Over on the Wages of Wins today, I wrote an article about the Los Angeles Clippers, who have reportedly balked at trading Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, and the Minnesota pick in 2012, claiming that this is too much to give up. Well, I basically say that they are ****ing crazy. Here's an excerpt:
The upshot of this is that finding a 6’4″ player that shoots the ball very efficiently and doesn’t turn the ball over may not be easy, but it is vastly more difficult to find a 6’10″ person that fits that description, and finding a 7’0″ player that skilled is (statistically speaking) a once-in-a-lifetime event. Dre brought this up last weak, but these numbers demonstrate that trading both Odom and Gasol for Chris Paul was probably not a “fair deal” for the Lakers (and yes, this means that Dan Gilbert’s whine about the unfairness of it all is unintentionally ironic).
The reverse of this, of course, is that the Clippers are being highly irrational by balking at trading two guards and a draft pick for Chris Paul. There are three reasons that this confuses me. First, neither player is tall. There are plenty of wing players on the free agency market (or available for trade) every year. It makes no sense to treat either player as a precious commodity. Second, Eric Gordon is probably going to get paid a lot of money soon. And that leads me to my third point: neither player is a particularly good player.
I go on to elaborate why I don't think Eric Gordon is very good, but the point is simple: good/decent wing players are always easy to find (as opposed to good/decent big men, who are expensive), and superstar players are incredibly hard to find: among guards, Chris Paul was the only player who posted a WP48 above .300 (LeBron had an "off" year) and he and James (who arguably is not a guard) are the only ones in the top 10. Passing on Paul because Gordon, Bledsoe, or that pick might become as good as, say, Chris Paul, whom you could....uh....just...trade for now?....is simply moronic thinking.