Chris Paul to Clippers: Why Eric Gordon, Not CP3, Will Be Biggest Star in Deal

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIDecember 15, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12:  Eric Gordon #10 of the Los Angeles Clippers heads to the basket as he is guarded by Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat at Staples Center on January 12, 2011 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 Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers blockbuster trade involved the exchange of two stars: Paul and former Clipper Eric Gordon being sent to the New Orleans Hornets.

Between these two stars, the 22-year-old Gordon will emerge as the biggest star of this deal.

Gordon, a four-year veteran, is a 6'3", 215-pound shooting guard who had a breakout year for the Clippers last year.

The Indiana product exploded for 22.3 points and 4.4 assists per game on 45 percent shooting while playing 56 games in 2010-11 due to a nagging right wrist injury.

Now healthy, Gordon will be expected to carry the Hornets as their undisputed star, something that Paul has to share with Clippers sensation Blake Griffin.

The Hornets have a strong frontcourt with power forward Carl Landry coming back and Trevor Ariza starting at small forward. Hornets center Emeka Okafor and Gordon's Clipper teammate Chris Kaman could be the starting power forward and center that could score inside.

Retaining Kaman as a teammate will be invaluable as Gordon transitions as the Hornets' leader.  Kaman understands Gordon's game and will assist him with the pick-and-roll or help clear space when Gordon cuts to the basket.

Even though Jarrett Jack is the projected starting point guard, the offense will go through Gordon as he has improved his passing.

The strong frontcourt will open up opportunities for Gordon, who is extremely dangerous when he has space on the floor.

As for Gordon's defense, he utilizes his strength well and stays in front of opponents. However, he isn't as long at 6'3", so taller guards have a size advantage.

Gordon will have more chance to shine as the team leader. He had to share the spotlight with Baron Davis his first couple seasons, and took a backseat when Griffin exploded onto the scene last year.

With the Hornets, Gordon will be the centerpiece of the franchise's new rebuilding plan. He has youth, athleticism and a nose for the basket that are solid intangibles.

As for Paul, he will do well with the Clippers, but some of his accomplishments will be attributed to Griffin helping him out in a shared leadership role. 

Gordon will be the offensive and team leader for the Hornets, and will probably score 25 or more points as New Orleans' lone legitimate scorer.

He will be motivated to show the Clippers what they are missing as he tries making the next step into becoming a superstar.

While Paul is a special player in his own right, Gordon has been given the keys to the Hornets' future and will shine as he makes the most of his golden opportunity.

Bob Bajek is a writing intern at Bleacher Report. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed at and Twitter.