NBA MegaTrade: Chris Paul Headed to the Clippers

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 24: NBA player Chris Paul celebrates Nickelodeon's largest ever Worldwide Day of Play at the Ellipse on September 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

Chris Paul is headed to the Los Angeles Clippers. After weeks of tug-of-war between the league, the Hornets, and various suitors, the Clippers finally put together a deal with which David Stern was happy.

Chris Paul Traded to the Clippers | CBS Sports

The trade that got him is very similar to the one previously reported, but in that trade proposal the league wanted both Eric Gordon AND Eric Bledsoe to go to New Orleans. The Clippers held fast, and by adding Chauncey Billups to the lineup alleviated their need to hold onto Gordon. The Clippers gave up much, but not too much.

The key for Paul going to the Clippers was that he agreed not to opt out of his current contract, which means that LA will have the Paul and Blake Griffin duo for at least two seasons. If the team can make a major push into the playoffs, such success could potentially lead to Paul signing a contract extension there.

Steve Perrin at Clips Nation is having a wonderful day, writing:

Are Paul and Griffin the best point guard/power forward combination since Stockton and Malone?

Well, they haven't actually played a game together yet, so it's way too early to say anything like that, but they certainly could be. Chemistry remains to be seen, but Paul is the best point guard of this generation, and Griffin has a chance to be the best power forward of his. Provided the pieces fit together well (and it's hard to imagine they wouldn't) they have a chance to be a combo for the ages.

Meanwhile, At the Hive:

The Hornets absolutely made the best out of a bad situation by getting this deal done. The trade gives them 1) a young star in Gordon who is under contract for at least two more seasons, 2) a wing player in Aminu who has loads of potential, 3) a solid big man in Kaman in the final year of his contract who could potentially be dealt to a contender for other assets near the trade deadline, and 4) the draft pick of Minnesota's which will almost certainly be a top-10 pick, hopefully even top-5.

What does the deal mean for the Hornets in the short-term? Unfortunately, it'll be a rough year or two for this team in the standings. By making this trade, though, New Orleans set itself up very nicely to hit the ground running on its rebuilding process. This trade is just the first phase in what is likely to be a series of moves by the Hornets' front office in order to properly position the team to succeed in the long-term.

In the current NBA landscape, it is difficult to pull off a trade that genuinely helps both teams, but I do believe this trade can qualify. The Clippers get a bona fide elite player, the kind who can help Griffin and company go deep into the playoffs. Despite the loss of some good young talent, the addition of Paul also makes it easier for the Clippers to attract talent in the off-season.

For the Hornets, they made the best of a difficult situation by adding cheap young talent and the promise of hope for the future, which will do well as the league works to sell its franchise.

As Addande writes at ESPN, These aren't the Clippers anymore. Everything has changed.

Well, one thing hasn't. The Thunder are still waiting in the wings, and the rivalry between OKC and Oklahoma's favorite son (Griffin) just got a bit saucier.

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