Sheridan on Chris Paul trade: No winners, only losers

One week after the infamous David Stern veto, the Chris Paul trade is finally getting done.

It makes the Hornets infinitely worse in the short term than they would have been if they had done the original trade, but it gives them the hope that they’ll have two high lottery picks in next June’s stocked NBA draft to allow them to start rebuilding, Oklahoma City-style. That, however, will take years.

If the original trade had gone down, the Hornets would be starting Emaka Okafor at center, Luis Scola at power forward, Lamar Odom or Trevor Ariza at small forward, Kevin Martin at two guard and Jarrett Jack or Goran Dragic at the point. That right there would have been a team that contended for a playoff spot.according to Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

The team they’re going to have now?

It might be the worst team in the NBA (although they have re-signed Carl Landry, . And that is not going to make the Hornets attractive to a potential buyer, or to the season-ticket holders the franchise has been so desperate to recruit — a subject I discussed this morning on WIST-Am radio in New Orleans (click to listen).

Now let’s turn to the Clippers.

Chris Paul might be the best player on that team right now, but he also might not be. That’s because the Clips also have Blake Griffin, who at this point can be considered more of a lock for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team than Paul (although both will probably make it).

After you get past those two, who are the Clippers third- and fourth-best players? One could argue that they are Mo Williams and Chauncey Billups, who will now be splitting time out of position at shooting guard instead of their natural position at the point. (No, I am not a big Caron Butler fan).

How good is a team with a starting five of Paul, Williams, Butler, Griffin and DeAndre Jordan? With Billups and Randy Foye/Ryan Gomes the best two or three players coming of the bench?

Probably a little better than the Hornets, but not good enough to be a playoff contender, IHMO (the subject of a spirited debate last night with myself and my Twitter followers).

So the verdict: Everybody lost in this trade, from Paul to the Hornets to the Clippers to the Lakers to the Rockets to the commissioner.

This whole ordeal has been an utter fiasco for everyone involved, but at least it’s over.

We’ll see you on the highlight reels, CP3, but we won’t be seeing you in the playoffs.

Before we get to the rest of this morning’s news, take 2 1/2 minutes to watch this warning video from

Meanwhile, the Dwight Howard situation has stalled in Orlando. At least that is what he Magic would have everyone believe.

The word I was getting yesterday is that Howard trade talks have been shelved until All-Star Weekend is complete.

But as I noted yesterday in print, and on the radio in Orlando, is that the winds are constantly changing direction in central Florida, and sportscaster David Pingalore (a good guy) is spouting his own version of “Don’t Believe the Hype.”

From Local 6 Sports Director David Pingalore has learned through two sources that Dwight Howard’s California-based agent, Dan Fegan, was at Amway Center Tuesday trying to get his client out of Orlando immediately. The two sources do confirm that Howard wants out of Orlando — and staying is not an option. Sources do confirm his agent continues to make that point each time he talks with Magic General Manager Otis Smith. Pingalore also learned that Howard’s flip-flopping of possibly staying with the Magic is a ploy to steer the criticism off of the All-Star center. The sources say Howard is growing tired of not yet being traded. Pingalore’s sources used the term that Fegan is “strong-arming” the Magic to make a trade, with Howard’s first choice being the New Jersey Nets. On Wednesday, a trade rumor on was nothing but a decoy stirred up by Howard’s agent, according to Pingalore’s sources. They confirm the so-called multi-team trade that would send Howard to New Jersey, and also involving Portland’s Gerald Wallace coming to Orlando, was made up by Fegan. … Smith said after practice,”We’re going to continue to talk to every team out there and that doesn’t mean anything is going to happen.” Pingalore’s sources say the Magic are not happy with Howard’s agent and that the Magic put out the leak about no more calls from teams. The sources described the Magic as digging “their heels in.” The sources also confirm that Smith has at least 15 trade requests he is dealing with from NBA teams. … The Lakers continue to be an option for Howard, however Pingalore’s sources confirm that the Lakers’ center, Andrew Bynum, may not be as attractive, because the Magic have learned Bynum’s knees are not healthy.

