Chauncey Billups doesn't reopen door to Clippers' Chris Paul deal
Rumors are swirling Tuesday that the Clippers' signing of Chauncey Billups on Monday means they have a better chance of acquiring Chris Paul in a reconfigured deal with the New Orleans Hornets.
Ken Berger of CBSsports.com says signing Billups allows the Clippers to include point guard Eric Bledsoe in the deal, which would make the trade more attractive to NBA Commissioner David Stern. The NBA owns the Hornets while the league searches for a new owner.
Various reports said that in the original deal, the Clippers would have sent center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and a 2012 first-round draft pick for Paul. The Hornets wanted shooting guard Eric Gordon, which was too much for the Clippers to part with.
The Times' Brad Turner says the deal is dead, and the two teams are not talking.
Whatever happens, the league has painted itself into a corner with Paul, with its constant refusal of deals making it look more and more like the team will just lose him to free agency after the season.
So Clippers fans, it looks like you won't be getting Paul, but for once the buzz surrounding the Clippers in the off-season is equal to or surpassing the buzz surrounding the Lakers. And how many times has that happened?
-- Houston Mitchell
Photo: Chris Paul during last season's playoffs. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.