It finally happened: Chris Paul is traded away from the Hornets.
The Los Angeles Clippers have agreed in principle to a deal with the New Orleans Hornets. Here’s the breakdown:
Los Angeles Clippers get: CP3, two future second-round picks
New Orleans Hornets get: Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 first-round draft pick
Here’s a quick list of fantasy implications:
- This is good news for Paul. Sure, he was a surefire top four pick before the trade, but CP3 is going from playing point guard for a hollow Hornets squad that lost David West to passing and lobbing it to Blake Griffin, who isn’t a bad finisher at the rim. I’d still take CP3 at No. 3 or 4 overall, but this trade is good for him, mentally and for — wait for it — basketball reasons. Griffin should benefit a bit from having Paul feed him the rock, but it’s not a significant bump to his fantasy value.
- This is bad news for Chauncey Billups, who is now relegated to CP3′s backup or maybe his team’s starting SG. Either way, Billups’ fantasy appeal has kind of flaked apart in the past week or so.
- Mo Williams‘ future is really uncertain now. He doesn’t seem to fit in this rotation. If Billups plays SG, Williams could be a backup PG. But with $17 million owed him this season and next season (player option), Williams could be an amnesty candidate. Keep an eye on his situation.
- Randy Foye should be blipping on your sleeper radar. Remember that in 16 starts last season, he averaged 16.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.5 blocks, 2.3 turnovers and 1.9 threes per game, while shooting 41.4 percent from the field and 94.4 percent from the free-throw line. His value is tied to what happens with Billups and Williams, but without Gordon around, he looks more appealing. This logjam at the PG/SG spot will have to be sorted out eventually, so monitor that situation.
- DeAndre Jordan is free! It’s time for him to play starter’s minutes. He should get close to averaging a double-double along with around a pair of blocks a night — a sort of statistical doppelganger to JaVale McGee in many ways. Jordan should be drafted near the early portion of the second half of drafts for head-to-head leagues.
- Gordon looks more appealing now, if only because he lands on a squad in desperate need of a leader on offense. He’s no longer a second fiddle and should have no problem asserting himself as the Hornets’ top dog. I’ll go out on a limb and say Gordon is a top 20 fantasy player now — let’s just hope he stays healthy. Marco Belinelli‘s fantasy appeal falls off a cliff with this deal.
- Jarrett Jack may have lost his good buddy CP3, but he gains what should be a stranglehold on the starting PG job for the Hornets. In 15 starts last season, Jack averaged 12.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 2.7 turnovers and 0.3 threes, along with 40.0 percent from the field and 87.9 percent from the charity stripe in just 28:53 a game. Assuming the Hornets don’t make any moves to add a capable point guard to their roster, Jack is the big winner of this deal. He’s a sleeper, for sure.
- Kaman‘s situation is a bit curious. Does he back up Emeka Okafor? Or does he start at center and push Okafor to PF, or vice versa? If Carl Landry is re-signed, a timeshare with Okafor at the center spot is likely. If Landry signs elsewhere, I can envision a Kaman/Okafor/Ariza frontcourt. Let’s see if the Hornets do something to plug that hole at PF. Okafor looks a bit less appealing now.
- Aminu will play backup to Trevor Ariza. A timeshare could be in the works. Even if Ariza plays the lion’s share of minutes at SF for the Hornets, he’ll be in Gordon’s shadow.