The Los Angeles Clippers have done what done what many of their fans prayed that they wouldn't. They have included Eric Gordon in a trade package for Chris Paul. Even though early reports say that they pulled Eric Bledsoe out of the deal, they still included Chris Kaman, Al Farouq Aminu and the Minnesota 1st round draft pick. It seems that Stern has now received the deal that he wanted.
Fans might wonder what in the heck Clippers management is thinking. The team now has 4 point guards and only Randy Foye at shooting guard. You would have to think that they will announce that they are going to use Chauncey Billups or Mo Williams, or both, at shooting guard. This is a lot of assets to give up for a player who at best is a guaranteed two year rental.
After the Clippers made a bold move in bidding for the services of Chauncey Billups, who just so happens to one of the premier point guards in the league, you would have thought that they would be less likely to include Eric Gordon in the package. I expect GM Olshey to receive a lot of criticism from sports writers and from fans.
Monday morning it looked like if the deal goes down it will include Eric Bledsoe, Chris Kaman, Al Farouq Aminu, and Minnesota's first round draft pick. By Monday night ESPN was reporting that the deal is dead. It seems that Stern insisted that the deal included all of the original pieces and Eric Gordon. Clipper management wisely backed off citing that the price was now to high. The Clippers then announced that they have stopped negotiating the trade and have backed off just like the Lakers did..
Last week the Clippers reportedly spoke with Chris Paul for 90 minutes, and during the conversation Chris Paul apparently signaled that he would include the Clippers on his list of possibly destinations so long as the core of the Clippers lineup remained in tact. If Eric Gordon was included in the deal, then one key player would be gone. However, after that conversation, the Lakers made an offer that was eventually turned down by Stern. When the Lakers pulled out of negotiations, and with the Knicks unable to make a offer that included Amare Stoudamire work, the Clippers became the front runners to deal for CP3.
A deal that included Eric Gordon would be a tough pill to swallow for the fans and Clipper management. We would in effect be giving up 3 players who were drafted in the top 8 spots of the draft. The deal as it is currently reported gives up a premier shooting guard in Gordon, a center who is a former all star, and a 2nd year small forward who would certainly be riding the pine behind Caron Butler. Giving up the 1st round draft pick is also a very valuable asset that is being traded away because it could become the #1 pick.
I was not in favor of a package that included Eric Gordon. But a starting lineup of Chris Paul at PG, Chauncey Billups at SG, Blake Griffin at PF, Caron Butler at SF, and DeAndre Jordon at Center is a formidable lineup. Also, the Clippers can look forward to most games selling out this season.
So where is the biggest downside? Reports say that the Clippers have asked for Chris Paul to pick up the remaining option year on his contract. That would only guarantee the Clippers of having his services for two years with no guarantee that he will sign an extension down the road. The Clippers are hopeful that they can sign Chris to a Max extension a couple of years from now. But what happens if after two years, Chris decides to move over to the Lakers and play with Kobe Bryant. As Kobe heads towards retirement, Chris Paul would become the face of the Lakers. With the Clippers, Chris will have to share that spot light with Blake Griffin.
The opportunity of playing with Blake has been cited as one of the main reasons Chris Paul was interested in the Clippers. You might have noticed that even though there were other big name teams interested in Caron Butler, he decided to come to LA as well. In the past, Donald Sterling and the Clippers history of futility, were two big reasons why players wouldn't come here. That is no longer the story. That story changed with the emergence of Blake Griffin.
aka Don Allen