Meanwhile, after crossing the New York Knicks off his wish list, Jamal Crawford chose the Portland Trail Blazers over the Sacramento Kings.

That makes sense, as Sacramento has e-upped Marcus Thornton as their two-guard, whereas in Portland he would eventually be able to compete with Wes Matthews for the starting gig.

Ken Berger of CBSSports said Crawford got a two-year deal worth $10 million, with the second year a player option

From Jason Quick of the Oregonian:” Crawford, the 2010 Sixth Man of the Year with Atlanta, has narrowed his free agent choices to Portland and Sacramento, but he said Wednesday that he is torn between which team offers a better fit for his playing style, which needs a high-volume of shots and freedom to create plays. Crawford said he is interested in a short-term deal – preferably two years with a chance to opt out after one – and Sacramento is believed to have offered $6.5 million a season while Portland has come in at $5 million. “With Sacramento, it’s not just about the money,’’ Crawford said. “They have a lot of young talent, and I’m a big fan of Coach (Paul) Westphal. But with Portland, I feel I can really help in the backcourt by being another creator, another scorer. And I’ve known Nate (McMillan) since I was 16. I’m honestly torn.’’ According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, (Carl) Landry on Wednesday was offered a contract to stay in New Orleans, where he was traded to last February after three-plus seasons in Houston. His agent, Mark Bartelstein, told The Oregonian that the Blazers and Landry were “still talking” and that Landry would make a decision Thursday. If the Blazers were to sign either Crawford or Landry, they would need to have the mid-level exception, which is afforded to teams under the league’s tax threshold. In order to get under the threshold, the Blazers would need to waive Roy and his $15 million salary for this season under the league’s new amnesty clause. Friday is the deadline to use the amnesty provision for this season.”

From John Canzano of the Oregonian: “Sheesh, Jamal Crawford must have wanted a one-hour television special. You know, Jim Gray as host. ESPN shilling commercial spots. All that culminating with the NBA free agent announcing, “I’m taking my talents to Stumptown.” Forgive me, but while we were waiting for Crawford to choose between free-agent offers from Portland and Sacramento, I lost interest. Was the guy waiting for some input and a call back from Ms. Turkoglu or what? Don’t get me wrong. I like the move. Crawford is a nice guy by all accounts. Also, he can create his own shot. He can score. He’s not interested in playing defense, but Crawford takes big shots and can finish quarters and games with the ball in his hands. And Portland could use a player like that. Still, Portland needs more than $10 million worth of improvements to alter the course of the franchise. … The Blazers must realize an era ended this week. Brandon Roy retiredGreg Oden is likely gone after this season. Aldridge is all that’s left of the “Rule of Three” that one-time general manager Kevin Pritchard dreamed about. Someone hit the lights. And as much as I like the idea of renting Crawford for a single season, the thinking at One Center Court has to be much deeper than filling a roster spot with a mid-level exception. Gerald Wallace has an $11 million player option for next season that he will most certainly exercise. Marcus Camby ($9 million) and Raymond Felton ($7.5 million) have expiring contracts. Oden ($9 million) is expiring. Roy ($16 million in 2012-2013) has been destined for a date with amnesty that should happen before Friday’s deadline and remove him from the salary cap. And so Portland is looking at clearing a decent amount of cap space. The pursuit of Crawford tells us the Blazers are interested in getting better right now. Who could be against that? But what would be even more encouraging is a sign from the organization that it has a new plan. That it wants to hire a GM and be a major player in free agency next summer while also letting this band of expiring contracts (maybe, too, with Crawford around) go have fun for this shortened season.”

With Crawford out of the picture, the New York Knicks were battling their crosstown rivals, the Nets, for the services of Shawne Williams. But word came this morning from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News that Williams has chosen the Nets.

