Source: CP3-To-Clips Hung Up In Standoff

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The New Orleans Hornets continue to ask for guard Eric Gordon and the unprotected first-round Draft pick originally from the Timberwolves as the central assets in a potential deal with the Clippers for Chris Paul, a league source told TNT’s David Aldridge Wednesday morning. But the Clippers remain adamant that the Hornets cannot have both Gordon and the pick and must choose between the two.

The standoff is the major impediment in a possible trade between the two teams. While the Hornets are having discussions with other teams about their four-time All-Star guard, including the Lakers, the Clippers’ group of assets remains the most desirable and the one that New Orleans wants. The Clippers have committed to including center Chris Kaman and second-year forward Al-Farouq Aminu in the trade, and Monday’s claim of guard Chauncey Billups off waivers makes second-year guard Eric Bledsoe eminently tradeable. But the Gordon/pick problem remains.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are again trying to get involved for Paul, and are now using Pau Gasol as the primary piece of the deal to the Hornets. Last week’s aborted three-team deal between the Lakers, Rockets and Hornets had Gasol going to Houston, and Lamar Odom joining Rockets players Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic in New Orleans. But the league vetoed that deal at the last minute, with speculation rampant that the NBA — which owns the Hornets — bowed to pressure from owners of other teams who did not want the big-revenue Lakers again profiting by getting a star player from a small market.

NBA Commissioner David Stern cited “basketball reasons” for the league’s decision to turn the trade down. The league, through vice president Stu Jackson and president of league and basketball operations Joel Litvin, is directly involved in trade discussions with other teams, along with Hornets’ management.

In the new scenario, Gasol would go to New Orleans — after which, according to the source, he would almost certainly be re-routed elsewhere for other assets, most notably more Draft picks for the Hornets. (One place that would not be is Boston; New Orleans does not have interest in a potential Celtics package involving guard Rajon Rondo, according to the source, who also dismissed reports on Tuesday that the Hornets would be interested in taking guard Mo Williams from the Clippers in exchange for forward Trevor Ariza.)

The Hornets are still exchanging ideas with other teams, including the Golden State Warriors, who are willing to make a deal for Paul even though he would not make a commitment to signing a contract extension with them. Paul has committed to playing out his option year with the Clippers, meaning he would be there through at least the 2012-13 season.

“Let’s be honest,” the source said. “There’s some owners who want to make a splash, and convince their fans that they want to be great. What better way to convince them than by getting Chris Paul?”

The league continues to insist that any trade for Paul puts the Hornets on a quick rebuilding path, with a combination of young players and Draft picks. That currently leaves out teams like the Rockets, who can offer good players but players who, like Scola ($39 million left on his contract) and Martin ($24 million), aren’t cheap. The league does not want to leave the post-Paul Hornets in the same relative position they are now — a team that could potentially make the playoffs, but not go very far.

This explains why New Orleans continues to ask for Gordon as well as the Minnesota pick. The Timberwolves could be bad as usual, but with a proven (945 career wins) coach in Rick Adelman, rookie forward Derrick Williams, guard Ricky Rubio and free agent J.J. Barea all arriving, the Wolves could also be much improved — maybe not a contender, but not a 20-win doormat whose pick could be counted on to be a top-five Draft selection.

“If you’re gonna be bad, you’ve got to be bad enough to get picks that will help, and not just bad enough that you’re a 10th seed (in the Western Conference).”

For their part, the Clippers are enjoying a rare moment when they have maximum leverage, and they’re not willing to relinquish it. They believe that with Billups they will be a playoff team this season and, in time, have the ability to go deep into the postseason. With Billups — who reportedly is scheduled to arrive at the team’s training camp Wednesday — the need to bring in Paul via trade is less pressing. Keeping Gordon is central to the team’s argument to its own budding superstar, Blake Griffin, that the Clippers will surround him with enough quality players to contend, and to make him comfortable enough to sign a long-term extension in the coming months.

