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Report: Chris Paul would play for Clippers, but there are hitches

Dec 11, 2011, 11:52 PM EDT

Chris Paul AP

Chris Paul is not going to the Lakers, they pulled out of the running for him. He’s not going to get traded to the Knicks, even Paul realizes they don’t have the young assets to make the move (even if some Knicks fans don’t).

If he can’t land there, he wouldn’t mind playing along side Blake Griffin for the Los Angeles Clippers, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com.

But it’s not that simple.

To make the deal work the Clippers are likely going to have to throw in Eric Gordon and/or Minnesota’s unprotected first round pick for this draft (to which the Clippers have the rights), along with Chris Kaman, Eric Bledsoe and Al-Farouq Aminu. Steep price, but not an unfair one.

But the Clippers are not going to pay that price without some assurances from Paul.

The Clippers know Paul is going to want to play out his contract and sign as a free agent even if he doesn’t change teams (under the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, if he gets an extension it can only be for four years but if he becomes a free agent then re-signs with the same team he can get five years).

What the Clippers want Paul to do right after the trade is pick up his option year for next season. This would give him one more year guaranteed under his current deal, then he would be a free agent in the summer of 2013.

When presumably the Clippers think they could sign him. This is where Donald Sterling the Clippers owner being a guy nobody likes comes in. Maybe Griffin and Paul can change the complexion of the Clippers on the court, but there is still one problem looming — Sterling. And if you think that what an owner does doesn’t reach into the locker room you underestimate Sterling. Or you don’t remember Sterling heckling Baron Davis while Davis was still a Clipper.

Still, this is a move the Clippers have to make, if they can get Paul to give them that year.

  1. david8726 - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    If Bucher’s twitter is to be believed, Paul would agree to pick up that 2012-13 option.

    If that’s true, then yeah, the Clippers have to find a way to do this.

    This is the moment every NBA franchise spends years working toward – A chance to pair multiple top-tier stars together and become a possible contender.

    • snoopy2014 - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:29 AM

      I agree. But I’ve heard a lot of Clips fans who don’t want to include Gordon for Paul (though some want to include him for Howard). It all comes down to how much you believe in Gordon’s potential (definitely a phenomenal player already), but as good as he is, I just don’t think risk losing out on a guy like Chris Paul. Paul’s vision is truly extraordinary.

      • david8726 - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:51 AM

        Yea, I agree.

        I think Gordon is a very good player, but he’s not a star. He’s certainly nothing like Chris Paul, who almost stole and MVP award from Kobe a few years ago.

        I feel like Gordon is a guy who would be a great third option on a championship team. But he’s not a true building block. So, while it sucks for Clippers fans to possibly lose a guy who they’ve become attached to over the course of three years, but if he nets your Chris Paul, it’s worth it.

  2. bparmalee - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    As a fan I would love to see Paul and Griffin on the same team for a few years. I hope they can keep Gordon. I mean its not like the Hornets could ever get him to resign with them anyways… so why not take the Wolves draft pick instead.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:49 AM

      because the Wolves draft pick isn’t as good as you think it’s going to be.

      66 game schedule with the back to back to back games, the wolves will be fresher than the older teams.

      have added derrick williams and ricky rubio and a competant head coach who won’t bench k love in a close game.

      Sure they may not be 33-33 but i think 25 wins is reasonable which won’t be top 4 at least

      • bparmalee - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:56 AM

        We disagree on that. When your go to guy is Beasley… who took more shots last year than Dirk… you are a bad team. I mean if Derrick Williams really goes off I could see that. They have a lot of spare parts on that team.. i still think top 5 pick. I hope they are better…. need more fun teams to watch.

      • david8726 - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:55 AM

        Rubio is a totally unknown quantity at the NBA level. The last I heard, he looked underwhelming in the European leagues. Maybe he’ll be good in the NBA but it’s not a sure thing.

        Derrick Williams is going to need to be amazing to save that team from having a bottom 10 record.

        Like Bparmalee said, you can’t downplay how bad your situation is when Beasley has been your go to guy.

  3. philliesnuts - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    if they’re giving up all the assets, why wouldn’t the clippers just do a sign-and-trade for the max?

  4. seattlesuperchronic - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Griffin and Paul? SCHWING!

  5. trbowman - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    There’s no way this can work out. They’re the Clippers. Even if they were to get Paul, something would go very, very wrong.

    • david8726 - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:58 AM

      Normally, I would agree with you.

      But, Blake Griffin might be so awesome that he’s actually able to reverse that karma. It already seems to be happening.

      That guy has such an awesome aura about him. His enthusiasm is infectious. I feel like he could break any sports curse.

  6. max20characters - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    A loaf of bread and some toast can beat the Clippers… C’mon now.

  7. chadinkc30 - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:54 AM

    He’s gonna sign with Lakers or Knicks after the season, its obvious to me, and the clips should be very cautious…

  8. thegonz13 - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    Why don’t the Clippers also trade Sterling?

    • snoopy2014 - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:58 AM

      Basketball reasons

  9. cornersportsnet - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    What the hell paul sign long term in clipper land .smae place where the owner talks bad about his players,and there history of losing is chris paul crazy dont see it happening

  10. sterko - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Clip it, Hang it, Klitch it!

    Get a Klitch!

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