) with a major move of their own.
The Magic shift from being the 2nd seed in the Eastern conference to arguably the 2nd best team in the state.
That’s why Orlando needs to make a counter move. It needs a major piece. One rumor discussed during the NBA Draft was the potential availability of Chris Paul.
This is a fit and a need.
But is Chris Paul even available via trade? Maybe, maybe not.
Sure, all the reports could just be rumors. But, with all the rumors swirling, Paul did chime in with thoughts on the matter.
“I want to win now,” Chris Paul said to John Reid of The Times Picayune late last week.
Paul also went on to profess his love for the city of New Orleans – and a willingness to play elsewhere.
“My first choice is New Orleans,” Paul said in a story by Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine. “I just want to make sure we’re committed to winning. If we’re not committed to winning and trying to get better so we can contend with the Lakers, the Celtics and all these other top teams, then I’m open to being traded.”
Queue the Magic.
Orlando is in a winning position. This franchise is two years removed from an NBA Finals appearance.
However, with Chris Bosh and LeBron James soon to join Dwyane Wade just a few hours south of O-Town, it’s possible that the Magic’s elite position in the Eastern Conference may be in jeopardy.
With Miami playing in the same division as Orlando, the Magic may lose out on key home-court advantage. That is, if each team lands in the 2011 NBA Playoffs – which many feel they will.
That’s why Orlando should counter the Miami moves by adding a superstar that can push the Heat harder than the current Orlando roster can.
Enter Chris Paul.
Paul is open to a trade and he’d fit in well with Dwight Howard and the rest of the roster.
As previously mentioned, there are a plethora of rumors involving Chris Paul and a number of teams (including Orlando). It’s just unclear whether the Hornets would consider dealing away its superstar point guard.
That doesn’t mean that the Magic shouldn’t continue to explore such an option. Perhaps they are doing just that, especially following LeBron’s announcement on Thursday night.
Among the rumors floated in recent weeks include names like Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter being a part of such a deal.
Right now, it’s not the names or the players that are in play. Because, Orlando has the pieces to move to New Orleans in exchange for a player like Chris Paul.
Critics are not sold on the Miami Heat yet. But the Magic should still consider a counter attack to stay afloat in the East. That’s in case the trio of James, Bosh and Wade flourish on South Beach.
The Magic’s current roster – albeit very talented and explosive – didn’t have the pieces in place to handle a Boston Celtics team that often showed its age throughout the majority of the regular season.
A big piece is a need. It’s a must have.
The biggest pieces aren’t just superstars. It’s a lethal combination to first have a big man as a dominating presence. Then, add in a scrappy point guard that can run the offense, while peppering in some scoring.
Orlando center Dwight Howard is both the dominating presence and a superstar.
Jameer Nelson is that point guard – but Chris Paul is that point guard – and then some.
That’s why the Orlando Magic can (and should) make this NBA offseason that much more interesting by finding a way to acquire Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets.
Then we’ll see who has the most “magic” on the court during the upcoming season – Superman and Co., or “The King” and his merry men.
If anything, it would make for great theater – and further shift the power of the NBA over to the Eastern Conference.