It is not a done deal that the Kings will move from Sacramento to Seattle, just as it is not a done deal that the Lakers will miss the playoffs. But both are looking more likely by the day.
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.