The combination of Paul and Blake Griffin will make the Clippers not only a winning team but a major draw, but at what cost? Going to New Orleans for Paul will be quality big man and former All-Star Chris Kaman, second year and super-talented froward Al-Farouq Aminu, next year’s number one draft choice of the Timberwolves, and, yes, it’s true, star shooting guard Eric Gordon. Reportedly the Clippers will also get two future second round draft choices.
The deal leaves the Clipper backcourt with four point guards, Paul, the recently acquired Chauncy Billups, Eric Bledsoe, and last year’s stupid acquisition, Mo Williams, and no NBA-caliber starting shooting guard.
It also leaves the team perilously thin in the big-man department, with no backup at center for DeAndre Jordan, and only Brian Cook behind Griffin. Just as the Lakers attempted to do, the Clippers gave up way to much for Paul and his questionable knee. The Lakers at least were operating under the belief that they could solve the problems a Paul trade would create by a second deal for Dwight Howard. The Clippers now bought themselves these problems with no easy solutions.
I would have to think that they feel Paul can play in the same backcourt with Billups or Williams, but that is a stretch. Did they acquire Paul with the intent of making him a pure shooting guard? Williams is not good enough a shot for that spot, and Billups’ strengths are in ball-handing and leadership, not consistent shooting (41.3% lifetime), and at 35, are they going to teach an old dawg new tricks?
The Clippers will be a winning team with their current roster, but are yet a far cry from a championship-caliber team. 11 days until the start of the season, and both the Lakers and Clippers have major problems to address.