Remember last year when fans of the NBA were showering Utah with praise for getting an all-you-can-eat buffet of players for Deron Williams? Then a couple days later the same buffet was given to Denver, this time with a chocolate fountain? Well last night, after the shock of the Chris Paul trade died down, all we're talking about is how much New Orleans got for Chris Paul.
Let's review the trade in case you're foggy on the details.
Los Angeles Lakers receive:
Pau Gasol Trade Exemption
Lamar Odom Trade Exemption
Houston Rockets receive:
New Orleans Hornets receive:
Did New Orleans get the best end of the trade?
2012 first-round pick
2012 second-round pick
This leaves New Orleans with the following starting five:
PG: Jarret Jack. While he isn't exactly a suitable starting point guard, the Hornets could do a lot worse. Despite his off-court issues, Jack has always been a solid contributor off the bench in Toronto and last season in New Orleans. He's good for 10-4-3.
SG: Kevin Martin. K-Mart is one of my favorite players in the league, and I feel he doesn't get good recognition because he's played his entire career in Sacramento and Houston. For those who don't know, he's a guy who can score 30 on any given night. I believe he's the kind of guy you can have as a second option on a really good team. He'll contribute 20-3-2.
SF: Lamar Odom. There's really not much to say about Odom, he's a two-time champion and the reigning sixth man of the year. He's versatile enough to play any spot from 2 through 4, and his numbers can only go up along with his minutes. Odom could go off for 20-9-8.
PF: Luis Scola. Luis is considered soft by many and has struggled with injury before. However, if the Hornets can keep him healthy, they'll have an extremely serviceable and big power forward. He's a solid contributor and good rebounder. He'd contribute 12-9-2 per night.
C: Emeka Okafor. Okafor is one of the smartest players in the league and one of the leaders on this team. He would anchor the defense, and a lot of the offense would run through him. Although he's at the tail end of his career, he's still worth a good 32-35 minutes a night. Look for him to go for 12-10-3 on this team.
The key here is that New Orleans got that 1st round draft pick from Houston. If you were to tell me with a straight face that I could have that starting five and still have a lottery pick, along with my own top-20 pick in the most loaded draft pool since 2003, I would take the deal 11 out of 10 times.
For more NBA insight you can follow me on Twitter at @LooRod