Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have focused their middle market superstar thievery on Dwight Howard, the New Orleans Hornets still need to find a taker for Chris Paul while maintaining a certain level of franchise value for attracting a new owner. It turns out that the Hornets have found that suitor and Paul will be going to L.A. after all. But now he’s going to be a Clipper, which means celebrities are going to be very confused about which L.A. team to pretend that they like.
The Hornets would receive much-needed size in 7-0 center Chris Kaman (12.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg), a promising second-year point guard in Eric Bledsoe (6.7 ppg, 3.6 apg, 1.1 spg), an athletic second-year small forward in Al-Farouq Aminu (5.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and the Clippers’ unprotected 2012 draft pick via the Minnesota Timberwolves.
(Via USA Today)
Aside from that Minnesota draft pick, which I assume will be a lottery pick, this deal is incredibly underwhelming to me, but people seem to be very high on Bledsoe, so it is what it is. There was actually some confusion between ESPN and Yahoo! over which Eric was involved in the deal, as the Worldwide Leader claimed that Eric Gordon was heading to New Orleans, but Adrian Wojnarowski says that’s not the case and it is just Bledsoe.
Paul has been very clear about which teams he would sign an extension with – basically the Lakers or New York Knicks – but he said that he’ll pick up his option for the 2012-13, which means that we’ll get to see him passing to Blake Griffin for at least one season. And that’s one more year that Donald Sterling can tell people he has a new black employee, so everyone’s a winner.
UPDATE: ESPN just reported that David Stern will once again strike down this deal… for basketball reasons.
CONFUSING UPDATE NO. 2: Apparently the deal was Kaman, Al Faraq and Gordon, despite what Woj Tweeted.