Things just became a lot more interesting with the Chris Paul sweepstakes. Paul is now very open to opting into his final year of his contract if he’s traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
This is big news because the trade demands of the Hornets are large. It’s speculated and widely reported that Dell Demps and the NBA wants 2-First Round picks, Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, Al Farouq Aminu and Chris Kaman‘s expiring deal. That’s a lot to boot and the Clippers are only willing to give that up if Chris Paul is willing to stay with them “long term.” Here’s some information:
ESPN.com reported late Saturday that the Clippers had emerged as the “early front-runner” in the race to land Paul after the frustrated Lakers finally withdrew from three-team talks with the Hornets and Houston Rockets. One source close to the situation said Sunday that New Orleans has asked the Clippers for Gordon, Chris Kaman, Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminuand at least two future first-round picks in exchange for Paul.
— ESPN’s Marc Stein
This is big news for the Hornets because it might allow them to effectively rebuild, but who knows how long that will take. This deal will be contingent on the Hornets getting youthful talent and picks, it seems like that may be possible.
For the Clippers it would mean they would now have two building blocks for a championship. Looking into the future the 2013 free-agent class looks amazing. The problem however has been and always will be owner Donald Sterling. It’s been noted several times that Sterling has little desire to go for a championship, content with pocketing dollars. But with the potential and lucrative prospect of building a stronger brand that competes deep into the playoffs, he may now have no choice but to throw cash at his employees who play the game.