Blake Griffin and Chris Paul need each other

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin dunks over Miami Heat in fourth quarter action in Los Angeles on January 12, 2011. The Clippers defeated the Heat 111-105. UPI/Jon SooHoo

Hornets fans are going to cringe when they read the title of this post. I get it — the Hornets are a solid 31-18 and the Chris Paul trade talk has died down considerably since last summer.

But these facts remain: 1) New Orleans is not a legit contender, 2) the team’s second-best player (David West) is getting older (30) and approaching free agency, and 3) Paul can become a free agent in the summer of 2012.

After some trade rumors were floating around last summer, Paul met with the New Orleans newly-hired braintrust and has since kept his mouth shut, playing the role of good soldier. He’s having a good season (16.7 points, 9.7 assists, 2.6 steals) and the Hornets are having a nice year. But virtually no one believes that they’ll be representing the West in the Finals this summer. One online casino’s long-term market shows the Hornets as a 19-1 longshot to make the Finals. That’s pretty telling considering how inconsistent the Lakers have been this season.

So what does this have to do with Blake Griffin? Well, I went to see my beloved Bucks take on the Clippers last night at the Staples Center and got to see Griffin in person. He went for 32-11-6, and generally killed Milwaukee with a plethora of post moves, drives and long jumpers. The Bucks are a good defensive team, but they had no answer for Griffin who flat-out dominated the game offensively for the Clippers.

Griffin is a special talent. He can jump out of the gym, but he has the ability to channel his athleticism into effective basketball talent which is not always easy for someone so athletic. The 31-year-old Baron Davis is serviceable at point guard, but if the Clippers could somehow acquire Paul (25), and surround the dynamic duo with a couple of shooters and a defensive center, Griffin and Paul could lead the Clippers to the Promised Land.

How do the Clippers acquire Paul? I doubt the Hornets are going to listen to trade offers right now, but if I’m Clipper GM Neil Olshey, I’d call up Dell Demps and make a standing offer of Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and the Minnesota Timberwolves unprotected 2012 first rounder. The deal would net the Hornets a future All-Star in Gordon, as well as cap relief and solid post play in the form of Kaman. With the direction the T-Wolves are headed, that 2012 draft pick will probably be in the Top 5. Gordon would be a steep price to pay, but if you want a Top 2 point guard in a point guard-dominated league, you’re going to have to give something up.

Paul and Griffin would be devastating in the pick-and-roll and Griffin’s ability to post up would take the pressure off of Paul and allow him to take over in the clutch if the situation warranted it. Paul would also love playing with D’Andre Jordan, who has already shown a Tyson Chandler-like ability to finish alley-oops with outstanding power.

Worried about L.A. being a Laker town? Kobe is starting to show his age and if Paul and Griffin are headlining the Clippers, it won’t take long for a good portion of the Laker “faithful” to switch sides and start rooting for the city’s other team.

I’m not suggesting this is likely to happen, or even remotely possible. I’m just saying that it should happen. Even if Donald Sterling is the worst owner in the league.

Oh, and if CP3 isn’t available, Deron Williams would work too.

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