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.
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:
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.