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Chris Paul, Page 2

Instant Trade Analysis: Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers

I’ve always heard that the emotional, initial snap judgment that any person ever has is usually the most rational and sound reaction possible. That all being said, let’s get on with the tradition of MAMBINO’s instant analysis. Chris Paul has just been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers of Anaheim. Wow.

Clippers get: G Chris Paul
New Orleans gets: G Eric Gordon, F Al-Farouq Aminu, C Chris Kaman, Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 1st round draft pick

As a condition to the trade, Chris Paul has to opt-in to his 2012-2013 player option that will pay him roughly $18 million dollars. With the re-upping of DeAndre Jordan and the contract of Caron Butler, the Clippers are up chafing against the salary cap and no doubt making owner Donald Sterling sweat blood.

I see a couple ramifications of this trade, many of which make my heart sad. Let’s get on with them:


1) First and foremost, this makes David Stern right to block the Lakers-Houston-New Orleans deal last week as “owner” of the Hornets. I was so disgusted with myself for typing that that I just became one of the 99% and pepper-sprayed my own face.

The haul of Gordon and the first rounder alone is better than a Luis Scola/Lamar Odom/Goran Dragic/Kevin Martin package. I’ve watched Eric Gordon for years as a part of my hopeless NBA addiction (thus leading me to watch Clips games whenever the Lakers weren’t on) and I could see the guy morphing into a Brandon Roy type of two-guard. He loves playing defense, cutting to the rim, getting physical and has an almost unreasonable amount of confidence. However, even more versatile than Roy, Gordon is a reliable sharp shooter with a quick release.

With an expected starting lineup of Jarrett Jack – Eric Gordon – Trevor Ariza – Emeka Okafor – Chris Kaman, New Orleans will no doubt be one of the worst teams in the league. But with two lottery picks and a bunch of young guys with upside, I’d expect this team to be at least decent in 3 or 4 years, when they’ll probably be relocated to Seattle or Kansas City. Unlike the Lakers’ deal, this gives the team great assets going forward, as opposed to two front court players in their thirties and Kevin Martin, who has already proven he’s not a player to build around. David Stern knew there was a better deal to be had, stayed patient and he definitely got it. More pepper spray, please.

2) Clippers: This represents a huge gamble for the Clips. They raided their depth and gambled their future on a guard with a bad knee supporting a front court star with equally bad knees (is this just word for word the same post as last week?). In giving up Gordon, Aminu and what is sure to be a top 10 pick in a loaded draft, the Clippers are in ultimate “win-now” mode. They have two years to convince Chris Paul and Griffin to stay (Paul will be an unrestricted free agent and Blake will have the right to sign a long term extension), and every single move they make has to be of the right now kind. The margin for error is slim, and I’m sure Paul and Blake are thinking that anything other than a playoff series win (or maybe two) is not acceptable.

Their starting lineup on Christmas Day will most likely look something like this:

PG Chris Paul
SG Chauncey Billups
SF Caron Butler
PF Blake Show
C DeAndre Jordan
Bench: G Mo Williams, G Randy Foye, G Eric Bledsoe, F Ryan Gomes, F Brian Cook

This leaves the Clips razor thin upfront, with their next best front court options being Ryan Gomes (who’s 6’7″) and Brian Cook, who hasn’t had a re… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers

I’m writing this at 7:00 pm on Thursday night. I am still at work. I have had 40 minutes to process this trade. I figure in a moment where I can’t feel anything besides the keys beneath my fingers and the burn of the computer screen on my corneas, it’d be the best time to write this post. Please everyone keep in mind that I’m still in mild shock. I actually can’t even see the screen right now. I think I’ve developed cataracts.

Preliminary versions of this trade work as follows:

Los Angeles gets: G Chris Paul
Houston gets: F Pau Gasol
New Orleans gets: F Lamar Odom, F Luis Scola, G Goran Dragic and G Kevin Martin

I’ve read from multiple sources that this trade will involve a draft pick or two, which I imagine will either be going to the Lakers or perhaps from the Rockets to the Hornets.

As it is, I don’t like this deal. What the Lakers are essentially doing is throwing a grenade into a building that housed two NBA titles and three Western Conference championships, with a chance for another title this and next year. This was a winning squad, who in my opinion, simply ran out of gas in the playoffs last year. They needed a new voice in the locker room, and a some small tweaks to change what has been proven to be a championship core. The more I looked back on last season, I realized that the disgraceful way in which the Mavericks ousted the Lakers from the playoffs could be the spark that would bring back the hunger and motivation the team had after losing to the Celtics in game 6 and then a year later the vengeful drive they had to defeat that very same team in the Finals.