The Knicks had their $2.5 million room exception to offer, whereas the Nets are in a complete state of flux after waiting so long for the Howard drama to crest that they lost their opportunity to go after Nene, who has re-signed with Denver.

From Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News: With many holes to fill before a season opener just 11 days away, the Nets are looking to sign Andrei Kirilenko as the starting small forward, a league source told The News. Kirilenko, 30, is one of only two Russians in the NBA and has long been linked to the Nets because of owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who is running in Russia’s presidential election. Kirilenko, who played 10 seasons with the Jazz, is also a former teammate of Williams. … Signing Kirilenko could spell the end for small forward Travis Outlaw , who suffered a broken hand during the lockout and is a candidate for the amnesty clause. The Nets also need a power forward and are looking at re-signing Kris Humphries. … After practice, (coach Avery) Johnson said he had reversed his decision from Tuesday and will likely have to start newly signed Shelden Williams at power forward Saturday in the preseason opener against the Knicks. While he praised Williams, who ended last season as a Knick, for arriving prepared, Johnson admitted it is a tall task to put him in against a frontcourt that includes perennial All-Stars (Carmelo) Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. Looking at his personnel, however, Johnson concedes he lacks capable NBA bodies in the frontcourt. “I don’t have a lot of options,” Johnson said.

Only 10 shopping days left until Christmas.

And after today, there won’t be much left on the shelves.



  1. says

    LOL – having boys is such an extcniig thing, isn’t it?!! They are always thinking of these things to do that just are so “boyish”!!! I’m glad it came out okay – you’ll have to go to WalMart and get him a beanie – I think that’s what my son calls it. You know, those things all the guys think are so hip and cool – I only know that Toby Keith wears one. Is he hip and cool? Hmmm. . . . I like him, but I’m not hip and cool, so don’t know what this means. Okay, need to go to bed – I’m rambling and not making sense. Have a great week!!

  2. Jonathan says

    Shut out the lights in Portland? WT?

    Felton PG
    Crawford SG
    Matthews SF
    Wallace PF
    Aldridge C

    Small, but no push over by a long shot. With Camby coming in part time and maybe starting, you can push everyone else to their natural spot (Matthews 2, Wallace 3, Aldridge 4) with Crawford and Batum coming in off the bench. What’s not to like about that set-up?


    Nicole, I couldn’t agree with you more. She didnt even waste her time typing any more than that one line.



  4. DeeBasketballGuy says

    People are cheering and saying that David Stern got the best deal for CP3, but they are missing the bigger picture. Stern got the DEAL THAT HE WANTED.

    That’s the problem though… If you’re bidding against 2 competitors AND you have the power to veto their bids, how can you not get the deal that you want? Why should you be applauded when you have unlimited leverage and decide to use it unethically?

    One of the shadiest moments in NBA history… right up there with Tim Donaghy

  5. says

    If the Clippers don’t make the playoffs there was a serious injury. To think they are barely better than New Orleans, and worse than Utah is outright stupid. Chris this is honestly the dumbest thing you have said, there is no logic behind saying the Clippers won’t make the playoffs. Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan is a starting lineup with 4 guys who have been All-Stars in the last 5 years. Jordan is a Tyson Chandler type player (not nearly the defender, but same type of guy), and we already know what Chris Paul did for Tyson Chandler. Not too mention the Clippers are still $14M under the cap, they have another recent all-star in Mo Williams coming off the bench. Ryan Gomes, & Craig Smith are decent role players, and Eric Bledsoe is brimming with potential. Needless to say (unless we are apparently talking to you) this team is considerably more talented than any team Chris Paul has ever played on. And he has missed the playoffs exactly 0 times as a healthy player, despite that fact. It’s embarrassing that you said they won’t make the playoffs, because they will, and probably in the range of a 4-6 seed. Your going to look clueless at the end of the season, and your ability to predict how good a team is will be insignificant in the future to everyone who read this.

