Jarret Jack: Don’t Expect Chris Paul in New York

via ProBasketballTalk

While the entire league is enjoying a bit of schadenfreude at the Miami Heat’s expense Tuesday morning, Jarrett Jack — the newest member of the Hornets — was warning that the slow start in South Beach could be viewed as a cautionary tale by players.

After the Miami Heat formed Voltron this summer, there was a lot of buzz about other players wanting to form their own big three. Chris Paul started pushing for the Hornets to, um, win or get off the pot (so to speak) while toasting dreams of being in New York and hanging with guys named Amar’e and Carmelo.

“I don’t know if (Paul) is (wanting to stay with the Hornets long-term), but you can look at the experiment out in Miami and see how that’s going,” said Jack, whose family has been close with Paul’s since they were 13 years old and who is described by his new teammate as “like a brother.”

“When you have three max (contract) guys (in James, Wade and Bosh), and you’re not able to sign other people those glue role players that make a championship team. Those Matt Barnes type dudes or Ron Artests or Shannon Browns (of the two-time defending champion Lakers), because all your money is devoted to three people. I think if we all find a situation where nothing else matters but winning, then we’ll be good.”

Jack does make a valid point: every great team needs those solid role players. However, having three max-contract players (provided a team can also find veterans at bargains) is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as those three max players are players who can coexist.

LeBron and Wade seem to have a difficult time sharing the court together, and that makes sense, because they have many similar talents and skills. Chris Paul is one of the purest point guards in the league, his main effectiveness coming from his ability to run the floor and finding his teammates on offense. He does not need to dominate the ball, so there is no reason why he wouldn’t be able to coexist with Amar’e Stoudemire, or potentially even Carmelo Anthony, two more potent offensive options.

Proof that a successful “Big Three” can be well-executed can be found looking at the Celtics. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen obviously both know their roles, as secondary options on offense to Paul Pierce. But furthermore, Garnett’s intensity, rebounding, and defense, as well as Allen’s clutch three-point shooting, provide the Celtics with a more balanced attack. Danny Ainge and his team lucked out by drafting Rajon Rondo, another pure point guard, who fits perfectly into the Celtics’ offense.

Finding the right balance takes time, so perhaps that’s what LeBron and company needs. Unfortunately for them, they visit Cleavland tonight to vs. the Cavs, the already well-oiled machine that LeBron left to join a Heat team still struggling to find their identity.

In the case of the Knicks, time has been exactly what they have been taking as the team continues to build rapport between Raymond Felton and Stoudemire (and the rest of his Knicks’ teammates). Felton is flourishing under Coach D’Antoni and is beginning to really connect with Stoudemire on the pick and roll. Should their success continue, the Knicks may not need to look Paul’s (and his maximum contract’s) way. Nevertheless, Felton is only signed for two seasons at this point, so things could very well change.

While Paul is an obvious upgrade over Felton, will the Knicks really do whatever it takes, going all out to continue to improve the team? If and when the time comes, the team will need to evaluate how much of an improvement over Felton Paul really is, and if he is worth the higher salary he would demand.