Chris Paul wants to stay in New Orleans, but only if team is commits to winning

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nba_paul_250.jpgTrade rumors — totally ridiculous trade rumors for the most part — are swirling around Chris Paul.

But nobody asked Chris Paul about it. Well, until Chris Broussard of ESPN the Magazine did.

“My first choice is to be in New Orleans,” Paul said in a telephone interview from London. “I just want to make sure we’re committed to winning. If we’re not committed to winning and trying to get better so we can contend with the Lakers, the Celtics and all these other top teams, then I’m open to being traded.”

The outgoing Hornets owner, George Shinn, is committed to cutting costs. That’s where the whole theory behind trading one of the best players in the game as he approaches his peak. You would only do that if you were a penny pincher.

The incoming owner Gary Chouest wants to win. He has suggested he will spend some to do that. But Shinn is strapped for cash and wants Chouest to take on more debt as part of the deal. So the final details of the deal are stalled.

For Paul, all that only matters in his ability to win.

“I’m fine with staying in New Orleans, but I want to make sure we’re committed to winning,” said Paul, whose been lauded for the community work he’s done in New Orleans. “I don’t want to rebuild. I want to win now. It’s nothing personal against the city. I love that city. But my biggest thing is winning.”

“I’m friends with D-Wade, LeBron, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and all these other free agents,” said Paul, who’s in London promoting his Brand Jordan sneakers. “I’m watching them try to figure out what they’re going to do to put themselves in a position to win championships. I’d love to be a part of that stuff.”

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.