Clippers court disaster…again

while thinking about the deal that sends the kitchen sink from the clips to the hornets in exchange for chris paul, the following line from j.a. adande’s piece on espn  today  leapt out at me: ” Paul has meniscus damage in his left knee similar to the injury that led Brandon Roy to retire.”

oh man.  the curse of the clips rears its ugly head again.  so many commentators are saying that if you have the chance to do something special and pair two superstars you have to do it.  but it says here the clips are giving up too much to roll the dice, namely *both* eric gordon and minny’s 2012 unprotected first-round pick.  paul is said to be willing to extend his current contract an extra year to give the clips at least until 2013 to make this work.  the reasoning from the l.a. side is that having paul  will entice griffin to re-up, and that if griffin re-ups that will entice paul to stay.

but let’s think about this for a second.

you are facing a double injury risk.  if either paul, who already has knee problems, or griffin, who throws his body around with frightening – if exhilarating – abandon, gets hurt, what then?  what are the odds that they both end up re-upping?  and remember, given the compressed schedule this year, with sometimes three games in three nights, depth is going to be at a premium, and we *are going* to see a lot more injuries this year, particularly among 1) older players, 2) players who rely on explosiveness (griffin, paul), and 3) players who are already working with damaged parts (paul).  then consider that the  clips do what people think the revised roster can do, and they end up in the playoffs despite one of the two big guns getting hurt (i’m assuming that happens late in the year, not early).  then their own first-round pick is past the lottery, and unlikely to be anything like the kind of player they could get for minny’s pick.  eric gordon would be gone, along with that pick.  if things play out as it looks like they might, no eric bledsoe around to help spell paul and protect his knees.  no backup plan  (i’m not counting on randy foye or on mo williams), and no more assets/depth.  no kaman expiring contract.  nada, unless you count an overpriced ball-stopping caron butler or an overpriced deandre jordan…neither one is getting you the kind of reinforcements you need to contend.  now, given a scenario that includes an injury to one of the two, does griffin re-up?  paul?  you sure?  i’m not.

so to me, it’s looking like a huge gamble.  it’s a gamble i take in a second if the package includes gordon **or** the minny first-rounder.  it’s the kind of gamble you can take if you are the lakers, and can still attract marquee free-agents if it goes south on you…but if you are the clips, and knowing the injury curse of the clips, no way you should be including both…and shame on david stern for forcing the poor clips to empty the entire closet (word is the “league” wants bledsoe included).

****update****  – this just in…espn reporting that the paul-to-clips deal dies because the clips feel the price is too high….GOOD ON YA CLIPS…finally…a smart move…hold out…


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