Join us at 12:30 EST to discuss the Chris Paul trade to the Clippers and the ramifications for the league.
You can listen to our immediate reaction on the CBSSports.com NBA Podcast:
Posted on: December 15, 2011 11:21 am
Edited on: December 15, 2011 11:39 am
Posted on: December 14, 2011 8:31 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 1:40 pm
By Matt Moore
There was no winning for New Orleans. No matter what, the Hornets are looking at losing the best player in franchise history. You don't replace Chris Paul. The Hornets were going to come away from trading him a worse team, facing a few years of terrible seasons. It's not what you want.
But if we take the conditions, a small market team with no leverage facing an uphill battle to even get some sort of value from the trade, with the league's overbearing hands all over it, and the roster as currently constructed, this is a great trade. The best trade you can make with CP3 is to not trade CP3. But if you're going to have to trade Chris Paul, you don't want a 30-year-old no-lift power forward, a 30-year-old combo forward who struggles with focus outside of L.A. and had no interest in playing in New Orleans, and a lesser version of Eric Gordon, along with the Knicks' 20-ish pick.
No, you want a star young player, like Eric Gordon, who has a great shot of making the All-Star game once the Hornets build anything around him. He's the franchise now, which he was not going to be in Los Angeles. You want a talented wing. Lost in this is the fact that Al Farouq-Aminu has everything you look for in a young wing. Great length, good defensive ability, decent hands. There's a lot of growth needed, but he's got the capacity to be a capable small forward in a few years. And you want to clear salary, which Chris Kaman's contract allows.
Beyond, that, consider this. The Hornets were going to be terrible with Paul. They will be more terrible without Chris Paul. But, if you're going to be terrible, you want to be terrible this season with the 2012 draft class in play. This class is as good as any since 2003, and with the Minnesota pick they acquired from Los Angeles, the Hornets are in position to have two picks potentialy in the top five, likely in the top ten, and definitely in the lottery.
That means some combination, if they were to tank out, of Anthony Davis - Harrison Barnes - Jared Sullinger - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist along with some combination of Bradley Beal - Marquis Teague - Perry Jones - Quincy Miller - Patric Young. That's how you rebuild a franchise quickly. Young star (Gordon) plus talented athlete (Aminu) plus two top ten draft picks in a quality draft. Clear the cap, add young players, maintain flexibility, build in the Thunder model.
One veteran who expires next year. One star with high upside. One athlete with growth potential and a small contract. A pick with high value. It's a sad day for New Orleans, who loses its franchise player, and has to go through the pains of rebuilding. But after all the hand-wringing, all the consternation about the league's involvement, it got what was best for the franchise. The Hornets have to make the right decisions for it to pay off. But they have what they need to move on.
The circus is over. Time to build a new carnival.
Posted on: December 12, 2011 9:25 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 9:28 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
The ceaseless on-again, off-again trade talks involving New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard Chris Paul are reportedly back on. Monday night, round two with the Los Angeles Clippers commenced.
ESPN.com reported that talks between the league-owned Hornets and Clippers have officially resurrected after being declared dead earlier on Monday.
After a seemingly imminent trade routing Paul to the Clippers collapsed earlier Monday, sources told ESPN.com that the league officials negotiating on the Hornets' behalf had aggressively re-engaged the Clippers in talks in hopes of completing a deal as soon as Tuesday.Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that a source said: "The league has no choice. They have nowhere else to go."
Earlier trade talks had the Clippers sending center Chris Kaman, point guard Eric Bledsoe, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2012 first round pick pick to the Hornets for Paul. Other reported versions of the trade talks also included guard Eric Gordon. The talks reportedly fell apart when the Clippers felt NBA commissioner David Stern, who possesses final authority on personnel moves for the Hornets, was asking too high a price for Paul.
Some variation of the reported package would give the paper-thin Hornets multiple players to plug in as starters plus an excellent building block chip in the 2012 pick. The Clippers are looking to find a premier perimeter player to pair with forward sensation Blake Griffin, recently re-signed center DeAndre Jordan and, ideally, retain Gordon, who is a potential future All-Star at shooting guard.
