And after this, I think we’ve worn out the topic:
- I was in error previously when I talked about the Trail Blazers getting Paul to agree to extension prior to any deal. I do not now believe that is possible. You can’t get a player to sign an extension until the final year of his deal, which Paul is a year away from. And when he gets to that final season, we’re going to be in a lockout, so you likely won’t be able to get him signed then, either.
- Without having him for longer than two seasons, I’d be real careful about giving up any young and promising players for him. Most teams would. Man, you might get him for only a season and a half if that lockout lasts as long as some people think it will next summer.
- People getting all over Paul for wanting his team to acquire better players may be ignoring how many other players who have done the same thing over the years. Kobe Bryant did it just a couple of seasons ago. And to a degree I sympathize with players caught on teams that are in the midst of salary dumps and obviously aren’t trying to win.
- At the same time, I grew up in an era when players were stuck with one franchise for their entire careers, if the teams wanted to keep them. Ever hear of Ernie Banks? Stuck with the horrid Cubs forever. Never whined and never complained. Just wanted to play two every day. It isn’t a player’s god-given right to win a championship, you know.
- David Stern is distressed over the whole idea of his superstars congregating on three or four teams. So are many owners. And there’s a new collective bargaining agreement coming up soon. Don’t be surprised if the owners don’t try to make it tougher on players to leave a franchise. This, of course, is going to be difficult to do in that the owners want to shorten the length of max contracts, too.
- I’ve said this before and people in Portland are livid with me about it, but if all things were equal — if Roy weren’t a base-year player, if his salary matched up with Paul and they had the same number of years left on their deals — I’d trade Roy for Paul in a heartbeat. I mean, if you’re going to have one player dominating the ball all the time, who wouldn’t pick Paul over Roy?
- The sooner this Paul talk is shut down, the sooner the Blazers can get back to a deal they can actually make — not some pipedream — to improve their team.