    • Mark says

      NBK: Chris was looking to get a controversial quote out there and drive up traffic. I’ll forgive him this time for not doing a detailed analysis and instead talking like a grade school kid. I understand the motivation.

      • says

        compromising the appearance of intelligent basketball analyses was not the right way too do this. If he continues to defend this position I won’t be reading anymore of this website or following him on twitter. This is embarrassingly stupid. If this Clippers team is healthy they are obviously a playoff team. I think Chris thinking the Hornets are a better team is proof enough of how great Chris Paul was last season. That is the least talented team in the NBA outside of Toronto & Charlotte. And it’s clear like it was Cleveland was the worst team in the league last season. And so many idiots thought they would compete for the playoffs. A few worked for ESPN, I’m really hoping Sheridan wasn’t one of them. If he was, and I noticed, I would never have wasted time reading this article here.

  6. Chris says

    I’m a big fan, mr. sheridan, but you sound ridiculous and, well, a lot of adjectives could be used, saying that the clippers are “Probably a little better than the Hornets.” How could you contend that a team with two superstars in their prime, three former all-stars, and an up-and-coming big man are “probably” better then a team you just said may have the worst lineup in the league? come on.

    • p00ka says

      In this internet world of outlandish gets hits ($), it’s sad that someone who shows signs of being a good read, plays these cards.

  7. illyb says

    Probably been said a billion times but how can a healthy CP3 NOT get the Clips into the playoffs? Am I missing something, didn’t he just do that with the Hornets? Blake > West, Aldridge > Okefor. Jack is about the same as Chauncy. I might have missed some other people of note.

    • illyb says

      I get that teams are different then the sum of the parts, but that is what is great about having CP3. He get’s the best out of his teammates.

  8. _tms says

    Let’s see who could beat them to a playoff spot. Dallas, okc, Memphis, lakers, spurs…well that’s about it. No way they miss the playoffs unless there is an injury

  9. John says

    This has to be the worst article I have ever read on this site. Sounds like it was written by a 12 years old Lakers fan. So sad.
    I don’t approve what Stern did but for Hornets this trade is MUCH better than the first one.

  10. Corneilus says

    I agree with u Chris 100%. The Clippers look better on paper, but they’re not a championship contender. Chauncey Billups can still hit big shots, but he’s aging and Caron Butler is recovering from a serious injury and he’s old btw. CP3 is injury prone btw. Don’t be suprised to see him in a Knicks or Lakers uniform after his contract is up. Eric Gordon will not sign with the Hornets long term. I recommend Microsoft buys the Hornets and moves it to Seattle. To the small market owners including Michael Jordan and Dan Gilbert: Stop whining and draft smarter

  11. PattyC says


    I applaud your move away from the corporation. We need more independent analysis.

    The problem with this post is it contains very thin analysis. Things could certainly go wrong for the Clips. They can’t play defense. Vinny is an unproven coach. Blake or Paul could get hurt. They overpaid for Caron. They are guard heavy and thin in the frontcourt.

    But to claim that they will be “a little better than the Hornets” seems a little contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. Where is your evidence? The starting lineup you named — CP3, Chauncey, Butler, Blake, and Jordan — seems pretty formidable. The leadership and experience of CP3 and Chauncey will help. I understand the Clips still have a little financial space to add some frontcourt depth. Is there another team with arguably two of the top 10 players in the league to miss the playoffs?

    The basic point: if you are going to make a bold statement, isn’t it better not to straw man the foil (in this case, the Clippers) and instead mobilize some shred of evidence to support your claims?

    Everybody is entitled to an opinion, but you claim to be an expert on basketball. This piece reads like it was written by an irrational and bitter Laker fan or maybe Stern’s ex-wife. Consequently, this first experience with your new site seems less independent analysis and more Simmons ego with a splash of Kardashian shamelessness.

    I hope your content improves in the future.

  12. Dave says

    Chris Paul carried New Orleans to the #7 seed. I think he’ll do that and more with Blake Griffin and the Clips.

