â†µAnyone heard of the economy? If you wonder what would make New Orleans -- a team that was atop the West for much of last season, anchored by a top-five player -- try and unload big man Tyson Chandler, there's your answer. Sure, Chandler's had problems staying on the floor. But the nucleus of Chris Paul, David West and Chandler seemed poised to keep this team competitive for years to come. Now, word has it that OKC's making a play for Chandler, who makes close to $11 million this season. In return, they'll likely get the ever-glamorous Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox, whose salaries match and expire this summer. â†µ
â†µAs I've said, I don't like to post rumors, unless they seem indicative of something bigger than themselves. And this, my friends, is just such a rumor. You'd think the Hornets would be focused on getting Chandler healthy and ready for a second-half stretch run. Instead, the franchise is trying to slash payroll to avoid the luxury tax. That's because the Hornets are very near broke. They've rebounded fairly well from Katrina, but they're an NBA team, in a small market that's lost a decent chunk of its population. And things aren't getting better anytime soon. â†µ
â†µThe real albatross is Peja Stojakovic's contract, but no one's wants that. So if the Hornets make a move, it'll be Chandler. If this domino falls, you have to wonder if we might be looking down the road at a Chris Paul who'd prefer to be elsewhere. Or, for the sake of the game, probably should be. Not that I'm against teams in smaller cities, or oppose the cap, but having amazing players mired in obscurity and stuck with rosters dictated by financial concerns is, for me as a fan, a purgatory almost too awful to bear.â†µ
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