The solution lies in New Orleans.
The Hornets seem to be revamping their entire front office and coaching staff, but they also seem to be taking for granted that their star point guard still wants to hang around. Which he doesn’t.
Last month, the Hornets hired coach Monty Williams, then followed up by making Dell Demps the general manager – but somewhere along the way, Paul lost his desire to be a Hornet.
"I just want to make sure we're committed to winning," Paul told ESPN The Magazine in June. "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."
Since then, Paul’s needs have reportedly grown a bit more dire. A source told CBSSports.com that Paul is formulating an "aggressive exit strategy" to skip town, and it could all happen before the 2010-11 season kicks off.
Which means the Knicks could very soon be on their way to saving face after failing to lure in LeBron.
Paul wants to win championships, and in five years in New Orleans, he has had the pleasure of playing in just 17 playoff games (12 in 2007-08, five in 2008-09). Never has he come close to sniffing an NBA title.
Just like LeBron did when he joined forces with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami, Paul wants to put himself in prime position to win big – and according to ESPN.com, the Knicks are one of three teams he is actively considering. Just like LeBron, Paul has even taken to wearing a Yankees hat around town (although we all know now that in the case of LeBron, the hat was just a decoy and in no way indicated his future plans).
Whether or not New York is the place for Paul to forge the next NBA powerhouse remains to be seen – but day by day, it’s looking better and better.
ESPN.com reports that Paul — if he is serious about leaving New Orleans – has listed New York, Orlando and the Lakers as his top choices for a trade destination. More than anything, he wants a commitment to winning a championship — a commitment that could be a several years away for the Hornets, given their minimal remaining space under the salary cap, their front office and coaching changes and their ongoing ownership transition.
New York, however, made its intentions to win pretty clear last month when it offered LeBron James everything and anything he wanted.
If Paul wants to win, New York could be the perfect place to go, if only because it is desperate now. It lost out on LeBron, plus Wade and Bosh, and if anything, desperation has brought out the best in the franchise.
Since the conclusion of the LeBron drama, which took place shortly after they signed Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks have been in aggressive recovery mode, signing Raymond Felton, then adding youth in Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf. If the Knicks worked out a trade for Paul, there’s a good chance they would be able to lure Carmelo Anthony into the mix, too.
If winning is what Paul wants to do, New York could be his best bet. Since long before the LeBron fiasco, the Knicks have been desperate, and nothing brings about a commitment to winning quite like desperation.