Welcome to L.A. Chris Paul
The Chris Paul Saga is finally over. The Hornets traded Chris Paul and two future 2nd round picks to the Clippers for Guard Eric Gordon, Center Chris Kaman, Foward Al-Farouq Aminu, and Minnesota’s 2012 unprotected first round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
First off, WOW, both teams made out very well in this trade in my opinion. Obviously, the Clippers made out better with the addition of Paul. However, the Hornets definitely filled some needs and did very well in acquiring talent in return for their superstar. Gordon, Kaman, and Aminu are good NBA players that help fill out a Hornets roster that had only a seven player rotation before the trade. Okafor, Kaman, Aminu give the Hornets a decent frontcourt, while Gordon can score at will and is only 23 years old.
The unprotected first round pick is the icing on the cake in this deal; The Hornets acquire depth, talent, and now have 2 1st round picks in the upcoming draft. Also can anyone remember the last time the Timberwolves were competitive? Since the Garnett era, the answer is no, this team has been a losing machine; therefore this pick should be pretty high. I applaud the Hornets on making a smart deal for their franchise player. Dan Gilbert is the most jealous man in the NBA right now, everyone has gotten value for their superstar except him, someone call the wambulance!
Now for the Clippers point of view. This trade is a “slam dunk” for a franchise that has lived in the Lakers’ shadow since their existence. With Paul, the Clippers are now a very formidable team, you have to take this team seriously. Paul gives the Clippers a true point guard that can facilitate and score at will, he is also a complete BEAST on the defensive end. Looking at the starting 5 for the clippers, it is very impressive.
Blake and DeAndre will be all Smiles this Year
At Center you have DeAndre Jordan, a defensive presence who reminds me of a younger Tyson Chandler, with the addition of Paul, look for a lot of pick and roll with lob passes from Paul and ending in Jordan slamming them down. At Power Forward you got Blake Griffin, need I say more? Guy was a MACHINE and a constant highlight reel player; I cannot wait to see how Griffin and Paul link up. At Small Forward the Clippers have Caron Butler. Butler has been plagued with injuries but when healthy is one of the top scoring Small Forwards in the game. This was a very underrated signing by the Clippers that will pay off tenfold with the addition of Paul.
The 2-spot is very interesting to me, you have Eric Bledosde, a very talent young player with great upside, but the addition of Billups makes me think we could see him in this position, especially since Bledsode is coming off surgery. Foye is also another possibility at the 2 for the Clippers; he was with the team last year and knows the system. Finally, we end with Chris Paul at the point. Not only does Paul make DeAndre Jordan an instant offensive force, he converts Griffin into a MVP-type candidate player. Every big man becomes much better with a great point guard, so you look at Griffin’s season last year and think “Who was his Point Guard?” once you realize it was a combination of Mo Williams and Randy Foye, the thought should be “WOW, Griffin will get SO MUCH better with Paul in the mix”; and he will.
The Lakers must be kicking themselves for letting Paul get away, the Lakers should also be terrified that the Clippers are Young, Athletic, and very talented. Now I’m not saying the Clippers can overtake the Lakers this season, but Kobe is at the end of his career, no one on the Lakers team can keep up with Paul, and the loss of Odom definitely weakens the Lakers frontcourt. Don’t look now but “Showtime” can have a whole new meaning after the Clippers finish this season.