The Clippers also claimed veteran point guard Chauncey Billups in an amnesty bidding pool on Monday.
Posted on: October 6, 2010 6:08 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Somehow, Blake Griffin has become maybe the most forgotten No. 1 overall pick ever. Busting a knee and missing your entire first season will do that to you. But then again, even after Greg Oden did the same, people couldn't stop talking about the Blazer big man.
Maybe that's actually good thing for Griffin.
But after taking almost a full year off from real competitive basketball activity, Griffin returned to the court last night in the Clippers' first preseason game. His line won't wow you - nine points, seven rebounds, five turnovers in 22 minutes - but keep in mind, this was his first night back. He can tell us that he wasn't thinking about the knee and that the mental part of returning from injury is past him, but on his first night back on the hardwood, surely he was thinking about it.
Here's the thing though: Griffin is back. He's completely healthy. His explosiveness is there, his lateral quickness is there and his ridiculous ability for a 6'10, 265-pound beast, is there.
The best description you can give Griffin on the basketball court is an animal. If he were a defensive end, every analyst would talk endlessly about his motor. They'd talk about how he never quits on plays. He lays it all out on the court and though last night's affair against the Blazers was a meaningless preseason game, that signature Griffin energy, hustle and desire was there.
While other rookies like John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins are raising more eyebrows, Griffin quietly had a decent comeback night. It wasn't anything spectacular and it wasn't a box score line that made you take notice. But if Griffin showed anything last night, it's that you'll be reminded of his presence often this year. It's hard to overlook a player of his caliber for too long.
ON THE OTHER HAND, TWO ROOKIES WHO HAVEN'T BEEN VERY IMPRESSIVE
Al-Farouq Aminu, Clippers - Whoa boy. Not the debut the rookie has been dreaming about. Eighteen minutes, one point, four turnovers, 0-3 from the field, zero rebounds, assists, blocks or steals. And he fouled out. Yikes and yikes.
Granted, not everyone should expect all rookies to have impressive performances their first time out on the NBA hardwood. There's a litany of factors. Nerves, preparation (or lack thereof), ignorance - all of that and more can add up to a rookie crapping the bed in his first appearance.
Our future CBS friend Ben Golliver had this to say about Aminu: "You've heard of the 'deer in the headlights' look? This was more like a "'I'm standing underneath the meteor that created the Grand Canyon and both my legs are broken and uh oh it's about to hit me oowwwwwwww' look. Off the top of my head I can't think of another player who had his combination of physical potential and complete mental unpreparedness during the last four seasons."
Have I said "yikes" yet? Oh, twice already? That's probably a bad sign.
However, it's not like Aminu impressed new coach Vinny Del Negro much. Especially not to the point where Aminu is looking at real NBA playing time this year. While it's only preseason, this is a chance to shine, to make an impression. And Aminu definitely made one. Just not a good one.
Derrick Favors, Nets - Some good, some bad for the new Nets big man. I'm sure the Nuggets have a close eye on Favors right now and you can guarantee the Nets are hoping he showcases some serious skill.
And while his first game numbers aren't bad (14 points, nine rebounds, 6-8 from the floor in 20 minutes), his second game was a bit underwhelming (four points, five fouls, three turnovers, one rebound in 13 minutes). It's not that Favors didn't flash ability, it's just that he showed what rookies in his mold are like. Inconsistent.
Favors is a project and to expect him to translate his ridiculous athletic ability into something now is unrealistic. Sebastian Pruiti of NetsAreScorching put it well: "Derrick Favors struggled with fouls the entire night and fouled out in slightly more than 12 minutes of playing time. I didn’t see the game, but I am guessing that Favors got pump faked one or two times. Bad games are going to happen with a 19 year who is still learning. The key is for these bad games to take place less and less."
Exactly it. Favors isn't winning Rookie of the Year. He's part of a process and the more minutes he sees, the better it'll get.