David West unexpectedly decided to opt out of his contract this week. That is one big domino that might force New Orleans to seriously consider trading cornerstone point guard Chris Paul.
His decision could be a prelude to the eventual departure of All-Star guard Chris Paul(notes), who has played his entire career with West in New Orleans. The Hornets might have to trade Paul next season before he reaches free agency in 2012 and start a complete rebuilding process.
If New Orleans wants a young, super-talented point guard who (unlike Paul) is locked up long term on a deal that is actually quite a bargain, their best option would be to trade for Rajon Rondo. To make salaries work the Celtics would actually have to add a player to the trade - perhaps a signed and traded Jeff Green.
The Hornets would likely want to try to offload the contract of Emeka Okafor in exchange for an expiring contract like Ray Allen or Kevin Garnett (perhaps with a wink wink deal to release them?), but I really don't think the Celtics would seriously consider such a drastic move unless they've hit the detonate button on The Window and asked for lots of draft pick sweeteners to boot. Though you could argue that trading Rondo would be a nuclear option anyway, even if the return was Chris Paul.
Danny Ainge has already indicated that no player is untouchable on the roster. So the question for you Celtics fans is - would you do it?
Feel free to post your best trade proposals and debate the merits of each. but remember to comply with the "treat all posters with respect" rule that we enforce strictly here.