The Clippers better hope David Stern likes their team because if it comes down to it, he’ll have a huge say in whether or not they get the best point guard in the game to possibly ignite the next Gary Payton/Shawn Kemp oop combo. ESPN is reporting Chris Paul likes the Clippers if he can’t ever get to the Knicks or Lakers, and luckily for L.A. they have a ton of assets that should please Stern, Dan Gilbert and anyone else who wants to complain. They have expiring contracts (Chris Kaman), draft picks (a possibly top three-five pick in a loaded June draft) and talent. The major question mark though is will they be willing to give up Eric Gordon? Sources are saying they are leaning to yes after saying for a week or so that there would be no way Gordon doesn’t stick with them. And they better, because knowing Stern’s direction, they WILL be expecting one of the best young players in the game in return. For our sake – seriously, CP throwing lobs to Blake Griffin? – we hope they do it. The Clippers are rumored to be the frontrunner to get Paul, according to Marc Stein. It’s going to be amusing when a trade is approved bringing CP and Griffin together that isn’t nearly as good as what New Orleans should’ve gotten on Thursday night … As for the other team mentioned prominently with CP, the Warriors just signed DeAndre Jordan to an offer sheet worth four years, $43 million. The Clippers plan to match it though. Weirdly, Jordan is a big factor in all this Paul stuff. First, supposedly Paul really likes the idea of playing with Jordan because he sees a little bit of Tyson Chandler in him. That, along with his great relationship with Blake Griffin, are major reasons why the Clips will probably match that offer (Jordan is First Team All-NBA when it comes to making star friends). As for the Warriors, if they did get him for this price, it would basically knock Golden State out of the Paul sweepstakes … Stern is probably praying for an easy resolution to all this. But Deron Williams can’t wait for it all to end, calling Stern a bully repeatedly this weekend: “He knows he’s a bully, ain’t no secret,” Williams told reporters Sunday. “I think everybody knows that.” … We don’t think too many Laker fans expected this. They were probably planning for Chris Paul, perhaps Dwight Howard, by the end of the weekend. Instead Lamar Odom is now a member of the enemy, and the Lakers have themselves a draft pick (and possibly more draft considerations)… and a trade exception. After hour upon hour of negotiations, the Lakers withdrew from the CP talks, tired of hearing they just didn’t have what New Orleans needed and instead – in what basically amounted to a salary dump – sent Odom to the Mavericks. We’re betting Cuban isn’t complaining about the direction of the league now, or whining about lopsided trades. So now L.A. will set their sights on Dwight Howard (who says his trade request comes because he doesn’t like working with Magic GM Otis Smith), and should have a decent shot of bringing him to Hollywood. ESPN reports Orlando will ask for Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol … As for Dallas, all those question about them not re-signing any of their core free agents aren’t being aired as loudly anymore. They’ve done a pretty good job so far this offseason to bring in some talent while also keeping themselves in position to make an even bigger move next summer. Odom seems happy to be there (and actually requested for a trade because he was so hurt from being shopped), and could be a killer playing next to Dirk. We’re just not sure how he’ll hold up without a beach around … The Lakers better have some big tricks up their sleeve after this one though because Kobe is heated. Really pissed. He said all sorts of things about the deal to the media, and none of them were positive. Bryant said he wasn’t happy Odom – whom he calls one of the most important locker room leaders the Lakers had – was gone, and that it’s even worse he’s going to one of their rivals, the team that beat them last season. Bryant told Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times about Odom’s foray into TV: “He had his best season last year. It clearly wasn’t a distraction. He played his ass off.” … Keep reading to hear about the one team everybody is overlooking in the East …
Smack / Dec 12, 2011 / 12:00 am
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