Fantasy Impact: Chris Paul Traded to the Los Angeles Clippers

In case you haven’t heard, a major trade between the Los Angeles Clippers and the New Orleans Hornets went down last night — and, no, it wasn’t pulled!! — sending Chris Paul to the Clippers for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and a draft pick. A pretty hefty haul for both teams, and at first glance a fair deal. The question we’re here to answer, though, is not on the merits of this trade from a real basketball perspective, but we’re here to break it down from a fantasy perspective.

So, what say we… or, me?

Chris Paul — My initial thinking is that nothing changes with Paul. Maybe his scoring takes a light dip, now that he has more weapons at his disposal, while I can definitely see his assists taking a tick up. Again, I don’t know how much his value changes and I’m not prepared to say that he should be dropped from the 3rd position on our board. Not after having just one night to sleep on it. I know the other argument is that the Clippers have two other very good point guards in Chauncey Billups and Mo Williams. It seems, though, as if Billups might start at the ‘2.’ I can see Billups getting more buckets playing alongside Paul, but his assists will definitely suffer a bit. Williams will probably come off the bench and be helpful in the FT% and 3-point shooting categories, but his scoring and assists are certain to take a hit. He now falls out of the Top 100.

On the other side, I think you definitely have to move Jarrett Jack up several spots. The job in New Orleans is his. And as we know, when he gets the playing time he does provide nice fantasy value. I wouldn’t draft him as my No. 2 point guard, but he’s a nice option in the UTIL spot.

Eric Gordon – He’s a Top 30 guy. Period. We have Gordon projected to score about 22 points per game, which is probably the most reasonable projection, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him drop 25 points per game now with the Hornets. Who else is going to score on that team? Bubbly?

Chris Kaman – Ugh. I have no idea what’s going to happen here. First, the Hornets still have Emeka Okafor. Second, it’s likely that we may not even see Kaman suit up for his new team. I think you just avoid him for now or maybe take a shot late in the draft. I wouldn’t put to much stock in him though. DeAndre Jordan, on the other hand…

I think you move Jordan up about 20 spots on your draft board. Jeff and I were talking about this last night, and we feel that  he’s probably similar in value to Tyson Chandler. Jordan will block more shots and probably shoot at a higher rate from the field, but he won’t get as many rebounds as Chandler, score as many points or provide a better FT%. It might actually be a “need” thing when deciding between the two.

Al-Farouq Aminu – Sleeper alert! Aminu could actually step in and start at either forward position for a soft Hornets team. He actually played well at times for the Clippers last season, and when you expand his numbers to Per 36, they weren’t so terrible: 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 threes, 1.5 steals, 0.6 blocks. Not bad at all. His %s need to improve, but that’s simply part of him adjusting to the league as a 21-year-old kid. Look at him late in your drafts.

That’s about where we are now. Given the nature of this crazy offseason, it’s possible that this trade gets pulled or the NBA releases a statement saying, “Just kidding, we meant he was traded to the Lakers…” Something is bound to happen! Until then, we just go about our business and continue to dream about the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin connection.

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