35 Comments

  1. FACE THE FACTS says:

    What about Orlando getting CP???

    1. Paul
    2. Richardson
    3. Hedo
    4. Davis
    5. Howard

    Sounds good or not? +a lot of shooters and If Hedo gets motivated….everyone would be happy, Howard stays and the East gets stronger instead of the West!

  2. Lightning says:

    Lakers need CP3 or our season will be rotten. We’ll give anyone Pau or Bynum you name it we just want Chris Paul to be with the Lakers

  3. C says:

    I’m not sure how CP3 and Billups would work anyways. This is what the clippers need to focus on:
    1. Make Eric Gordon happy with a good extension.
    2. Try to get 2 defensive pieces in a trade for Kaman to come off the bench.
    3. Make Billups the starter, Mo the backup. (that’s a really good point guard setup, better than most teams).
    That’s it!!!
    We do not need to improve our starting 5, it’s the best starting 5 we have ever had in my opinion. we need to strengthen our bench defensively, we dont really have any lock down defenders coming off the bench, and that scares me. We need a group that can maintain a lead while our starters are resting, that’s very important!

    And a side note, CP3 would be horrible for the Lakers because Kobe can’t play with another player who needs the ball as much as he does. So keep CP3 in New Orleans or send him elsewhere

  4. tom says:

    If your the clips you have to think about it. Gordon is going to be good but he’s no Chris Paul and if Paul said he would play out the next season there, they could sign some serious talent next off season and then have Paul and Griffin. And if they said they would trade Mo Williams for Ariza also, I don’t know man, if i were the Clippers i might take that trade and take my chances next off season and rely on my GM to persuade some talent to sign there.

    • HeatWave says:

      Well Gordon is in like his 4th year and averages more points than Paul. He defiantly can improve to be a well balanced scorer and distributor of the rock. I wouldn’t give that, my back center(Kaman), and two athletic rookies up over Paul.

  5. CK says:

    I think the Lakers should leave CP3 alone. We are not sure if he is 100% healthy. Pau Gasol is a much bigger and better player for the Lakers than CP3. Pau fits into the team very nicely and he has an impressive skillset that we have not used. With the new coach and the improved system he has they should be able to get better use out of Pau Gasol. Keep in mind, Lakers traded Odom for nothing. We need to see the value in the bigs honestly. You can call me biased, but I think Pau Gasol is a gift to the Lakers.

  6. LakerLove123 says:

    As long as they get paul with out trading paul and bynum im a happy man! Lakers need a big man on their lineup atleast..cant trade both of em together!

  7. Amused says:

    WHAT ARE THE CLIPPERS THINKING?!?! They no longer need Paul; they have Billups, who is every bit the point guard they need, and a logjam at the 1 would be uncomfortable for either player. On the other hand, they are more than willing to hang onto Mo Williams, yet another guard, when Trevor Ariza would fill a definite need for them up front at the 3.

    Since Paul–if he even arrives at all–would probably never stay beyond 2012-2013, the Clippers ought to be doing everything they can to make it clear to Billups that he is valued and appreciated. Show the guy some love. Look at all the crap he has had to endure in recent months, being traded, first, from his hometown Nuggets and then, less than a year later, waived from the Knicks–all to make the pieces fit so the Knicks could get the OTHER guy. Billups must be seething right now, and justifiably so, that they are even still considering going after Paul. He is probably ready now to bolt, the moment the season ends, whereas if they had simply given up on Paul and handed the reins over to him, they might have stood a real chance of keeping him.

    The Clippers finally are in an enviable, strong position and hold all the cards. They also have a really solid and very long-suffering point guard and floor general in Billups. If they continue to try to overplay their hand, continue to try to get Paul and thereby further alienate Billups, they will have neither in 2013, and perhaps not even Griffin, who would leave for greener pastures.

