If you haven’t seen the news that came out yesterday, ESPN’s Chad Ford dropped some fascinating information regarding Hornets superstar point guard Chris Paul. Ford reported that the Portland Trail Blazers were close to a deal with the Hornets before the draft that would have brought them Paul. Here’s what Ford wrote:

According to the source, the Blazers got close to a deal with the Hornets last week that would’ve sent Andre Miller, Joel Przybilla, Nicolas Batum, Jerryd Bayless and the 22nd pick to New Orelans for Paul and Emeka Okafor before Hornets GM Jeff Bower pulled out of the deal claiming that their owner wasn’t ready to trade Paul.

Ford reported that Paul may be unhappy enough with the situation in New Orleans to force a trade and that the Blazers, Nets, Knicks and Magic are pursuing a trade for the superstar. If there’s a chance that Paul could be traded this offseason, the Warriors would be foolish if they didn’t at least try and put their best trade offer on the table.

If the Hornets are forced to trade Paul, they’ll require that Emeka Okafor’s big contract be included in the deal. Okafor, who isn’t a bad player by any stretch, has about $52 million and four years left on his contract. It is a really bad contract, but it will have to be part of the deal. Okafor and Paul will make about $26.4 million next season, so the Warriors would essentially have to match that number in their trade offer.

The Hornets will want two or three things from any deal. They’ll want cap relief (expiring contracts), young talent and possibly draft picks. If you look at the deal that was close to completion before the draft, it fit that formula. Miller and Pryzbilla equals about $14 million worth of expiring contracts, Batum is one of the best young small forwards in the game, Bayless is a nice player with tons of potential and the No. 22 pick was a first-round selection. The Oregonian’s John Canzano was told by a source that the Blazers will have to sweeten the deal even a little more to make the trade happen, but I think Portland’s offer provides a pretty accurate blueprint for any offer.

Ford reported that the Magic have offered Jameer Nelson and expiring contracts. The Knicks and Nets could be the frontrunners, especially if they don’t use their cap space to sign free agents and decide to pursue Paul instead. They could absorb Okafor and Paul’s contracts without sending back any contracts, giving New Orleans immediate cap relief. They could both give up some young talent, too, with the Knicks offering small forward Danilo Gallinari and the Nets offering point guard No. 3 pick Derrick Favors and point guard Devin Harris.

With all that in mind, I went in search of a realistic trade offer from the Warriors that would compare favorably to what else is out there. The question you have to ask yourself as a Warriors fan is whether you’re willing to give up Stephen Curry, the Warriors’ most valuable player, in the trade. I have two options with Curry in the deal and an option without him.

With Curry

To Hornets: Dan Gadzuric, Vladimir Radmanovich, Stephen Curry, Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike
To Warriors: Chris Paul, Emeka Okafor


To Hornets: Dan Gadzuric, Vladimir Radmanovich, Stephen Curry, Brandan Wright, Kelenna Azubuike
To Warriors: Chris Paul, Emeka Okafor

Without Curry

To Hornets: Dan Gadzuric, Vladimir Radmanovich, Brandan Wright, Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike
To Warriors: Chris Paul, Emeka Okafor

In all three variations, the Warriors’ trade offer fits the criteria set out previously. Expiring contracts? Gadzuric and Radmanovich equal $14 million in expiring deals. Young talent? Whether the combination is Curry and Randolph, Curry and Wright, or Wright and Randolph, the Warriors are sending their best and most inexpensive young players in return. Draft picks? The Warriors could probably throw in a future first to make it happen.

I don’t know if the offer without Curry can compete with what the Blazers, Nets or Knicks can offer. Wright and Randolph have too many questions. The other consideration is whether Curry would be less attractive to the Hornets than Batum, Gallinari or Favors because of his position. The Hornets might be concerned about bringing Curry back when they already have a comparable young player at the same position in Darren Collison. But, if that’s what the Hornets wanted, would you be willing to give up Curry to get Paul?