The Clippers WILL Make The Playoffs in 2012 WITH OR WITHOUT Chris Paul

14 Dec

Clippers

By Chris McCoy

The Clippers will make the playoffs… I guarantee it. Before you look at me crazy Mo Williams and Blake Griffin said that… BEFORE they signed Caron Butler yesterday! And I most wholeheartedly agree!

Look up at the depth chart real quick. The Clippers have been making some moves! One of the biggest glaring weaknesses of this Clippers team the last few seasons has been small forward; what did they do? They went out and signed Caron Butler, who’ s coming off a knee injury, but should be able to provide scoring, and more importantly leadership; which is what a young team like the Clippers needs. Now the Clippers can move Ryan Gomes, who’s best suited to come off the bench, back to the pine, and allow the extremely athletic Al-Farouq Aminu – who’s still just a pup – time to grow and mature.

The Clippers also claimed Chauncey Billups off amnesty waivers. The Clippers will be responsible for roughly $2 million of his $14.2 million salary. A great pick up for a young team looking to get over the hump. *PREDICTION* Chauncey will have the type of impact that Sam Cassell had on that ’06 run. I don’t doubt that Chauncey would have rather landed in Miami, who would have been a shoe-in to win the title with Billups, but he will make a real impact on a young team looking to break into the playoffs, and make some title runs of their own in the coming years. What the Billups pickup really does is set the Clippers up for success in case the Chris Paul deal doesn’t happen, and gives them a killer back court if it does. A lot of you may recall I posed a trade for Chris Paul where New Orleans would give up Paul and Ariza in return for Mo Wiliams, Chris Kaman and Minnesota’s unprotected first round pick. Well it seems like they’ve finally wised up and decided to throw Williams and Ariza into the deal yesterday:

My potential deal; however, as laid out, won’t be happening. The NBA wants more youth back in a Paul deal, so Eric Bledsoe and Aminu would probably need to be thrown into the deal for serious consideration. *RECAP* for all of you all that like to quote me, I’m saying Aminu, Bledsoe, Kaman, Williams, and Minny’s first round pick for Paul and Ariza.

Even if the Paul trade doesn’t go down. The Clippers have positioned themselves for success with a line up that includes five former all stars and one of the best young two guards in the league. ERIC GORDON. Keeping Gordon is key to the Clippers’ success. Howard has named his four potential trade suitors and the Clippers aren’t one of them. So giving up on trading for Howard and keeping Gordon is a must. Gordon, who was the 13th leading scorer in league last year, and the chemistry that’s developing between Gordon and Blake the Great is critical to this young team’s growth and development.

The Clippers are obligated to keep Billups for the life of his remaining contract, as he only has one year remaining on his deal, so a CP3 trade would allow them to move Billups to the bench and preserve his 35 year old legs for a playoff push – especially with all the back-to-backs this year. With Paul their potential line up consists of Paul, Gordon, Butler, Griffin and Jordan with Billups, Foye and Gomes coming off the bench, without him they’re still primed to play past 66. The moves the other LA team have made have placed them in prime position for the 8th seed in a congested Western Conference. So as a Clippers fan, as I anxiously hang on to @Chris_Broussard’s every tweet for news on a Hornets-Clippers deal, I know we’ll be straight regardless of the outcome.

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3 Responses to “The Clippers WILL Make The Playoffs in 2012 WITH OR WITHOUT Chris Paul”

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