    Not Chris Sheridan’s best work here…

  13. p00ka says

    Either whoring out for hits/ad$, as some have said, or stick to reporting and providing links, not lame journalism. Sheeeesh, sad.

  14. EJ2Hornets says

    No mention of Eric Gordon? What does this kid have to do to ever get mentioned? He won a gold medal for Team USA with his defense and 3pt stroke. He scored over 22 points per game last seaosn with the Clippers. The Hornets got themselves one heck of a player in Eric “EJ” Gordon.

  15. says

    let’s slow down the clippers need to PROVE they are the team on paper we could have another EAGLES team here all the talent with no sustance. and their COACH do we really believe he’s the guy. still MANY questions to be answered here

  16. Julien Rodger says

    “Probably a little better than the Hornets, but not good enough to be a playoff contender. Probably not even close.”

    Wow, we got the Time Person of the year and the Unofficial Dumbest Sports Quote of the year in the same day

  17. Mark says

    Chris: I understand your attempt to try and attract more viewers to the website. I get that. You might lose some based on a juvenile analysis above but it’s a game of numbers. As someone who started a business myself, I do hope it works for you.

    • Mark says

      What I meant by juvenile was this: declaring we won’t see CP3 in the playoffs is obviously an attempt to get quoted throughout the web and drive up traffic. I get that. But let’s look at reality. Look at the Hornets record the year Paul was hurt and the record the following year when he came back.

      If Paul is healthy, they will be a competitive team. Also, the Clips can still trade a guard for a big man off the bench.

  18. ignarus says

    So maybe I’m the only one remembering how Trevor Ariza decided not to sign with the Cavs because Lebron couldn’t promise him that he was coming back in free agency.

    Signing with the Hornets really didn’t work out much better. But I guess NO > Cleveland. It’s warmer at least.

  19. kantankruz says

    I’m starting to think Chris is starting to put out this crap to get hits on his site and inturn get more advertising revenue. While the lockout was going on, before he started to say that there will be a season (no Ad revenue), then he started to say (and get quoted saying) there will be a season, boom! Nokia, Movie ads etc start to pop up all over his site.

    • chamo says

      I agree this article is not very well thought out. But whether he was only saying there would be a season for advertising purposes or not, he was correct. When basically everybody else was predicting doom and gloom and a cancelled season, this site consistently predicted a season. And other than this article here, the reporting and insight have been pretty solid.

  20. Joel says

    Chris has been on the decline for a while now. After getting canned he did an awful job analyzing the lockout. His site is usually last to report on information and is no longer must read. Paul + Griffin > Westbrook + Durant. Jordan and Ibaka are close in production and potential. They have bledsoe and foye to dangle out as trade chips to try and find a real sg. They have youth and talent extreme potential and the best PG in the league. Blake will be a top 10 player this year and with paul feeding him the ball he can likely be close to a 30 ppg scorer.

  21. JorbotheBorb says

    You’ve got to be kidding me Chris.

    I took the top 6 in minutes played from both the Mavericks and Heat from last year and retrieved their PER:

    Dirk – 23.4
    Chandler – 18.4
    Marion – 17.0
    Terry – 15.9
    Barea – 14.8
    Kidd – 14.4
    MAVS AVERAGE: 17.32

    LeBron – 27.3
    Wade – 25.6
    Bosh – 19.4
    Chalmers – 10.3
    Jones – 11.1
    Anthony – 7.3
    HEAT AVERAGE: 16.83

    And now the Clippers:
    Paul – 23.7
    Griffin – 21.9
    Billups – 19.1
    Butler – 14.2
    Jordan – 14.8
    Williams – 14.0

    Not even in the playoffs? Please.

    • Steve says

      Yes, indeed, that’s some good talent. But too many point guards. Mo has a reasonable contract, if I recall correctly, and could probably bring back a little bigger 2/3 player. Keep Bledsoe for when Billups leaves next year.

