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Chris Paul Traded To Clippers: Kobe Bryant And The Lakers Have Ruled Los Angeles, But Not Anymore

By Beardandstache @BeardAndStache

Chris Paul Traded To Clippers: Kobe Bryant And The Lakers Have Ruled Los Angeles, But Not Anymore


The New Orleans Hornets have officially traded Chis Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, pending league approval, with the deal expected to pass through sometime Wednesday night. 
Following a trade-veto by NBA commissioner David Stern that would have sent Paul to the Lakers, the Clippers made moves to step into trade talks and land the All-Star point guard. There were issues with the final pieces of the first offer, and talks between New Orleans and the Clippers were rumored to have broken down, but the two teams ended up agreeing to a similar trade one day later. 
The final trade will send the Clips' Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Minnesota's first-round-pick in 2012 to New Orleans, for Paul and two future second-round picks. 
The debate about fair-value in this trade will rage on, but one thing is certain -- the Los Angels Clippers, despite trading away a good young guard, an effective center, a solid sixth-man, and a first round pick, are now a relevant basketball team. The addition of Paul gives the Clippers the best point guard-power forward combo in the NBA, with Blake Griffin remaining in Los Angeles as a key building block in the organization. 
At first, when Paul was reportedly traded to the Lakers, the idea of him and Kobe Bryant lining up in the back court had most people talking another NBA Championship for LA. After the Lakers' trade for Paul was vetoed, the organization  made the decision to trade away a disgruntled Lamar Odom to the defending champs in the Dallas Mavericks. Making it appear that after failing to acquire Paul the Lakers were going all-in to land Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. 
However, the Magic are reportedly holding onto Howard, as none of the offers seemed appealing enough to trade away the best center in the NBA. 
Now, the Lakers are in trouble. They have an aging roster with one elite player in Kobe Bryant, a great player in Andrew Bynum, an above average player in Pau Gasol, and a bunch of mediocre support behind those three. It would be a stretch of the imagination to assume that the Lakers will still be competing for an NBA Championship with their current roster, as their big trade plans fell immensely short of planned. 
The Clippers on the other hand, they're golden. The Lakers' stadium partner just brought in the best young point guard in the NBA, and nearly all of the Clips' games this season will be a constant highlight reel. Has anyone imagined the pure idea of Paul throwing half-court alley-oops to Griffin in stride? Any attendance problem that the Clippers had is going to vanish. All those old issues of lacking elite talent, gone. Those days of not contending are over. 
The Clippers days of being dominated by the Lakers in Los Angeles are done.
Imagine if Paul could lead the nearly talent-less Hornets to the playoffs, and then give the Lakers a run for their money, just think of what he will be able to do with Griffin in Los Angeles. The Clips' may have mortgaged their draft and a set of talented young players, but they have guaranteed themselves a playoff spot. But most importantly, a chance to contend. 
Kobe is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but it looks like he may have to accept the new generation of Los Angeles basketball -- the Clipper Era. The NBA season tips-off Christmas Day, and I think I can speak on behalf of almost every fan, (aside from Lakers' fans), that we can't wait to see what Paul does with his new team in Los Angeles. 

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