In trading two of their key pieces, more specifically two of the big men that made the Lakers such an unorthodox and difficult team to defeat, Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak and the rest of LA’s front office are simply turning the team into a very ordinary NBA squad. The old adage is that you never trade “big for small”. We didn’t just break that rule, we burned that son of a bitch to the ground.

For as passive and terrible as he was in the playoffs last year, Pau Gasol quite aptly lived up to his moniker of most skilled big man in the league. After years of disappointment, Lamar Odom turned a corner last year made “the most versatile player in the league” more than just a catchy label. We traded these two for a 6’ guard with bad knees, albeit a 6’ guard with bad knees who happens to be the best point guard in the league.

If we were to leave the team as is and not go any further, the Lakers front office is essentially saying that they want to build around a 24 year old guard in Chris Paul and a 24 year old center in Andrew Bynum. Considering our core for next year would be Gasol, Odom, Kobe, Derek Fisher and Metta World Peace – all of which are above to well-above 30 – this is, in theory, a sound move. The Lakers are trying to open up their window for another 6 to 8 seasons. A commendable, ballsy, but commendable move. The Lakers, specifically the Buss family, have never been shy about making franchise changing and unpopular moves in order to remain forward thinking – the Shaquille deal comes to mind – and this trade is no different.

On it’s own, this is an awful trade for the Lakers. LA is left without any depth at center, with the only dependable big being a center who has missed nearly 1/3 of games in his career. While Paul fills a void at point that the squad sorely needs, Lamar’s exit calls Devin Ebanks into duty off the bench and Pau’s absence makes Derrick Caracter a rotation player. If that sentence looked terrible, it’s because I just took off my shoe and threw it at the comput… Read more...

Burning Question #16: Dwight, Deron, CP3: Who gets traded?

Everybody loves a good rumor. In every scenario, the thought of something possibly happening always gets us amped up. The NBA is no different. Rumors have percolated about everyone and everything for as long as we can remember, but the uber-rumor era started rather recently:

Where is LeBron James going?
-Is he going to re-sign with Cleveland?
-What about New York? He loves the big city and Nike will pay him more money!
-I heard he wants to play with D-Rose!
-How come he hasn’t re-signed with Cleveland yet!?
-Who the eff is “Worldwide Wes” and why are we talking about him?
-“I will be talking to LeBron James.” -Amar’e Stoudemire, after signing with the Knicks
-WHY ISN’T LEBRON ANSWERING DAN GILBERT’S PHONE CALLS!?
-Huh? He’s meeting with the Clippers?
-“Wade resigns with Miami, brings Bosh with him.” Okay, so the Heat are out of the sweepstakes.
-Wait, they’re not? :(

Of course we all know that this led to “The Decision,” but the rumor mill hasn’t stopped. All of last year, the media preyed on Carmelo Anthony’s impending trade to YOUR New York Knicks. This year, we have three sets of rumors. Three contracts with the dreaded opt-out provision. Three players who want to defeat the trio in Miami. So who gets traded?

Why is this even a question?

I would have skipped this section were it not for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. My whole intro basically told you why this is a Burning Question, but to get you more in tune with my noise, the new CBA will affect all trades, as follows:

Trade Percentage Rule:
Before this season, the number to remember was 125. If a trade involved putting at least one of the involved teams over the salary cap, that team could only acquire players whose current year salaries were no more than 125% + $100,000 of the current year salaries of the players that team was shipping out. (Hypothetical example: BockerKnocker plays for the Knicks and earns a salary of $15 million. KOBEsh plays for the Lakers and earns a salary $490K, the league minimum. If the Lakers want to acquire BK, and doing so would put them over the cap, they would have to add more players to the deal so the salaries would abide by the 125 percent rule.) This season, the 125 percent rule remains in effect for teams that are so far over the salary cap that they pay a luxury tax. However, if a team is over the cap, but not in the luxury tax window, a new 140 percent rule will go into effect.

How does this affect Dwight, Deron, and CP3? Glad you asked.

DWIGHT
Orlando has approximately $75 million committed in player salaries for the upcoming season. This is above both the cap ($58 million) and the luxury tax threshold ($70 million). However, unless ownership re-ups their dosage of crazy pills, The Albatross Formerly Known As Gilbert Arenas will be taken off Orlando’s books as a result of the Amnesty Clause (wherein a team can shed one contract off of their books). If Arenas’ $19M figure is amnestied, then Orlando would be under the cap. As a result, any team that wants to land Dwight won’t be forced into giving the Magic as many “filler” players just to abide by the 125 percent rule. Ultimately, this could shift leverage away from the Magic, as teams will want to pry Dwight for about 50 cents on the dollar.

DERON
New Jersey has a ridiculous amount of cap space, with only $39 million committed to players for 2011-12. The number will drop even lower if they decide to use the Amnesty Clause on the Mambino-hated Travis Outlaw, who sports a nifty $7 mRead more...