NBA Trade Rumors - Paul to the Clippers - Take 2

Obviously, this story is not going to go away easily. Stein and Broussard of ESPN have an updated take on it this morning. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on it, but thought I'd get it on the front page for everyone to discuss.

Stein/Broussard are back to insisting that both Gordon and the Minnesota pick were in the deal Sunday night/Monday morning. Frankly, I just don't think that passes the sniff test. Let's assume the Clippers did offer that. Why would the Hornets not take it? Why in the world would they hold it up over the likes of Eric Bledsoe?

Sources close to the talks insisted Monday night that both Gordon and the Minnesota pick were on the table for much of Monday's talks, but that's one of the main reasons that the Clippers backed away. NBA.com quoted a source close to the talks on Tuesday questioning whether the league "can come back far enough" in negotiations, because the Clippers are determined to surrender no more than one of those prized assets in a deal for Paul.

Even this quote doesn't make a ton of logical sense. "On the table" to me means that the were in an offer the Clippers had made. If they were in the trade, then it doesn't follow that it was the reason they backed away. It seems more like, as almost everyone else reporting on this story has said, that the Hornets asked for both, and the Clippers refused all along. That doesn't say "on the table" to me at all.

It's fascinating to me that Stein/Broussard had their version of the trade (Gordon and pick in, Bledsoe the snag) up to the point that it feel apart - then they changed back to saying Gordon wasn't in - and now they're back to saying Gordon was in. The ESPN echo chamber is a funny thing too. The rest of the ESPN-verse has been running with the version that Gordon and the MIN pick were both in the deal. This 5-on-5 is insistent that the Hornets should have taken that deal - but isn't it more likely that that was never the deal?

We may never know the truth; but we may get an inkling if a new deal goes through.

Here's what I find most interesting. On a straight value basis, I would include Eric Gordon and the pick if it was the only way to get the deal done. You don't get a lot of chances to acquire a player like Chris Paul. Besides, Gordon is due to get a big raise next year, at which point he will probably be overpaid. Including him gives the Clippers some breathing room to put other pieces around Paul and Blake Griffin.

BUT - you can also be greedy here and try to get Paul AND Gordon or, maybe better still, Paul AND the pick. The Clippers have the leverage here - the very fact that this trade is being discussed again so soon pretty much proves that the Hornets have no where else to turn for a deal for Chris Paul. So it stands to reason that the Clippers offer isn't getting any better today, right? It's all about what Stu Jackson (acting as the Hornets GM at this point on behalf of the league) is willing to take.

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