    • chosen one says:

      And what about Mo Williams, who did so much in the off season for the Clippers ?
      I guess no one takes his feelings into consideration.

  8. amolbhullar says:

    yes like jaskson still land lakers chris paul or howard palce ?

  9. Charles says:

    Keeping Gordon is an arguement that keeps quality teams? Are you kidding me?! Gordon is a good player. CP3 is a great player. The toughest part in life isn’t about choosing between good and bad. That’s too clear. But choosing between good and great. Paul can get past anyone in the league. He shoots over 40% so he’s not someone you can give space to. he’s going to go past you or drop a three on you. He’s got ridiculous vision and can drop a dime anywhere in the court even if the only thing that can get through is a laser beam. He’s absurdly talented. That talent next to Griffin? Wow. That talent with Chauncy and a few shooters and DeaAndre Jordan? We’re talking deep playoffs…we’re talking lakers, Mavericks better worry type of team. Right now, they’re not going anywhere. They have a decent team, but not a team that will make people tremble. They are under the impression that Griffin and a bunch of good guys will make them dangerous. You need at least two great guys and a bunch of good solid role players to get to the top. If they truly want greatness and not just averageness…they should move mountains to get Paul. Perhaps they should agree to gordon and First round pick, but keep Aminou or get back Ariza. There has to be a way.

  10. yo says:

    Chris paul is heavily overrated he put up 15 and 9.8 last year..lakers should be trying to trade for d will or better yet d howard..

  11. troy says:

    lakers should clean houses start again kobe and artest for james lakers get superman howard sendin bosh and a player from the lakers to the magic nelson to clippers for willams and paul to the lakers for acouple of picks a lakers centre and fisher hornets

  12. Connor says:

    Why would the Celtics want Chris Paul?? Rajon Rondo is a better point guard, straight up. Shaquille O’Neal as well recently said that Rajon Rondo is a better point guard than Chris Paul. When Rondo guarded Paul last year, he shut him down. In one game, Paul didn’t even score a point!! I’d much rather have Rajon Rondo than Chris Paul!

  13. Dustedlife says:

    Lakers don’t need a point gaurd. Every championship the Lakers won they had a good to great center. Trade for Howard instead of CP3.

  14. Chandler says:

    The Clippers should leave this alone..
    Keep gorden, hes a pure scorer, one of the best young stars in the league, Aminu is young and athletic with great potential, and Kaman is a solid veteran compliment to the young Jordan. Plus, the T-wolves draft pick has enormous potential…next years draft is going to be one of the richest of all time! Because of the lockout there are so many great players that stuck around in college… Sullinger, Barnes, Zeller, Marshall, Curry, Rivers… the list goes on… Why trade all this potential for one superstar?? chris paul is great, but now you already have a backcourt of chauncy billups and mo williams… In my opinion, if the Clippers just stick it out, they will be legit contenders for many years to come

  15. Jessie says:

    I just hope the Clips are holding off other teams while the Lakers are trying to grab the “moneybag.” I think the Lakers need him more than the Clips, the Clips are contenders this year with their current lineup.

  16. troy says:

    LAKERS DONT NEED him they should go for patty mills start again and hes cheap as offer a mil a year the man can shoot the three and run the floor when fit blazers dont need him paul needs to go to the spurs for parker and two other players or the heats offer curry and bosh and maybe houses in the mixs for paul james can play the 5 then he might be the true king until theres 3 dorks in one side heat will always fall short

  17. Simeon Ivanov says:

    I cannot understand that anti-Lakers politics of the NBA owners.Why Miami could sign Bosh and James,but the LA based team cannot do the same thing with Paul and Howard?How did Boston do it a few years ago whe they signed Garnett and Allen.

