Chris Paul is going to Los Angeles after all, but to join the Clippers, not the Lakers.
The New Orleans Hornets traded Paul to the Clippers on Wednesday for guard Eric Gordon, forward Al-Farouq Aminu, center Chris Kaman and a first-round draft choice.
The deal required the approval of NBA Commissioner David Stern, because the Hornets are owned by the league.
It ended a tortured week in which the Hornets’ season sat in limbo while the NBA took a beating over everything from potential conflicts of interest, to retarding the Hornets’ pursuit of free agents, to disrespecting the New Orleans fan base.
“I knew we were doing the best thing for New Orleans and that was my job,” Stern said. “You have to stick with what you think was right. I must confess it wasn’t a lot of fun, but I don’t get paid to have fun.”
Paul gets to play in one of the NBA’s biggest markets, even if his new team plays in the shadow of the Lakers. That’s the club Paul was almost traded to last week, only to have Stern nix the deal.
The 26-year-old Paul is a four-time All-Star who averaged 18.7 points and 9.8 assists last season, his sixth in the NBA. He will earn US$16.4 million this year and has a player option for the 2012-2013 season — in which he is due US$17.8 million.
Paul’s move to the Clippers unites him with forward Blake Griffin, who averaged 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds last season — his first as a pro.
The Hornets get a prolific young shooting guard in Gordon, who turns 23 on Christmas Day and averaged 22.3 points last season. Gordon would be a restricted free agent after this season unless he signs an extension with New Orleans.
Aminu is a second-year pro who averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds as a rookie.
Kaman, 29, is an eight-year veteran who averaged 12.4 points and seven rebounds last season, but played in only 32 games because of a left ankle injury. He’s in the last year of his contract, which will pay him US$12.2 million this season.
“With this trade, we now have three additional players who were among the top eight draft picks in their respective drafts, as well as our own first-round pick and [another] first-round pick,” Hornets general manager Dell Demps said.
“Aminu is a young talent with a bright future, Gordon is a big-time scorer and one of the best [shooting] guards in the league and Kaman is a proven center and former All-Star,” Demps added.
New Orleans also sent two 2015 second-round draft picks to the Clippers.
“We wanted to make sure that we got the best possible deal for a player of Chris’ caliber, and we feel great about the outcome,” said Jac Sperling, who Stern appointed as the Hornets’ governor after the league bought the team in December last year.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first