The latest NBA trade rumors point to the possibilities of Los Angeles Clippers All-Star Chris Paul heading to the San Antonio Spurs or the New York Knicks’ All-Star Carmelo Anthony possibly heading to Los Angeles. With the recent collapse of the Clippers in their first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz, as well as a key injury to a veteran Spurs guard, “CP3” could very well become Gregg Popovich’s next start on the Spurs’ roster. In addition to that, everyone knows that New York Knicks head honcho Phil Jackson is looking to rebuild his team’s roster in the Big Apple, and based on recent rumors, it could mean Melo agrees to a trade to L.A to help form a new “Big Three.”
As reported by ESPN on Friday, San Antonio Spurs veteran guard Tony Parker is done for the postseason due to a ruptured tendon in his knee. Parker had surgery to repair the tendon on Friday and now could take as long as eight months or so to recover. That puts the next-best contenders in the Western Conference after Golden State at a disadvantage when it comes to their depth and experience. Dejounte Murray has been filling in for Tony Parker during their NBA Playoffs series against the Houston Rockets, which the Spurs were leading 2-1 as of this report.
Parker is 34-years-old, which isn’t exactly a spring chicken but isn’t necessarily expired in the league these days. However, one has to think that with the Spurs’ newest core stars of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, the front office may consider adding another component to the roster. As Fox Sports’ NBA analyst Chris Broussard indicated on Thursday, that could be a superstar guard such as Chris Paul from the Clippers who would bring his All-Star skill set to the team and could be the latest to form a championship-winning “Big Three.”
Broussard mentioned that he ultimately thinks Los Angeles could bring in Carmelo Anthony to join Chris Paul and Blake Griffin as a new “Big Three,” but said the possibility of Paul winning a title in San Antonio is also there.
“If he really wants to win, that’s the best place for him to go. Now, whether or not they would win a championship we don’t know. But I would love to see him there. It would be great for the league, and it would be his best move basketball-wise.”
Looking at the two NBA trade considerations, it almost seems as if the Carmelo Anthony deal is more likely to happen. There’s been no shortage of rumors that Anthony would be traded this past season. While those never materialized, it’s become painfully obvious that the Knicks will be making some moves. Those could happen as soon as the upcoming NBA Draft in June, where New York could put themselves in a position to snag a high-level prospect. As of right now, they’re slated to possibly have the No. 7 draft spot. One of the mentioned trade rumors would involve a J.J. Reddick sign-and-trade to the Knicks with Melo agreeing to go to the Clippers.
However, if the Clippers don’t make some moves to improve their own roster, Chris Paul may decide he’s had enough of trying to win with the team he’s currently playing for. The system that Gregg Popovich has put together in San Antonio is clearly one that can achieve championships with the right personnel. A trio of Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, and LaMarcus Alridge could really become one of the best combinations in the league with an impressive inside-outside game.
Paul averaged 18.1 points a game, was third in the league in assists with 9.2 per game, and third in steals with 1.95 per contest. Not only that, he brings his efficient ball-handling skills to any lineup as CP3 was third in assists-to-turnover ratio this past season with a value of 3.8. Only Minnesota’s Tyus Jones and Golden State’s Andre Iguodala, two bench players, ranked higher than the starter Chris Paul. That’s certainly the type of player Gregg Popovich would love to have to lead his offense in games, especially with Parker’s abilities diminishing each year.
Parker’s injury doesn’t mean he’s completely done with the NBA, but his retirement is probably always a consideration. Other guards including Steve Nash and Jason Kidd continued to play until around age 40, but they were clearly suffering from injury issues towards the latter stages of their careers. This past season, Parker averaged a mere 10.1 points a game, but he boosted that to 15.9 points a game in the playoffs. The Spurs may realize that Parker’s contributions to San Antonio have been dwindling and it’s time to bring in a guy with a serious All-Star resume such as Chris Paul to help them regain that championship form.
[Featured Image by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]