Addition of Paul Legitimizes Clippers

For once, the Clippers are facing expectations.

Just one day after the NBA finally approved a deal for Chris Paul, the other team in Los Angeles is finally a legitimate championship contender.

The trade not only brought the best point guard in the league to the Clippers roster, but removed the team from perennial losing. Los Angeles sent Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and a first round pick belonging to the Timberwolves in exchange for the for Paul.

Prior to his official introduction, Paul agreed to sign an extension, keeping him with the team through next season and transforming Los Angeles into “lob city” one of the most exciting teams in the league.

Throughout his six-year career, Paul has been able to transform ordinary players into scoring threats and has brought excitement with his ability to throw the alley-oop pass.

Tyson Chandler, Emeka Okafor, Desmond Mason and J.R. Smith have all been the beneficiaries of Paul’s lob passes while playing for New Orleans.

What makes his addition to Los Angeles so special is the excitement anticipated of the arrival of the four time All-Star sending passes towards the rim for Blake Griffin to throw down.

Chris Paul represents much more than playoff hope in Los Angeles.

Griffin ranked second in the league with 214 dunks last season and center DeAndre Jordan finished third, with 158 of his 471 made field goals coming on dunks.

Even though the Clippers dealt away Gordon, one of the most talented shooting guards in the league, the team is experiencing a talent boom it has yet to experience during its 41-year history.

Last season Griffin became the first rookie selected to the All-Star game since 2002. His 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game solidified him as the most exciting young power forward in the game.

Paul has lead the league in steals four times and assists twice. For his career, he is averaging 18.7 points, 9.9 assists and 2.4 steals per game.

The Clippers are unaccustomed to a player of Paul, or Griffin’s pedigree on their roster. By obtaining the most sought after player of the summer, the franchise has turned a corner.

If he can continue to produce, Paul will become the first Clipper point guard selected as an All-Star since Norm Nixon in 1985.

Griffin is seeking to become the first player in franchise history selected to consecutive All-Star games since Danny Manning in 1993-94 and the duo is hoping to be the first set of Clipper teammates to earn All-Star bids since Bob McAdoo and Randy Smith in 1976.

Only two players in franchise history have ever made consecutive All-Star appearances and the franchise has been represented just 18 times.

Paul’s three career selections to the All-NBA team equal as many as the entire Clippers franchise has been able to garner.

No player has earned the honor since the team changed its name from the Braves to the Clippers prior to the 1978-79 season.

Just days earlier, it appeared the other tenant of the Staples Center would once again get the best of the Clippers.

A vetoed trade away from joining the Lakers, Paul the only thing that prevented him from wearing a purple and gold uniform was David Stern.

Chris Paul averaged 15.9 points, 9.8 assists and 2.4 steals per game for New Orleans last season.

Instead of forming the most electrifying back court with Kobe Bryant, Paul is expected to deliver just the seventh winning season in franchise history.

Since becoming a franchise in the 1970-71 season, the Clippers have an all-time record of 1207-2123.

The team has just seven playoff appearances, ever.

The only team in Los Angeles to ever win a division championship is the Lakers. The best the franchise has ever done was finish second, when playing in Buffalo in 1974-75.

Since 2000, the Clippers selected in the lottery a staggering nine times.

Coming off a 32-win season last year, Los Angeles dealt away a draft pick that eventually became the top overall pick.

The abbreviated off season resulted in the first time the Clippers came away as clear winners, adding veterans Paul, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler.

The team matched an offer from Golden State for Jordan, a restricted free agent.

Now all the team has left is to perform on the court.

For once the Clippers are contenders. And not for the draft lottery.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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