    • fallen0987 says

      Wow good analysis Jorbo. Not sure why a person (sheridan) who spends all his time writing about basketball comes up with such a poor write up. The ESPN writers hate the Clips for some reason. It’s not like Chris has ever been wrong before. The season started on time right.

  22. LakersfanN°1 says

    You forgot the Clippers have Caron Butler.

    That’s a GREAT starting 5. Remember that first round series where the Hornets made it quite tough for the Lakers? That was ALL Chris Paul. He was that good. He played INSANE and made everyone around him better. Imagine just how good Griffin and even Jordan can be with CP3 as their point guard. As a Laker fan, I must tell you, the clipps are scary.

    Having said that, this is only a good trade if the Clippers manage to convince CP3 to stay. If he walks after the two seasons he’s supposedly agreed to stay with them, giving up those players, especially Gordon and that Minny pick would be way too much.

    • ignarus says

      Clippers have the personnel to be a solid contender in the West. Suspicions abound regarding their bargain-bin coach, though.

  23. Dino a says

    Wow, usually love your writing but that was pretty idiotic writing, as if someone hacked your blog or something. You know the panel on nba tv that includes fratello & greg anthony (pretty smart guys) just said they would be contending for the western conf! WoW! Are you ok?

  24. Steve says

    Guys, please be polite.
    Your not being charged to read this so don’t act so offended.
    When you make your point, your point is made.

  25. Sam K says

    BTW, Paul carried the Hornets to a 2-seed with David West and Tyson Chandler as his second and third best players. I think he’ll be able to sneak into the playoffs with Blake, Chauncey, Butler, Mo, and DeAndre.

  26. Jonee says

    You’re insane. Clippers are top 3 in the west now. It might take them a couple weeks to gel, but Paul-Griffin is the best guard-forward tandem since Stockton and Malone. Hands down.

  27. Regan says

    I honestly can’t get over how dumb this article is… So, losing Chris Paul drops a team from 50 wins to about 10. But gaining Chris Paul + Caron Butler + Billups can’t make a 30 win team make the playoffs? Really?

  28. Sam K says

    Wow that is some incredibly insightful analysis! It takes a real “former ESPN and AP basketball writer” to come up with totally conclusory, unsupported assertions. You misspelled “Emeka,” by the way.

  29. Pistol says

    Wow Chris. I like your site, but that was some awful analysis. Being a .500 7-8th seed with a capped out roster is the worst place to be in the NBA. And that’s what would happen with Scola and Martin. The Hornets did an excellent job hitting the reset button grabbing a young stud in Gordon and now two top 10 picks in a stacked draft.

    CP3/Billups/Butler/Griffin/Jordan with Mo off the bench is an excellent team.

  30. Jesse says

    You can’t be serious !? The Clippers starting line up of:

    CP3 / Billups / Butler / DeAndre / Griffin


    Pass me whatever you’re smoking, Chris.

  31. Steve says

    I see your points.
    However, NOH will now rebuild cheaply around Gordon and their new draft picks in the mold of OKC. No other way for them to really become great. Paul was leaving.
    Clippers do have too many good point guards and cannot trade Billups. They can afford to trade either Mo or Bledsoe now, though, to upgrade at SF or SG. Both have some value. Actually, they could trade both Mo and Bledsoe and go cheap 3rd stringer.
    Stern trampled all over Dell Dems and made a sham of the NOH management team. They should have agreed on some basic parameters months ago.

  32. wayne says

    ur an idiot…n u totally left out Caron Butler’s signing and the fact that Clippers can make more trades. Makes Clips relevant and can sell ridiculous amounts of merchandise n fuel a Lakers vs Clippers rivalry. David Stern knows what he’s doing.

  33. Rob Perito says

    hey chris, wouldnt a better starting lineup be Paul Billups Butler Griffen Jordan? and then they trade mo for maybe okur to add depth to the frontcourt? i feel like the clippers can do better with the personal they have. thoughts?


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