Picture this: Chris Paul walking on to the court this upcoming NBA season in an L.A. uniform. Got it? Now, change that Lakers uniform to a Clippers one and you might be looking at reality.
Earlier this morning, The New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers put together a deal that would send Chris Paul to the Clippers for a lot of smaller pieces. The Hornets included almost all-star Eric Gordon, former all-star Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu, and Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 first-round draft pick.
However, there currently is a kink in this deal. The league wants the Hornets to somehow include Eric Bledsoe being moved out of L.A. If this request had not been brought up, the deal might be done by now.
The NBA will likely review this trade sometime today and reveal whether or not they will let the transaction go through. I really hope that it does goes through. I look at this deal as a fair trade equally helping each organization, and for Stern to reject a second Chris Paul deal would bring about even more criticism and stress for the NBA commissioner, who has dealt with enough of that for a lifetime.
If this Chris Paul deal actually happens, there will be a lot of consequences.
For one, the Clippers will be really fun to watch… for the fans. It will be pretty scary to watch for the rest of the league. As I said in a recent post, CP3 always finds a way to make his big man play better. Well, that can, in all honesty, be taken a step further; Paul makes his entire team better. He gives teammates the ball where they’re most comfortable with it. If you throw Paul in with this young bunch centered around Griffin, their potential will go out the Staples Center’s roof. Remember all those Blake Griffin highlights from last year? Imagine putting someone on his team that actually knows how to pass the ball and throw an alley-oop (sorry Baron Davis, but that’s just not one of your strong suits). That team (mainly Blake Griffin) would be a highlight reel waiting to happen.
There is another team that would be indirectly affected by this trade, and they play in the same arena as the Clippers. If Paul does in fact go to the Clippers, and Dwight Howard gets his wish to team up with Deron Williams in New Jersey (sorry for all the speculation), that puts the Lakers in a place they do not want to be in. The Lakers have already given Lamar Odom to the Mavericks for practically nothing simply because they didn’t want his attitude on the team. (Imagine if they had done that with Kobe Bryant when he requested a trade a few years ago….) If they end up without either of these two big superstars when they were at one point looking to sign both, there will be an unhappy Jack Nicholson – along with the rest of the fan base – sitting on the sideline of Lakers’ games. The only positive this would have for the Lakers would be that their same-town rivalry might finally begin to have some relevancy.
Even though the Clippers made it farther in the playoffs than the Lakers in 2006, they have never been able to get out of their brother’s shadow. The Lakers have more superstars. The Lakers have more fans. The Lakers have more of a dynasty. The Lakers have more championships. The Clippers have been the little brother squad that just couldn’t get any of their players to stay with the team. Well, if the Clippers can pull off this trade, it would be the start of a new era and an era that would allow their franchise to get out of the shadow and into the sunlight.
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