HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Clippers Get Paul From Hornets
By Eric Pincus
The trade is now official.
Multiple sources have the Los Angeles Clippers getting Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets for a package that include Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and the 2012 Minnesota first-round pick (unprotected). The Clippers are also said to be receiving two second-round picks.
While the league has not announced any official deal, sources say Gordon was notified and was visibly saddened by the news.
Another player named in the deal has indicated that it’s done barring a failed physical or something unexpected (a la the experience the Los Angeles Lakers went through last week).
If the deal indeed goes through as expected, sources were adamant recently that the Clippers would have claimed point guard Chauncey Billups from waivers whether they had acquired Paul or not.
Will Westbrook’s Contract Be Extended?
By Susan Bible
The Oklahoma City Thunder held their annual Media Day inside the newly-renovated and newly-named Chesapeake Energy Arena (locals now refer to it as “The Peake”). Fans will be impressed with the many big-league upgrades inside the arena. One by one, each member of the Thunder roster – including three just added to training camp – along with coach Scott Brooks were presented to the assembled press for an extended question-and-answer session.
No eye-popping revelations were disclosed, but we did put together some tasty highlights for you.
The topic du jour centered on point guard Russell Westbrook and his lack of a contract extension. Many expected general manager and executive vice president Sam Presti to secure the extension as soon as the lockout ended, but such no announcement has been made.
Chauncey Billups: “I’m In”
By Eric Pincus
New Los Angeles Clipper Chauncey Billups met with the media for the first time since the team picked him off on waivers (via the New York Knicks’ amnesty claim) on Friday.
Billups explained why, at least initially he was having a difficult time adjusting to the change.
“To be honest, it’s been a really long last year for me,” said Billups. “The whole Melo-drama in Denver and going from that and getting traded, when I never really thought I would be; and then embracing that whole situation in New York, going through the lockout which was strenuous and then coming back and just being waived was something that I never thought was going to happen.”
Chauncey had hoped to spend the rest of his career in Denver, his home town, but was included in the blockbuster Carmelo Anthony deal last season.
Coach: Addition Of Rip Is Mixed Bag
By Anthony Macri
While everyone is busy wondering how the league can deny one trade to a major market team with a long illustrious history but approve a different trade to a team in the same major market with a long unremarkable history, the team with the best record in the league last year made a significant move in acquiring Rip Hamilton. Whether the move brings the Bulls any closer to a championship is debatable.
If the move ends up being a positive, it seems unlikely the benefits will be apparent early in the season. Hamilton brings a unique set of skills that are not all that easy to integrate into Chicago’s personnel or standard offensive attack.
In order for Hamilton to be integrated into the Bulls offense, they will need to run stuff for him. He is a player that has historically performed well as an primary offensive option. He is most effective when he is using screening action to fade and curl his way into shots, putting pressure on his defender and stretching their screen protectors.
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