Paul to L.A. Clippers; Howard Staying Put
Chris Paul is off to L.A. after all. But he will not be wearing gold and purple. He will be wearing red instead. He will be teaming up with Blake Griffin, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler with the Clippers, who may turn out to be the best team to inhabit the Staples Center this year. Why was it OK to trade Paul to the Clips and not the Lakers? I don’t know. Unless there is an anti-Laker bias among the other owners in the league, I can’t think of any other reason. I personally have an anti-Laker bias, but I’m a fan, not the league. Something about this does not seem right.
The League’s excuse for not letting Paul go to the Lakers was supposed to be that they are trying to sell the Hornets and that would be easier to do with CP3 on the team. Then a week later you let him go to a team who plays in the same building as the one you would not let him go to before? This smacks of favoritism. How do you explain this to Laker fans now? What this came down to was money. Lower payroll with younger players to the Hornets is a smaller payroll, thus easier to sell. But Laker fans probably won’t see it that way.
In other transaction news, Richard Hamilton is off to Chicago. Derrick Rose was quoted as saying “I’ll be getting a lot more assists” now with the former All-Star Guard from the rival Pistons. Hamilton gives the Bulls another scoring threat to go along with one of the game’s premier point guards in Rose. This makes Chicago perhaps the favorite to win the East this year.
In Orlando, Dwight Howard is no longer on the trading block according to GM Otis Smith. In recent days, Howard has softened his trade demands, saying that Orlando is where he most wants to be. My guess is fan outrage after Dwight’s comments from earlier this week has prompted the Magic to reach out to Howard and promise to get his input on personnel matters, even though neither has stated this. The Magic is claiming that they could not get his deal done because they could not get a deal they felt was worth it to them. From the proposed deals I saw, I would agree. Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace? And the Magic have to throw in Turkoglu and Duhon? Are you serious? This is Dwight Howard people. Howard should be hauling in two players and two picks all by himself. Of course getting Turk off the books frees up some cash. And Duhon is just a throw away. But for now, Howard is staying put.