Clippers have successfully traded for superstar point guard Chris Paul. The trade was finally allowed by commissioner David Stern. Hornets seemed to be receiving a better deal than that of the Lakers trade. The pieces they will be acquiring in the transaction; Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Minnesota’s first round pick. Expect the Hornets to flip Kaman for another pick or younger players. Also expect the first round pick to be in the top 5. This trade seemed better off for the Hornets future as well as being more attractive for a potential buyer of the team.
If the Clippers are able to get Chris Paul to sign an extension at the end of the year, they are making out very well in this trade. Sure they gave up skilled and youthful players along with a potential #1 pick, but players like Chris Paul don’t just grow on trees. Lets not forget how he took the Lakers to 6 games last year with Trevor Ariza and Arron Gray at Center.
Rajon Rondo - Chris Paul - Much better overall point guard. Can create space to get shot off if needed. Has the capability to take over games by himself. Leads league in steals by 200. Leads league in lobs for alley oops. Much better 3 point and free throw shooter.
Ray Allen - Chauncey Billups - Billups will have to get used to playing the 2 guard slot. He played some 2 guard at Denver alongside Ty Lawson but not nearly as long as Ray Allen. Nod will have to go to Ray on this one. Most 3 pointers in NBA history. Been playing the 2 spot all his life and is arguably the best player in the league at moving without the ball. Will be much more comfortable and successful than Chancey as a shooting guard.
Paul Pierce - Caron Butler - Pierce is still one of the best in the league at creating his own shot. Very clutch player and better in all assets of the game. Skeptical of Butler after season ending knee injury.
Kevin Garnett - Blake Griffin - Garnett is 13 years older than Griffin. Sure, Kevin has a much stronger basketball IQ than Blake, but it doesn’t make up for the amount of brute physical strength Blake possesses. He will be a much better defensive presence due to having a year of experience under his belt. He will not be in as much foul trouble now knowing how far he can push the limits defensively in the NBA. Expect his free throw % to increase now that he was able to work on shooting all summer rather than rehab for his knee.
Jermaine O’neal - Deandre Jordan - Again comes down to physical ability rather than basketball IQ. Blake referred to this season to be “lob city”, and Deandre is going to be part of the fun. Throw it near the rim and he is going to slam it. Expect his block numbers to increase a dramatic amount. He’s got too much physical talent not to be blocking at least 2.5 shots a game this season.
The Clippers look to have a stronger starting lineup. They are certainly going to be a run and gun team as well as run solid half court sets. The simple pick and roll with Chris and Blake will give opposing teams nightmares.
Does this mean Clippers have a better team that the Celtics? No. Lets not forget about Jeff Green (arguably a starter on most teams, coming off the C’s bench). The Celtics coaching staff is also much stronger because they contain more playoff experience than the Clippers. When it all boils down, Doc Rivers drawing up a play for the savvy veterans on the Celtics is much more reliable than Vinny Del Negro relying on Chris Paul or Blake Griffin to win the game.