It’s been a crazy night. The Lakers have dropped out of the revitalized trade discussions for Paul and have instead decided to ship forward Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for future draft picks — picking up a large trade exception in the process which in turn may aid them in acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.
Meanwhile, the Clippers are looking to bring Chris Paul to Los Angeles after all.
“Sources close to the situation tell ESPN that Clippers have emerged as “early frontrunner” to acquire CP3 now that Lakers out of running.”
A few important notes:
- With DeAndre Jordan likely to sign a four-year, $40-million dollar offer sheet with Golden State tomorrow that the Clippers will almost certainly match, he can’t be flipped to any team until March 1st. It’s safe to say DeAndre Jordan is in no way involved in these discussions.
- Chris Kaman and his $12.7 million dollar expiring contract has to be offered up to make the salaries match. Other likely pieces include some combination of Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu, and the unprotected rights to Minnesota’s first round pick this year.
- The big questions we’ve been batting around all offseason: Are the Clippers willing to part with Eric Gordon for Chris Paul? If they do, will they also have to include the Minnesota pick? Is Paul open to extending long-term, or just opting in to his player option for next season? All things to consider.
Seems like it’s time for the Clippers to make their move since New Orleans (and the league) wants this resolved quickly. We’ll have more details and analysis as this progresses — stay tuned.