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Chris Paul to the Clippers - What it Means

I can't emphasize strongly enough that this is a great trade for the Clippers. A great trade. The NBA is a superstar driven league, and if you have a chance to acquire a true superstar, you make it happen. We can second guess and wonder if they paid more than they had to, but let's be clear - they didn't overpay.

By pairing Chris Paul with Blake Griffin, the Clippers now have a "Big Two" to rival most other superstar duos in the league. Clearly superior to Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, significantly younger than Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. The only one that looks better on paper is Dwyane Wade and LeBron James - with the difference being that Paul and Griffin are more complementary players, while Wade and James exist in parallel to one another.

While it is true that the Clippers do not currently have a third player on the level of Andrew Bynum or Chris Bosh, it's not difficult to argue that the Clippers' players 4, 5, 6 and 7 are much better than the supporting cast for the Heat or the Lakers. In short, it's a terrific "Big Two" with a solid cast around them.

Many are complaining that the Clippers now have a glut of point guards and no shooting guards. I honestly don't see the problem (unless of course you thought they had a problem last year). The Clippers have been hoarding combo guards lately - Mo Williams and Randy Foye are the best examples. With Eric Gordon gone, I assume that newly acquired Chauncey Billups will become the starting shooting guard. If you're worried that Billups is too small to defend the two, I'll point out that he's basically the same size as Eric Gordon. Gordon may be stronger, but it's not like Billups is weak. Foye played the two and even some three last year. The five guards currently on the roster that figure to get some playing time (Paul, Billups, Williams, Foye and Bledsoe) present no more problem for defense than the team did with Gordon. And if you're really concerned about the Kobes of the NBA, Caron Butler has played some two in his career. And who knows - maybe Travis Leslie is the wing defender the Clippers think he can be.

The problem now is in front court depth. The Clippers were already a little thin there, and now that they have dealt Kaman, there's really no reliable backups for Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The team is thrilled with rookie Trey Thompkins so far, but we're talking about a second round draft pick after all. As of now, they have the $2.5M exception that teams are allowed to use after they exceed the cap during the off-season. Or they can try to make a trade to get a big. But using Foye or Williams as bait is not likely to land them much. Basically, they may have to make do with whatever they can get for the $2.5M, and then pick up a veteran like Ike Diogu for the minimum.