By now, you know the Celtics are interested in acquiring Chris Paul. You also know it’s one of Antoine Walker’s mythical four-pointers — an extremely long shot — for a number of reasons, not least of which is that Paul would need a lot of convincing to sign a contract extension in Boston. But there could be another reason it’s a long shot: Paul’s knee, which reportedly scares the hell out of the Boston brass. (CSNNE)
One of the reasons that’s giving the C’s some reason to pause in their pursuit of Paul is his health; specifically, his surgically repaired left knee.
While he appears to have bounced back from the 2010 injury nicely, there is some concern that the injury could prove problematic in the future.
Paul suffered a torn meniscus injury in late-January of 2010. Dr. James Andrews, one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the world, performed surgery on the knee on Feb. 4. Unable to sew the torn meniscus back together, Dr. Andrews had to take the torn portion out entirely.
The knee has two menisci that essentially serve as shock absorbers between the femur and tibia bones. Paul has one now, which means there’s likely some of bone-on-bone rubbing which has the potential to get worse and ultimately lead to additional surgical procedures.
This returns to one of my original questions: Would you rather have Chris Paul for $17 million (-ish) per season, or Rajon Rondo for $11 million per season? But now there’s an additional wrinkle, considering that Paul has just one meniscus, rather than two menisci, and sounds somewhat like the point guard version of Brandon Roy.
Paul’s a better player. He has fewer flaws. He’s a much better scorer. He’s taken a New Orleans Hornets team largely devoid of talent and led them to places they shouldn’t go, such as the NBA playoffs. He doesn’t take nights off. If he came to Boston, he’d also be a bigger draw for free agents — I’m looking at you, Dwight — than Rondo.
But he’s meniscus-less in one knee, and Rondo’s one of the better bargains in the league. Even if Ainge could somehow convince Paul (and the Hornets) to accept a trade to Boston and sign an extension, there are some reasons to make Ainge pause (at least slightly) before pulling the trigger.
But damn it, Paul is so, so good.