Here’s an incredible NBA trade scenario: Los Angeles Clippers send Chris Paul to Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving.
The trade was first proposed by ESPN’s Kevin Pelton. According to the insider article, “Chris Paul’s age (30) and the desire of owner Steve Ballmer and coach Doc Rivers to win a championship have combined to produce a sense of urgency for the Clippers.”
Why would either team agree to it? Let’s break down five factors:
CP3’s relationship with LeBron James: Paul and James are really good friends outside the court. This friendship would help elevate the team chemistry. With two floor generals on the court, the Cavs would adequately handle pressure situations in the postseason.
Clippers can secure their future: Kyrie Irving is still only 23. While his short career has been marred by injuries, there is no doubt that Irving is a future superstar. While Paul has an opt-out clause in 2017, Irving is on contract until the 2019-2020 season.
Doc Rivers’ trigger happy system: The Clippers attempt as many three-pointers as the Warriors. Their fast, run-and-gun system, would allow Irving to play at his desired pace besides jacking up plenty of shots. Could you imagine Irving and Blake Griffin running pick-and-rolls together?
Irving’s ball-handling skills: With Lebron James, Kyrie Irving is rarely able to showcase his incredible ball-handling skills. Also, Irving doesn’t get to run the floor, a skill that took college basketball by storm during his one-and-done college stint with Duke. If you trace back to the years when Irving played without LeBron (2011-2014), notice Irving’s high usage rate and ability to run the floor.
CP3’s chase for an elusive ring: Chris Paul’s window for a championship is fast closing. At 30, Paul needs to be a part of a championship contender right away. While the Clippers are an elite team, they are miles behind San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. If Paul lands in Cleveland, he would add toughness and grit to an inexperienced team boasting of only one former champion in LeBron.
It would take incredible lobbying on the part of LeBron James and Chris Paul to pull off a trade of such mighty proportions. Paul would gladly side up with LeBron since he can avoid the West’s elite and earn an easy ticket to June’s NBA Finals. Paul has never advanced beyond the conference semi-finals.
For the Clippers to agree to such an NBA Trade Scenario, they’d have to forego the present for the future. No doubt the Cavs stand to benefit more from it.