Like many of you, I've been thinking a lot lately about trading for Chris Paul, and where Portland stands compared to other teams. His list includes Dallas, Orlando, New York and us. I don't take New York as a serious threat since they have no assets and could really only take back Paul (if they take back more, they cant sign Carmelo, which means no big three). This leaves Orlando and Dallas as our main competition.
Dallas and Orlando, in terms of what they offer are very similar. They have a bunch of over paid veterans with contracts that expire next year. Both can easily take back Okafur, Posey and Paul and still be intact enought to compete for a ring. However both can only offer very little in terms of young talented players. Dallas only has the PG from France (don't know how to spell his name, don't want to look it up), and Orlando only has Ryan Anderson(soft PF), and Jameer Nelson (who turns 29 next season, so not that young). Now the problem that Orlando and Dallas both have is that there best young assets are PG's, but New Orleans, already has a good young PG in Darren Collison, so they have no need for those assets from Dallas and Orlando. This leaves the Blazers as the only team that can offer good usable prospects to New Orleans.
This forces New Orleans to make a decision, either trade Paul for young players that can help them rebuild quickly, or use Paul for a massive salary dump. Unfortunately for the Blazers, I believe at this point they would probably use Paul for a massive salary dump, meaning he would be traded to either Dallas or Orlando. However Portland has an advantage over Dalls and Orlando. Orlando and Dallas are stuck, they can only offer a salary dump, they can not obtain any young assets to give to New Orleans. Portland on the other hand can still put themselfs in a situation where they can offer young assets and a masssive slary dump. This is Portland big advanatge, with some hard work they can offer both things that New Orleans want, while Orlando and Dallas can only offer a salary dump. This is where Portland has to get a third team involved.
New Orleans wants to get rid of both Okafur and Posey, we can take Posey easily, however we have no need for Okafur. So the task at hand is finding a team that needs Okafur's services. The good thing about Okafur is that he is actually a decent big man, he is overpaid, but he is not useless, on the right team he can be valuable and needed. This was my try at finding a home for Okafur trademachine
New Orleans sends out : Paul, Okafur, and Posey
they get: Prince, Miller, Priyz, Batum, and Rudy plus picks, cash, maybe Elliot Willams and a Euro
Detroit sends out : Prince
They get: Okafur, cash, picks, and maybe a Euro or another small time player
Portland sends out: Miller, Priyz, Batum, and Rudy
Portland gets: Paul and Posey
Why does New Orleans do this: They get they massive salary dump they wanted plus some nice young pieces to help jump start there rebuilding process.
Why does Detroit do this: This is the hardest one to rationalize, but Joe Dumars has done some pretty dumb stuff lately and there is no reason why he wouldn't continue doing it. Also they have a pretty strong need for big men, and Okafuris well above average for a center and would fit there needs. The problem is, he is overpaid, maybe Joe Dumars looks past that part and decides to use Prince's expiring contract to pick up a much needed big man. This wouldn't be one of his dumbest moves, it wouldn't be incredibly smart, but it also wouldn't be incredibly stupid.
I don't need to answer why Portland does it, we all know why. My question to you guys is what do you think of this trade? and more importantly, what other teams could we find to take Okafur? Because in my mind that is the key for us. We have prospect no one else can compete with, we just need to find a way to take more bad contracts off New Orleans hand, if we can do that, then I think Paul is ours to be had. So write away, lets find Okafur a home!