So we’re one month into the season. You guys remember that one trade that happened in December, that didn’t really happen, right? Here’s a refresher:
Lakers get: Chris Paul
Rockets get: Pau Gasol
Hornets get: Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic, 2012 Knicks first round pick
That trade was vetoed for bullshit.. I mean basketball… reasons.
Here is the trade that ended up happening:
Clippers get: Chris Paul, two 2nd round picks
Hornets get: Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, 2012 Minnesota first round pick
Now lets look at the deal from the Hornets side, because the first trade was last second vetoed by Mr Commish aka Hornets owner since it wasn’t good enough, and the Clips deal was much better.
In both deals they basically gave up just Chris Paul, who wanted to leave and would have been trouble if he stayed, ok.
In the deal that transpired, the Hornets received Aminu, for his “youth and potential”. Dude sucked last year, and sucks this year. In 18 minutes last year, he averaged <6pts on <40% shooting. PER of 9.6. This year he’s averaging 4.4 points on 33% in 19 minutes.. PER of 9.5. He is horrible. Every player in the original deal is better than Aminu.
The Hornets received Chris Kaman, who is a good big. He only played 32 games last year, but has been healthy this year so far. The Hornets now somehow have a loaded frontcourt (Okafor, Landry, Smith), and Kaman is averaging 9/7/1blk on 44% in 23min. Hornets would have gotten Scola (a good big), and Odom (6th man of the year). Scola is averaging 15/6 on 47% in 32min. His PER is basically the same as Kaman’s at 13 this year. Lamar would be an additional big. He is having an all-time bad year for himself (PER of 9.4 and just being plain out of it), while Okafor/Landry/Smith are each at a PER of 16. Lamar would be replacing Smith who got signed afterwards, for a rotation of Scola/Lamar/Okafor/Landry.
New Orleans received Eric Gordon, who was the biggest player in the deal. He had the youth and talent that Stern was looking for, since everyone in the first deal was too old for him. Last year, Eric played in 56 games, at 38mpg. Averaged 22pts on 45%, 3reb, 4.4ast, 1.3stl. KevMart played 80 games, 32.5mpg. In that time he averaged 23.5ppg on 43.6% (shot better on 3s and FTs though, for a TS% of 60% > EJ’s 56.6%), 3reb, 2.5ast, 1stl. PER of 21.4 compared to 18.5. I had to use last year’s stats because of course, while KevMart has been healthy so far, Gordon has only played 2 games, and a report just came out that he is out at least 3 more weeks.
Finally, the draft picks. Hornets received the TWolves pick from Clippers, instead of Knicks pick from Rockets. The TWolves were supposed to be one of the worst teams in the league, if not the worst, while the Knicks were playoff bound, maybe even a contender. But so far this year, the Knicks are bad in every way, and the Twolves are actually a half game better in this early season (nobody saw Rubio helping Love and his team to wins).
So what’s all this mean? As of now, it seems like everything about the first deal would make a lot more sense for New Orleans. Better players, perhaps a better pick, maybe making the playoffs (which would generate more revenue for a struggling franchise), and more wins would help find a buyer faster. But it’s really early in the short season still, and the Hornets made the deal for their future. Most people still expect the Knicks to get back on track, be it due to Baron Davis, developing chemistry, making a trade, or firing Coach Pringles, so the Minny pick would still be more valuable. It will all come down to that, along with seeing if Eric Gordon can stay healthy. He hasn’t played a full season yet in his career, but he’s only 23 and in his 4th year, and a great talent. The deadline for his extension is Wednesday.. so we’ll see what Stern decides to do here. Extend his contract with that risk, or let him go so CP3 was basically just traded for a good big, a raw/crap young player, and a 1st rounder? And of course, since the Hornets suck this year, they will end up getting a high draft pick from their own first round pick.
What do you guys think about the deal as of now? Especially those who were saying that Stern and the Hornets got a better deal by canceling the Lakers/Rockets trade and shipping Paul off to the Clippers?