Chris Paul squarely in Clippers' sights

Eric Pincus, HoopsWorld (6/24/11)

Clippers want a Melo or Deron Level Trade
The home run Olshey was generally referring to was landing a free agent that would not only solidify the Clippers as a playoff team but help make them a force in the playoffs.

Easier said than done but the team is hoping they'll be able to package that pick at a later date to get an elite player who becomes available in trade. While Neil couldn't name names, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and even Deron Williams would be major gets for the Clippers.

"We're going to need an asset like the Minnesota pick to get into those conversations and that's another reason we held onto it [rather than protecting the 2011 pick]," said Olshey.

"We're still one piece away but it's not going to be the wrong piece. We're going to be patient and make sure it's the right piece," said Olshey. "And again that's where the Minnesota pick comes into play because if you want to hit a home run, you better have the assets to do it."

The 2012 pick won't go out for high-level but non-elite players like Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala and Rudy Gay.

Both LA Teams Happy with Draft


Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports (6/27/11)

West will be one of the premier free agents on the market this offseason, after opting out of the $7.5 million owed him in the final year of his contract. West’s agent, Lance Young, informed New Orleans GM Dell Demps of the decision Monday morning.

His decision could be a prelude to the eventual departure of All-Star guard Chris Paul, who has played his entire career with West in New Orleans. The Hornets might have to trade Paul next season before he reaches free agency in 2012 and start a complete rebuilding process.

West likely done in New Orleans


David Aldridge, (6/22/09)

"You can never say never about anything, obviously," Dunleavy told me after the workout, "but I don't know who the players are in this league that would fit into that category (for a potential trade of the first pick). Obviously, if the word 'LeBron' was spoken by anybody, somebody's door would open, clearly. There are a few guys in this league that would get moved. In the case of a pick like this, 99.9 percent of the time, you would keep it."

(There are two other words, I'm told, that would pique the Clippers' interest: "Chris" and "Paul." Other than that, no dice.)

Draft preview: Closer look at the power forwards

There is no doubt in my mind that the Clippers, in addition to pursuing a solution at SF (Iggy, Prince, etc.), are firmly focused on Chris Paul as an acquisition whether through trade or free agency. His name has been mentioned quite a few times as a target for the Clippers over the past few years and with the likely possibility of West leaving the New Orleans, the Hornets may eventually be resigned to losing their franchise player.

This could explain Neil Olshey's steadfast reluctance with dealing the Minny pick as well as his downplaying the prospects of Kyrie Irving. Having Paul with Griffin, Gordon, Jordan, and whoever ends up being our small forward would be absolutely phenomenal. Of course, he'd prefer to join his buddies Melo and Amar'e in New York but the bigger salary and loaded lineup may present an enticing proposition for him to sign as an outright free agent or approve a sign-and-trade deal. Sterling as the owner would obviously be the biggest drawback.

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