Clippers: Was the Chris Paul trade good for the team?
Since being drafted by the Hornets as the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft, Paul has a career average of 18.7 points and 9.9 assists a game.
When he made the all-star team last season for the fourth time, former Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy told The Times in a video interview that Paul is a "great floor general, playmaker, he can get into the paint, he can score, great steals guy and a great leader."
Though Paul is undoubtedly one of the league's superstars, did the Clippers give up a bit too much to get him?
The Clippers acquired Paul Wednesday evening from the Hornets in exchange for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and the unprotected No. 1 draft pick they had received from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Gordon, who averaged 22.3 points last season, is one of the top five shooting guards in the league. Initial reports had said the Clippers were unwilling to part with him. Kaman is a solid yet unspectacular center who averaged 12.4 points and seven rebounds last season, and Aminu is a second-year forward who averaged 5.6 points in 18 minutes a game as a rookie.
While the Clippers lost some scoring power, they gained a backcourt that people are whispering could be better than the Lakers'. Imagine Paul gliding down the court, finding Blake Griffin in the paint, and dishing him the perfect pass. DUNKKKKKKKKKKKK.
But it could be a quick fix.
Paul, who has said he'll pick up his contract option for the 2012-13 season, could depart as a free agent after that, leaving the Clippers with a gaping hole.
It's an interesting move that has brought a once-flailing franchise an inordinate amount of buzz. But in order for the trade to change the basketball pecking order in Los Angeles, the Clippers must realize immediate success.
-- Melissa Rohlin
Photo: Chris Paul. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times