Los Angeles Clippers Get: PG Chris Paul, two second-round picks New Orleans Hornets Get: SG Eric Gordon, C Chris Kaman, SF Al-Farouq Aminu, 2012 First-Round Pick (via Minnesota)
Why this makes sense for Los Angeles:
Tired of being the red-headed stepchild NBA franchise in L.A., the Clippers make a major splash by acquiring one of the top point guards in the league and deliver a slap in the face to their neighbor Lakers who struck out in their attempt to land Paul. It did cost them a pretty penny in two up-and-coming wing players along with a likely high draft pick. To take a shot at pairing Paul with Blake Griffin seems worth the risk even if CP3 is in the final year of his deal and not immediately willing to sign a long-term extension.
What is interesting is the Clippers now have four point guards: Paul, the recently claimed-off-waivers Chauncy Billups, Mo Williams and Eric Bledsoe. They also have combo guard Randy Foye so it will be interesting to see how the team plans to utilize all their point guards. The trade also leaves L.A. very thin up front with Brian Cook and rookie Trey Thompkins being the only reserves for starters Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Why this makes sense for New Orleans:
Paul wasn't re-signing with the Hornets so they had to maximize his worth now and get the best offer in return adding some sorely needed depth to their roster. Gordon and Aminu give them two solid pieces for the future while the Timberwolves' first-round pick will likely add one of the top prospects in the 2012 NBA Draft. Gordon is the gem of this deal as he is developing into one of the top shooting guards in the league and will quickly become the new face of the franchise. He will be a restricted free agent next offseason so it will be interesting to see if he is willing to sign a long-term extension to stay in the Bayou.
Kaman will provide the Hornets with some size to pair up front with Emeka Okafor which was especially needed since David West signed with the Pacers. Plus, Kaman is in the final year of his deal so New Orleans could turn his expiring contract into another piece later in the season or allow his salary to come off the books after this year thus creating more cap space.
I say depends because if Paul ends up just being a one-year rental for the Clips, this trade tremendously backfires and the Hornets score a king's ransom, while L.A. once again has to work their way up from the bottom. If Paul ends up staying with the Clippers for the long-term, then they are on the verge of becoming a championship-caliber team. Should be interesting...