Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chris Paul Traded to the Clippers...Finally!

Last night a deal sending Chris Paul and 2 second round draft picks to the Los Angeles Clippers was finalized.  In return, the NBA owned New Orleans Hornets received SG Eric Gordon, SF Al-Farouq Aminu, C Chris Kaman and an unprotected 2012 first round draft pick from the Timberwolves.  We all knew Chris Paul would be traded, but we did not know who else was going to change teams with him.  Now that we know, lets take a look at which players Fantasy Stock increased, and which plummeted.

Los Angeles Clippers
  • Chris Paul - He now has 2 athletic bigs, who can finish any ball placed near the rim on a pick and roll.  Not only that, but Caron Butler and Ryan Gomes will be sitting on the wing waiting to catch and shoot.  Chris Paul should see the best assist season of his NBA career.
  • Blake Griffin - Blake should compete Dwight Howard this season for the leagues lead in dunks.  Chris Paul knows what he is doing with the ball and all Griffin has to do is be ready for it.
  • DeAndre Jordan - Will absolutely benefit from CP3 running the point, and should become the type of player Anderson Varejao was for the Cavaliers when LeBron James was in Cleveland.
  • Caron Butler - If Butler is 100% he should see similar numbers to what he doing down in Dallas for the Mavericks last season.  He was top 20 in efficiency rating and was dropping 15 points a night.  It's easy to compare a team with a defensive minded C(Chandler/Jordan) a PF that demands a double team(Nowitzki/Griffin) and a PG who can dish with the best of them(Kidd/Paul). 
  • Randy Foye - Foye's potential value has sky rocketed as he is the only NBA ready SG on the roster.  However, in 25 minutes last season he was brutal shooting the rock(32% 3pt, 38%overall).  I am giving him the benefit of the doubt here as he won't have to prove to his coaches he should be stealing minutes from Gordon any more. 
  • Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins - Both rookies probably thought there was no way they would see the court with Kaman and Gordon on the roster.  Well luckily for them they are both gone!  Leslie is listed as a SF, but at 6'4 there is no way he will play that position in the NBA.  Also with this teams lack of shooting guards, Leslie should see time this season and could add to the Clippers 2011-12 highlight reel film collection.  As for Thompkins, with Kaman gone, he is the only other big on the roster, besides Brian Cook.  It is safe to assume he will see minutes too.
  • Mo Williams & Chauncey Billups - I am not even sure coach Vinny Del Negro knows what he is going to do at the 2 guard position, now that Eric Gordon is gone, but these guys will be in the rotation.  However, both players are used to having the ball in their hands and neither will when Paul is in the game.  You can almost assume Billups will be traded as Williams has a contract that will be difficult to move.

New Orleans Hornets
  • Eric Gordon - Gorodn can score with the best of them and is now the face of the franchise.  It doesn't matter where he plays or who he plays next too, Gordon is fantasy gold.
  • Chris Kaman - A change of scenery is always nice for a player on the outs.  Kaman was once a guy who pulled down 12 rebounds and scored 18 points(both in separate seasons).  He will be the go to guy in the post for the Hornets, and playing against smaller PFs might help his cause.  If Kaman can stay healthy and get back to playing 32-34 minutes a game, he could return to his former self and be relevant in Fantasy Basketball again.
  • Jerrett Jack - He might have the biggest boost in value out of all players from both teams.  People will not be thinking about him come draft day, and he is going to be forced to play 32+ minutes a game.  He averaged over 8 points/game in just 20 minutes last season and in the '06-'07 season as the Trailblazers PG, he averaged 12 points and 5 assists.  If he could do that this season, he would be a hell of a #2 PG on your roster and have extreme value as a last round draft pick.
  • Trevor Ariza - Ariza is a pure Slasher and needs to cut down the shot attempts.  He should fair well with weak side picks and cuts as Eric Gordon will be the focal point of all defenders.  Gordon did average over 4 assists a game last year so he knows how to move the ball as well as shoot it.  If Gordon and Ariza can get on the same page, Ariza could see a lof of easy layups/dunks.
  • Emeka Okafor - I don't see his game changing to much with Paul gone.  He will averages his 10/10 (+/- 2) and get his blocks but he has never been an offensive player.  One positive about Okafor is that his FG% has gone up ever season he has been in the NBA.  One negative is that he attempts one less shot a season each season, which would mean he only take 6 shots a game this year.
  • Marco Bellinelli - After failing to prove himself last season, shooting just 30% from 3 and 38% overall, Bellinelli is now a bench player, with little to no value.
  • Al-Farouq Aminu - The #8 overall pick in the draft is definitely a project.  He shot under 40% last season and turned the ball over more than anybody who played less than 20 minutes a game.  With Trevor Ariza locked in at the SF position, Aminu will need time to develop into an NBA caliber SF.
I still do not think this is the best package the Hornets could have received for CP3, but as a fan of basketball I am excited to see what Chris Paul and Blake Griffin can bring to the court every night.  What do you think of the trade?
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