  18. SYDALE says:

    I don’t know why the Thunder haven’t been trying to get CP3… CP3 for Russell Westbrook, Nate Robinson and a Draft Pick sounds like an ideal move to me… Of course, having both players sign extensions would be part of the deal…

    Westbrook is an exciting young player that would put fans in the seats and possibly be a franchise player in his own right… and I can’t see Chris Paul not signing an extension to be a part of that team…

    Not when the lineup could be:

    C- Kendrick Perkins
    PF- Serge Ibaka
    SF- Kevin Durant
    SG- James Harden
    PG- Chris Paul

    • Kris says:

      I would love to see that happen. Even though I like westbrook. There can’t be to high scorers. You gotta let durant blossom!

  19. TAPATIO CRUZ says:

    I think the Lakers should trade Bynum, Barnes & 1st rounder for Chris Paul that way when Dwight signs with the lakers next season, hell be paired with much more DEPENDABLE Gasol, That would be sick! It would be CP3, KOBE, WORLD PEACE, GASOL & HOWARD!

  20. O says:

    If it was me I would give up Gordon, Amino and Bledsoe plus the pick get Chris Paul and Trevor Ariza in the process you get a great gaurd and ariza is a good defender and has won a championship so he knows what it takes to win not to mention you have caron butler who can put up any of the point you loos by getting rid of Gordon. Then pick up some good players for your bench. Affalo Let Kaman come off the bench as your sixth man so you still have a low post guy on the court and let Jordan start. Just a thought

  21. stone cold says:

    players should go where they want to play so they will be most comfortable and will perform at the highest

  22. JY says:

    It would be really stupid for the Clippers to trade for Paul. They have 3 great post players, one of whom they can trade and turn into another capable player. Also, they just picked up Caron Butler and Chaunsey Billups, who don’t really need to do all that much on the floor rather then lead by example and teach this club full of youngsters how to win and be a true pro. They are really deep and well built right now and I seriously believe that they should allow this group to gel and grow internally. Should this group stay together as such they would be a threat for a championship next year, barring of course any major hick-ups and/or new super teams.

  23. CP3LAKERSPOINTGUARD says:

    CP3 will be a Laker for sure there is too much smoke for
    there to be no truth to the rumors it’s going to happen
    Chris Paul becoming a Laker finally we been trying to
    aquire CP3 for 2 years now it will happen very soon.
    Trade will include Pau Gasol and perhaps Andrew Bynum
    and draft picks and a possible trade exception going to
    New Orleans Hornets.The Christmas game will feature
    Chris Paul VS.Derrick Rose a great matchup..

  24. clipperhopeful says:

    No matter what don’t trade Gorden. He averaged more points than Paul so has just about as much value as Paul. I really believe they could be as good a team with out Paul if their chemistry is right. This trade is not going to make or brake the Clipps.

  25. Sanjeevi says:

    A good leader can bring up an orinary team into light. A leader cannot of proud of bringing a brilliant-team into light. Simillary, Mike Brown has to work with the existing team (without Chris Paul) and try to bring Champion for Lakers. That might show him who he is. Getting better resource and doing the job is not going to be counted as a great leader.

  26. Alan says:

    It’s really make the fans crazy. No matter what Paul will go any team, it would be the nightmare before he trade. Hoping it can be a good deal for Paul. Please, the league do not make it like a soap opera.

  27. Latchell says:

    If the Clips can get CP3 without giving up Gordon, they’ll be in really great shape. Send Kaman, send Aminu, Bledsoe, send the Timberwolves pick… but they’ve got to find a way to keep Gordon if they’re going do make a deal.

    It’s too big of a setback to lose Gordon just to get Paul. I’m ready to see them win NOW.

  28. mel says:

    clippers had already good line up thay can be contenders this season they have a healthy season to continue their progress as a team i think they don’t need cp3 as long as they have blake show!

    • cell says:

      blake griffin can’t carry a team yet he’s going to be great but he need another great player to get him to the next level

  29. Ra'shad Taylor says:

    Lakers need him more than any team, in my opinion they really do