This time it is a done deal. Chris Paul will be playing in a Los Angeles Clippers uniform this year.
With a big trade like this, it’s easy to overreact. People start thinking about how many alley-oops CP3 will be throwing to Blake Griffin and they can get a little carried away. It’s important to remember that we’re not playing NBA Jam here. A basketball team puts out five players on the court, not two. Paul is definitely going to help the Clippers, but they still have to get some other players before we can crown them the best team in their city.
The Clippers have lived in the shadow of the Los Angeles Lakers for forever. It’s time to step out of the shadow but not time to cast one of their own. For years, players have avoided the Clippers like the plague, that’s definitely going to start changing if Paul and Griffin stick around. In a few years, we could be saying the Los Angeles Clippers are the true title contender from L.A.
The Clippers were the big winner in the trade, but what about the New Orleans Hornets?
Obviously, losing an All-Star is going to weaken your team, but I think the Hornets made out pretty well for themselves. Paul obviously wanted out, so it was best for the franchise to get what they could for him rather than holding on for one more year and letting him leave for nothing. And what they got were some very solid pieces to build around. Eric Gordon was the big acquisition. He’s coming up as a star in the league and is going to be making some noise in New Orleans. The Hornets may not do much this year, but in the long run, they’ll be a good team even without CP3.
So what does this mean for the San Antonio Spurs? Not much right now, because I think they are still a better team than the Clippers and Hornets. But they’re an aging team, so they’re only going to get worse and the other teams are only going to get better. It will be nice not to have Paul has a division rival, but they’ll still be seeing more than they care to see of him in L.A. Long-term this was a bad trade for the Spurs because it gave two other Western Conference teams the potential to be a lot better. Only time will tell how the Spurs will respond, but they’re going to have to start making some moves if they want to continue their dynasty.