NBA Roundtable

Chris Paul Injury

In General NBA, Trade Talk on February 1, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Yahoo Sports reports

New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard Chris Paul will undergo arthroscopic surgery for a cartilage tear in his left knee and could miss one to two months, sources close to Paul told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday night.

Paul injured the knee in the final moments of regulation in a loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Paul was injured after he fell into a photographer on the baseline after trying to catch an errant inbounds pass from Hornets forward David West. Paul came up limping after the play, which led to the Bulls tying the game with .2 seconds left.

Paul also told reporters he had initially twisted the same knee in a win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

Test results revealed a partial tear to Paul’s meniscus. There is still some doubt as to the extent of the injury, one source said, but it is not believed to be season-ending.

Playoffs

Terrible news for the Hornets playoff hopes. This eliminates any chance they had of making the postseason.

That leaves ten teams vying for those eight spots (Houston look weak though).

Edit: The Hornets may have a slight hope of making the postseason if Paul can be back within one month, but, if it’s two months they have zero chance. It’s not a chance worth exploring if better opportunities are available.

Trade Market

I ruled the Hornets out of any substantial talent deficit trades + buyouts because they were making a run for the postseason. Now, that Paul is injury and that their playoff dreams are up in smokes, the chances of seeing those type of moves have increased dramatically.

The bad news is that Hornets veteran role players aren’t that valuable on the trade market due to their contracts. And that they have limited buyout options due to the length of their contracts (they’d need someone to take a substantial pay cut for it to be worthwhile, which is unlikely). So ….

The Hornets may be best off trading one of their key pieces (David West for example) for a young prospect or draft pick and then doubling up on that acquisition by getting a useful lottery pick in this year’s draft. That talent influx could help create a future for the Hornets. Especially with all their expiring contracts the following season + future cap flexibility. An opportunity to quickly rebuild the Hornets with talented young players. Something to think about.

All-Star Game

That rules Chris Paul out of the All-Star game. David Stern will get to choose his replacement. Early word appears to be that Chauncey Billups is the favourite to get the spot but I’d like to see Tyreke Evans chosen.

Evans has been spectacular for the Kings.

An Opportunity

On the bright side, this gives another opportunity to young Darren Collison. A talented young point guard and a good prospect. These two stretches in the Hornets first team are excellent opportunities for development.

The Hornets will be thankful for his progress next season.

Update

ESPN reports

Hornets coach Jeff Bower said on Monday that an MRI revealed more damage to the knee than the initial diagnosis of a bruise. The coach refused, however, to confirm reports that Paul had a meniscus tear and would miss at least a month.

Sources close to the situation confirmed to ESPN.com on Sunday that Paul tore cartilage in his left knee and will be forced to undergo arthroscopic surgery.

“We’re in fact-finding stages right now, gathering as much information as possible for decisions to be made to take the next steps,” Bower said. “It is likely there will be a surgical solution for it. We don’t have a timetable [for Paul’s return] right now, nor do we know a surgical procedure right now.”

Hmm … interesting.

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