Brooks also stressed the additions of veteran All-Stars Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler cannot be overlooked.
“Their talent is good,” Brooks said of the Clippers. “They don't just have a bunch of athletes who aren't good basketball players. They have athletes who are skilled and can play. They know the tricks. Chauncey is one of the best clutch players in basketball.”
Thunder reserve point guard Royal Ivey was drafted in 2004, one year before Paul, and has observed the former Wake Forest standout closely.
“He's a great catalyst,” Ivey said of the 26-year-old Paul, who already is in his seventh season. “He's the quarterback. He's great at the pick-and-roll and he's great at picking a team apart. He draws the bigs and he gives up the ball. He's a pass-first point guard. He's not really making the home-run plays. He's just making the plays the defense gives him. He's a high-level point guard, one of the elite.”
Is Paul among the best ever?
“I think when it's all said and done he has a chance, but I can't really call that right now,” Ivey said. “That's down the line.”