Both are equally absurd statements. People around here have gotten so polarized and entrenched in their opinions that it's starting to remind me of the Dems and the GOP.
EJ is not now and never was a below average
basketball player NBA shooting guard. But he also will never in his wildest dreams be as good as CP3. If this is a matter of Olshey calling Stern's bluff, and he lands CP3 w/o having to give up EJ, then he's a God. But if this stance causes us to lose out to another team, then it was not a victory at all, but an abject failure. No matter what, at the end of the day you've got to take a chance on 2 years of a Chris Paul-Blake Griffin pairing.
The one thing all the yay-for-Neil people seem to be forgetting is that Chris Paul is something we don't currently have: 1 of the 10 best players in the NBA. We all think Blake will get there, but he's not there yet. At the moment, EJ is the 2nd-best player on the Clippers. If he were traded for Chris Paul, the 2nd-best player on the Clippers would be... Blake Griffin!
Assuming the continued improvement of players this young, Blake + EJ is the core of a potential playoff team. Blake + CP3, on the other hand, is the core of a potential title contender. And that's why, as long as Paul opts-in for the 2nd year, you've absolutely, positively got to do this, no matter what it takes.