Hornets ship Paul to Clippers
By Sports Network
|Chris Paul drives to the basket against the Suns at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La., March 16, 2011. (LAYNE MURDOCH/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP)
LOS ANGELES - The Chris Paul saga came to an end Wednesday night, as the league-owned New Orleans Hornets sent the star guard to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Los Angeles sent guard Eric Gordon, center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota's unprotected 2012 first-round pick to the Hornets for Paul. The Clippers will also receive two future second-round picks to complete the trade.
The 26-year-old Paul requested a trade soon after the five-month lockout came to an end.
But the league nixed deals between Paul and the Lakers and then the Clippers before accepting Wednesday's trade.
Paul and All-Star forward Blake Griffin will potentially form one of the most dynamic tandems in the league.
A four-time NBA All-Star selection, Paul averaged 15.8 points and 9.8 assists in 80 games for New Orleans last season.
Selected fourth overall by the Hornets in the 2005 NBA Draft, Paul showed early on that he was going to be a star in the league. The Wake Forest product averaged 16.1 points and 7.8 assists to earn NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2006.
Paul has averaged 18.7 points, 9.9 assists and 2.4 steals over 425 career games with the Hornets. In 23 playoff games, Paul has averaged 21.9 points, 11.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds.
A member of the All-NBA First Team in 2008, Paul was selected to the Second Team in 2009 and Third Team in 2011.
"We wanted to make sure that we got the best possible deal for a player of Chris' caliber, and we feel great about the outcome," Hornets chairman and governor Jac Sperling said. "We feel our future looks very bright and we look forward to continue to create an organization that New Orleans will be proud of. We want to thank Chris Paul, an extraordinary person who contributed so greatly to our basketball team and our community. We wish him the best of luck."
Despite losing Paul, the Hornets get a quality guard in Gordon. The three- year pro out of Indiana had a break out season in 2010-11, averaging 22.3 points and 4.4 assists.
Kaman's numbers dropped off a bit last season, but the eight-year veteran still averages 11.8 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Aminu played in 81 games as a rookie last season, averaging 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds.
"With this trade, we now have three additional players who were among the top eight draft picks in their respective drafts as well as our own first round pick and the more favorable first round pick of Los Angeles or Minnesota," said Hornets general manager Dell Demps. "Aminu is a young talent with a bright future, Gordon is a big time scorer and one of the best two guards in the league and Kaman is a proven center and former All-Star. Combined with our other players, we will field a competitive team and our future looks great."