NBA Rumors: Clippers Shouldn't Include Eric Gordon in Potential CP3 Deal

Austin GreenCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27:  Eric Gordon #10 of the Los Angeles Clippers goes in for a layup over Marcus Camby #23 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half at Staples Center on October 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Clippers are now the front-runners to land Chris Paul, but they shouldn't do the deal if they have to give up Eric Gordon.

Gordon is just 22 years old and is about two seasons away from placing a stranglehold on the title of NBA's best shooting guard.

He's a potent scorer, an improving defender and a fierce competitor. He plays his ass off every single night, which is more than you can say about most players in the NBA.

He also makes plays that maybe ten guys in the league are capable of, like this nasty crossover and dunk against Utah.

Although he was overshadowed by the Blake Griffin circus, Gordon was phenomenal last season. He averaged 22.3 points, 4.4 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

The only other players in NBA history to do that at his age are Chris Webber, Isiah Thomas, Kobe Bryant, Oscar Robertson, Tracy McGrady, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan. Not exactly bad company.

Simply put, Gordon is just too valuable to give up for a 26-year-old point guard with aching knees.

The Clippers may be able to get Paul without including their young 2-guard in the deal. They have quality assets in Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu and Chris Kaman's expiring contract.

Most importantly, they can offer Minnesota's unprotected 2012 draft pick. Given the Timberwolves' recent struggles, that will likely be a high lottery pick in a stacked draft class.

The Clippers are smart to aggressively pursue CP3. He's the best pure point guard in the league and the thought of him throwing alley-oops to Blake Griffin is just salivating.

However, if New Orleans demands Gordon in return, the Clippers can't pull the trigger.