It's been said youth is wasted on the young. But in the case of the Los Angeles Clippers, with the addition of All-Star point guard Chris Paul, youth will be about as wasteful as a winning lottery ticket.
In gaining Paul, 26, from the New Orleans Hornets for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and Al-Farouq Aminu, the Clippers add a proven leader and superstar to a starting line that includes reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin, 22, and ever-improving center DeAndre Jordan, 23.
The addition of veterans Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler as well provides the kind of stable levelheadedness the Clippers need to balance their explosive young talent and keep the team working towards their ultimate goal, which at this point has to be home-court advantage in Round 1 of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Lakers appear to be on shaky ground with just about a week and a half to go till the NBA's Christmas Day opener.
Lamar Odom has been dealt to the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, a move that left a few of the Lakers' veterans, including Kobe Bryant, a bit disappointed in, or confused by, their front office's decision.
Questions also remain around the future of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, as rumors have circulated about possible deals involving one of the two big men.
Despite trade talk and rumors, the issue of the Lakers' age has to be a point of concern for those who bleed purple and gold. The average age of the Lakers' potential starting five, as it looks now, is about 32 years old. That’s including the 24-year-old Bynum.
Though Kobe Bryant is still the best player in the world, the mountain range of minutes he’s recorded on his body looked to be taking a toll on his knees last season. Will he be the same Kobe this year?
The shortened NBA season gives the older Lakers a nice cushion, and as long as those banners hang in the Staples Center for the Lakers, L.A. will be theirs.
But with Chris Paul moving in for at least two seasons, this season could be the start of hoops' youth revolt, ending with the elite Lakers replaced by the Clippers—can you believe it?—as the hottest ticket in town.
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