Just once, I want to meet William Wesley, the super agent/consultant/power broker/whatever of the NBA, and ask him how he does it. I'm seriously fascinated with how he can literally create an entire news cycle all by himself with just one innocent comment. It really is an incredible skill.
Yesterday, that one comment concerned Chris Paul, arguably the best point guard in the NBA. According to our favorite rumor magnet Adrian Wojnarowski, Wesley is telling NBA teams that one way to get LeBron James is to trade for the best point guard in basketball. Gee, ya think? Good luck with that NBA teams. Oh, and you might want to hurry too if you want to get it done.
World Wide Wes has been pitching teams with salary-cap space that trading for New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul will dramatically increase their chances of signing LeBron James, multiple sources told Yahoo! Sports.
New Orleans general manager Jeff Bower has no intention of trading Paul, but multiple league executives believe that until owner George Shinn closes on the team's sale with billionaire oilman Gary Chouest, there is a price with which Paul could be pried away.
Let's forget the ridiculous premise that Shinn would actually trade Paul before he sells the team. Instead, let's take a look at how Wesley's comments created an entire news cycle.
First, via Wojnarowski's article:
The Memphis Grizzlies offered O.J. Mayo as part of a package for Paul recently, but talks went nowhere. League sources believe the New Jersey Nets are willing to part with the No. 3 pick and every player on their roster except for center Brook Lopez to obtain Paul. Also, the Portland Trail Blazers - who've long targeted Paul - are expected make a bid for Paul prior to the draft, a source said.
Next, the New York Daily News:
Nets president Rod Thorn, who pulled off the blockbuster deal for Jason Kidd in 2001, has expressed interest in Paul in recent weeks. Reportedly, the Nets have offered Devin Harris and the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft, but the Hornets, starting a new era under first-time coach Monty Williams, are not ready to part with the face of the franchise and their only box-office draw.
The Knicks are among several teams that would also love to get Paul, one of the top playmakers in the game.
Up next, the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
A report that Memphis offered guard O.J. Mayo in an attempt to trade for New Orleans Hornets point guardChris Paul drew the ire of Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and a strong denial.
"Unequivocally, O.J. Mayo was not part of any discussions about a trade for Chris Paul," Heisley said Monday night. "That is not true. Where do these people get this stuff?"
Now, let's move to Sam Amick of Fanhouse:
According to a league source, the Magic are among the teams that recently inquired about New Orleans point guard Chris Paul. While it's not known what the Magic would be willing to offer, the mere inquiry is a reflection of the organizational thinking as they move forward with Howard as the centerpiece and Jameer Nelson running the show.
Orlando is interested in an elite-level, pure point guard to replace Nelson, who has never averaged more than 5.6 assists per game in his six-year career and has three seasons and a combined total of $21.9 million left on his contract. The Magic attempted to make up for his distributing deficiencies by signing veteran Jason Williams last summer, but both him and veteran point guard Anthony Johnson will be free agents on July 1.
And as a corrolary to that, here's the Orlando Sentinel:
We'll be following up this report today.
Next up: Blazers blog Rip City Project with a half-baked theory on how the Paul rumors help support why GM Kevin Pritchard is on thin ice:
Though without knowing the man privately we cannot truly asses him publicly, we know Paul Allen is a fan of basketball. Beyond that, we also have a general idea of his susceptibility to outside voices. Put those together and it's easy to see how Allen, or someone who has his ear, might get as involved in all the rumors as we do, and with just the "could" planted in his head, feel disappointment. Add enough disappointment into the mix and even someone who has been as successful as Kevin Pritchard, who may or may not have ever had the chance to make that true game-changing trade, can see his value slowly sour.
Finally, we'll let John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune get the last word.
I am amazed how this stuff get started: From reliable sources, the Hornets are not looking to trade Chris Paul.
Want to know how this stuff gets started? William Wesley, that's how. I wish I had a tenth of as much power over my profession as Wesley seems to have over his.