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Report: Chris Paul to Clippers deal submitted to league for approval

Dec 12, 2011, 10:07 AM EDT

Chris Paul AP

This is the power of Blake Griffin. Without him, we are not having this discussion. And it’s pretty crazy we are having this discussion anyway.

The Los Angeles Clippers are close to landing Chris Paul in a trade, the Los Angeles Times and ESPN report.

ESPN reports the deal has been submitted to the league for approval, although the exact players going back to New Orleans are not quite clear.

The Times says the deal sends Chris Kaman, Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu, and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ unprotected first-round pick for this draft (the Clippers have the rights to that pick) to New Orleans. ESPN reports that Eric Gordon, not Bledsoe, is in the deal, which makes way more sense for the Hornets, but that the holdup is that the Hornets wanted Bledsoe as well. Yahoo reports that Gordon is not part of the deal.

If Gordon is not part of this deal, it is a steal for the Clippers. There are reports Los Angeles is refusing to include Gordon. Insert your own “basketball reasons” joke here.

ESPN says Paul agreed to the Clippers’ demand and would pick up his option on his current deal for the 2012-13 season. The Hornets are trading him because he would not pick up that option for them and was to become a free agent.

With the option picked up, he would be a Clipper for two seasons, then could re-sign or become a free agent.

Paul was to be traded to the Lakers in a three-way deal that frankly might have netted more for the Hornets. In that deal they would have landed sixth man of the year Lamar Odom, plus Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and a lower first-round pick than the Timberwolves’ pick is likely to be. However, David Stern rejected that deal for “basketball reasons.”

That’s not true. Stern shot it down because other owners freaked out to learn the powerhouse, big-market Lakers were going to land a superstar player after a lockout where small-market owners fought to rein in those big market teams. This was about the Lakers getting better.

The other owners don’t really care if the big-market-but-cheap Clippers get better, so this deal probably will go through. So Clippers owner Donald Sterling — a man who has a terrible history as an owner, a guy who paid out the largest federal housing discrimination lawsuit settlement in history, a guy who has made the Clippers a laughingstock in pro sports — can do what he wants, but Jerry Buss cannot because he’s smart and successful running a team? Nice.

The Clippers’ package would net the Hornets younger players, but not as much quality. The unprotected first-round pick could be big in a deep draft expected next June and Eric Gordon is a star on the rise — but apparently he is not part of the offer, which is crazy the Hornets should be demanding him. It’s hard to see how Eric Bledsoe can really hold up this deal.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Gordon and the much better pick make this deal far superior for the Hornets in the long-term.

    • bparmalee - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      Lets not forget that Gordon is in the last year of his deal. So if he wont sign long term (I think we know that answer) the deal is really Aminu and a good 1st round pick.

  2. jbthedon - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Clippers giving up too much

  3. narrabeen23 - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    if they aren’t giving up gordon, the Clip will be ridiculous

    • adamthompson24 - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:46 AM

      If the Clips aren’t giving up Gordon and this goes through, the league is ridiculous….

  4. bozosforall - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:23 AM


  5. captainwisdom8888 - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    So why weren’t the owners screaming and doing backflips when Miami was assembling an allstar team last year?

  6. phintasm - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Wow, Kurt. Bitter much? It’s painfully obvious that you’re Lakers fan, but how about just a little objectivity. This is ProBasketballTalk and not LakersTalk, right?

  7. adamthompson24 - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    This whole thing is a circus at this point. Really, the league looks terrible no matter what happens w/ Paul now. If Gordon AND the unprotected 1st rounder are included, then okay, the league maintained their stance. But if it’s just Aminu, Bledsoe, Kaman, and the first rounder, it’s clear that the league had their hand forced by the small market teams crying over the Lakers getting Paul. Which is ridiculous…and sad…and collusion. Just because you are getting young players doesn’t mean they’re actually going to be GOOD players…which is why teams are supposed to make their own decisions, so that idiots like Gilbert pay for their terrible personnel decisions (see Larry Hughes/Antwan Jamison over Amare Stoudemire, Shaquille O’Neal, etc to keep Lebron happy).

  8. jdd428 - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Punctuate much, Kurt? You usually need an apostrophe to indicate a possessive:

    “… and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ unprotected first round pick …”
    “… Paul agreed to the Clippers’ demand …”
    “The Clippers’ package …”

  9. cantonbound13 - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    He’ll be a Knick or Laker in 2 years.

    • klownboy - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      My money is on the Lakers, now that my Knicks have signed Tyson Chandler

  10. klownboy - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Meanwhile, memo to Stern and the small-market crew: stay out of this trade!!!

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