Well, all I can say is I'm in new territory on this blog. Never has a story moved this quickly. I don't have time to put anything on the front page, because by the time I finish typing, the story has changed! I'm torn as to whether to post on the front page, or toss up FanShots, or just comment. It's nuts.
But apparently the Paul story has now changed again. The NBA was asking for too much - we may never know exactly what it was, but we know that it was too much - and the Clippers have apparently said no, as indeed they should. So as of now, the trade of Chris Paul to the Clippers is dead.
As I stated in my last post, the Clippers have a fine team as is. They don't have to behave in a desperate manner in this process. The NBA/Hornets are the ones with their backs against the wall. I expect we have not heard the last of "Chris Paul to the Clippers" - but whether the next round starts between now and the start of the season, or closer to the trade deadline, remains to be seen.
But if Stern thinks another team is going to swoop in here and offer more, I think he's just wrong. Paul is worth more to the Clippers than to most other teams because he's at least willing to stay two seasons. He has value to the Celtics, but they're down to Rondo and nothing else in their offer - so that's not happening. Maybe the Warriors would include Curry with some assurances from Paul, but why would he commit to staying on that team any longer than he has too?
The unfortunate thing is that there can be fallout here. Fully four different Clippers who are prominent in the team's plans were discussed in this trade. I don't thing Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe or Eric Gordon would pull a Lamar Odom here - but you never know.
Obviously Gordon is the biggest concern. Kaman is an expiring contract and is a very self-aware dude - he gets that this is a business. He won't be thrilled with how this went down, but he'll do his job. Aminu and Bledsoe are young guys - hard to know how they'll react, but they're not in any position in their careers to be feeling entitled. Gordon on the other hand is eligible for an extension. But although his name was floated, the Clippers appear to have either kept him off the table, or managed to convince enough people that they kept him off the table, so that they can look him in the eye and say "We are so adamant that you're a cornerstone for this team that we wouldn't trade you for Chris Paul; even though they asked us, we walked away and gave up Chris Paul - for you." So really, the Clippers can spin this as a huge vote of confidence in EJ. Whether he buys it or not is another question.
It was fun while it lasted. And like I said, I feel fairly certain this story will be back. Hopefully we can all get a little distance from it for now and get some perspective.