Stephen Curry for Chris Paul: Do It
I’m a huge Curry fan for reasons statistical and aesthetic. But if the trade means Chandler and Paul in Oakland, if this is reality and not some toad-licked fantasy from the buzzing brain of a crazed GM: Do it.
Blogging about hoops can be a tricky pose because I often find myself teetering between fan and ersatz journo. When contemplating a Paul-Ellis-Wright-Lee-Chandler lineup, the thermometer swings wildly towards fan. Hell, it is difficult to type that lineup without hopping like a frog on lava lilies and howling at the moon till my soundwaves ebb new craters into that sucker. Holy amnesty, do it! DO IT!
Yes, we all know Chris Paul can leave in a fortnight. Let us set that large risk aside and look at the positives:
This team fits together like gharial teeth. Tyson Chandler can compensate for David Lee on defense. Lee can give Chris Paul a pick-and-pop option in the David West mold. Unlike West, Lee also possess an elite dive and finish ability. If Paul once used his front court to bash opponents, these are brass knuckles. Worth noting: Chandler-Lee would be the league’s best rebounding front court.
And then there is Monta Ellis. I have long carped about Monta’s lack of efficiency. Advanced statistics aside, the dull thud of his endless high dribble evokes the feeling of being locked inside a cramped grandfather clock. But Ellis wasn’t always a possession-eating eyesore of a faux point guard. Quoting, from me:
“Curry can penetrate and dish to Ellis, but it’s not Steph’s speciality: It was Baron’s. Curry has court vision but doesn’t attack defenses in the spear-on-jellyfish manner that his PG predecessor mastered. Baron Daviswould launch his chubby body into the fray and Monta would emerged with daylight and a running head start.”
The penetrate-and-dish attack was death for defenses. They had to shift towards Baron’s slashing, and rarely had time to recover once Monta got the rock. If Chris Paul comes to Oracle, he’s bringing this hammer with him. While Monta’s size is a defensive concern, while Monta’s defense is a defensive concern, I’m thrilled to welcome back the proper deployment of his talent.
Oh, and Dorell Wright can shoot threes. Or somebody else can. On to the risk.
Like Adam Lauridsen, I’m tired of rooting for a comfortably mediocre basketball team. Chris Paul is better than any Warriors player since B.C. times (Before Cohan). The Warriors are far from bottoming out and drafting high. They are far from improving their way to title contention. The only way for this team to get better is in the manner the Lacob-affiliated-Celtics did: Rapidly, through betting big on big stars. A frightful risk is necessary, today or tomorrow. If they have the will, it’s a matter of when.
More to the point, keeping Curry is a risk. He might well want to flee for Charlotte. Between Stephen’s public flirtation with the Bobcats and his new Charlotte-area house, GSW could be “renting” Curry in the way so many caution against “renting” Chris Paul’s talents.
But why would Chris Paul stay? Because a healthy Chandler-Lee-Wright-Ellis-Paul team makes the Knicks look terrible by comparison. I was not there for the infamous blood pact wedding toast, I am not privy to why stars do what they do. But I do know this: They rarely leave for a worse team and less money. New York would certainly present the latter, and I believe they would present the former.
So: Yes, there are risks, but the Warriors have little to lose. Do it if you can. Amnesty Biedrins, sign Chandler, exceed the cap in pursuit of Paul. If this proves a disaster, let it at least drop them to the level of awfulness at which teams get great draft picks. The Bay Area is an incredible market, just waiting for an excuse to love basketball again. Prime the pump, get the point.