No Chris Paul trade for Golden State. You heard it here last. Instead, the Lakers completed a CP3 deal that got revoked via David Stern fiat.

Look, I get why Stern was against CP3’s intentions. It’s total madness to let players decide team fates. That’s the job of bouncing ping pong balls, obviously.

Then again, what the NBA did on 12/8/2011 was so rash, so aromatically nutty, that it broadened the scope of what could happen. What if Stern wakes up and declares Milwaukee the pre-emptive 2012 NBA Finals winner? What if he announces this to medieval trumpet sounds while wearing a suit made of fruit rollups? And the players…what if they strike? As the philosopher Kevin Maurice Garnett once sagely bellowed, “Anything is possible.”

More is possible in the broader sense, but less is possible for Golden State player prospecting. A hefty Tyson Chandler offer? Nope. Ellis for CP3? Not nearly as enticing as the 8th seed bait offered by Houston via Los Angeles.

Tim Kawakami sees baby steps in yesterday’s feverish futility and I certainly feel that angle. They finally tried to decide Monta vs. Steph. They finally spent big bucks in pursuit of a plan.

But you have to wonder after these missed tries. If GSW had gotten CP3, would Chandler have come to Oakland? Golden State did have the opportunity to swap Steph for Chris before Stern facilitated this Lakers fiasco. Indirectly, GSW spawned what could possibly become the largest controversy in league history.

Why did they miss?

I think it comes down to two choices, likely a combination of both: 1. They were scared to take a Chris Paul rental, for fear of his fleeing and 2. They got cute trying to squeeze an Ellis-centric deal from New Orleans.

For the sake of this team, I hope it’s more the latter than the former. Because, if this league is going to be so governed by location desirability, it is incumbent on this franchise to boldly alter what “Golden State” means. I liked the idea of taking a Chris Paul “rental,” because it was a move of confidence from a team in need of some paradigm shifting. The prospective trade conveyed, “We think Chris Paul will sign here, because we are now a place to be.”

And this is precisely how Lacob should feel had the Warriors gotten a Chandler-Lee-Wright-Ellis-Paul lineup. If you provide a title-contending team in a big market, why should your superstar bail for less cash? If you fret over the possibility of his departure, you’ve already lost. Fortune favors the bold.

Part of what bothered me regarding the Lakers-trade backlash was the lack of respect for LA’s strategy. They risked immensely in trading Pau Gasol for a Chris Paul rental. They bet on themselves in a way others wouldn’t. It’s a smaller risk due to their brand, but it’s also why their brand is their brand. While so much focus is devoted to their “big market” advantage, this move was also a lore leveraging. LA wasn’t offering Chris Paul more money; they were offering an established, attractive tradition. They were offering a history-steeped aura that, say, the Clippers could not touch.

Though the Lakers may have given up too much in this trade, the bold stroke is a good model for Lacob. GSW must “act as if,” as the cliche goes. It need not be an Oscar performance–Northern California is scenic and populous. Moving the team to San Francisco is a step towards a positive self re-invention, too. The task at hand: Wake the slumbering Bay Area market while selling that incredible market to franchise-propelling talent. If you build it…


3 Responses

  1. Tony.Delk

    What..Ever. Did you just write that you “LIKE” the idea of a chris paul rental? What a huge exercise in futility. By the luck of the Draft Gods we have 2 of the most dynamic guards in the NBA, that CAN play together and you want to blow it all up for a disgruntled superstar-not a champion or even a western conference finals winner but just a star predetermined by the media. Chris Paul and the Hornets went 1-2 against the dubs, meaning in a head to head matchup Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis were better than CP3/ Bellinelli. If you for one second thought golden state was going to land Paul and Chandler in free agency, your an idiot. Why would you come to a 36-46 team if your an nba superstar or an nba champ when you could play on a better team an make your career that much more noteworthy. That said moving the team to SF is pretty disrespectful to all of the warriors East Bay Fans. The warriors WON a championship in Oakland in 1975. I LOVE the oracle its easy to get to, why screw it up ?So the majority of fans can take BART and then wait forever to pack 45 people into a MUNI bus…Screw That

    • Ethan Sherwood Strauss


      “That said moving the team to SF is pretty disrespectful to all of the warriors East Bay Fans.”

      It’s just reality. The Warriors will be a more successful, popular destination for going to where the money is. I like in Oakland, but I’ve accepted: The Warriors must go to SF. Hey, at least it’s not San Jose.

  2. EvanZ

    The Lakers were going to turn around and trade Bynum for Howard and use their trade exception to take back Hedo’s contract. Nobody else could have beat that trade offer. Then LA would have had Paul *and* Howard, in addition to Kobe. It’s hard for Warriors fans to swallow, but the fact of the matter is star players don’t want to come here. They want to go where they *know* they can win a championship. Paul sees a team with Kobe and Dwight and he sees a ready-made team that can win a championship. Paul obviously didn’t see that on a Golden State team where he’d have Chandler as his best teammate by far, and I can’t blame him for that. It’s just like in high school when the jocks get the best looking cheerleaders. You can talk all you want about confidence, but if you’re the A/V geek, those cheerleaders are just off limits, regardless of how great you are on the inside. (Not that I was one of those geeks, of course.)