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Chris Paul Trade Makes Los Angeles Clippers NBA Title Contenders: Fan’s View
Trades can make or break teams in sports. The Boston Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees at the end of 1919. At that time, the Red Sox had won four World Series and the Yankees none. The Yankees went on to win four World Series with Babe Ruth, and 27 overall, while the Red Sox did not win another one for 86 years.
The Los Angeles Clippers have also never won an NBA Championship, but with the Chris Paul trade, the Clippers look to me like they can now contend for a title. Here's a quick look at the Clippers players, and why they can contend.
Los Angeles Clippers Players in 2011-12
Chris Paul - 18.7 points per game career average
Chris Paul is arguably the best point guard in the NBA today. In addition to having the highest assists per game total of all active NBA players, and third highest average in NBA history at 9.95, Paul also averages 18.7 points per game. In just six NBA seasons, Chris Paul has already led the league twice in assists per game, and four times in total steals.
Blake Griffin - 22.5
In his "rookie" season, Blake Griffin averaged 22.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Great numbers that mark Griffin as one of the best power forwards in the game, and he is only 22 years old.
Caron Butler - 16.6
UConn product Caron Butler signed a three year $24 million deal to play for the Los Angeles Clippers on December 9, 2011. Butler has career averages of 16.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. As long as he is fully recovered from knee surgery, he should be a great pickup for the Clippers.
DeAndre Jordan - 5.6
DeAndre Jordan, who the Clippers kept when they matched Golden State's free agent offer of $42.7 million for four years, only has career averages of 5.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. But Jordan has increased his production all three years in the NBA. He averaged 7.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in 2010-11. He's not great, but with the talent around him he doesn't need to be.
Chauncey Billups - 15.5
When Chauncey Billups woke up and found out the Clippers had claimed him after he was amnesty waived by the New York Knicks, he probably thought "ugh". Once the Clippers made the Chris Paul trade though, Billups had to smile.
For his 14 year NBA career, Chauncey Billups has career averages of 15.5 points and 5.6 assists per game. Billups has made 38.9% of the 4,462 threes he as attempted. His 1,735 career threes is the fifth highest total in NBA history.
The five players listed above have combined career averages of 78.9 points per game. Add all that up, and you certainly have a team that will be in the playoffs, and should be able to compete for an NBA Championship if they can all stay healthy.
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