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Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 at 1:20 pm  |  70 responses

Chris Paul Reportedly Told Clippers He Was Signing With Rockets When Doc Rivers Talks Stalled


The LA Clippers, according to a report from Grantland, avoid a calamity this summer when they finally relented and hired head coach Doc Rivers. A very unhappy Chris Paul reportedly threatened to sign with the Houston Rockets when negotiations with Rivers were presumably dead: “To Chris Paul, who basically told the Clippers that after they squashed the first incarnation of their Doc Rivers trade. Chris didn’t like that. He let them know he was heading to Houston to team up with Dwight (Howard.) And he wasn’t kidding. For about 36 hours, (Daryl) Morey probably felt like all 11 guys in Ocean’s Eleven. You know what happened next: The Clippers blinked, the Doc trade got revived and finished, and the Clippers were offering Chris 107 million reasons to play for him. Crisis averted. The lesson, as always: Chris Paul runs the Clippers.”

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  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Donald Sterling probably freaking hates Chris Paul.

  • LobCity

    “Basically” this is never happened

  • LobCity

    “Basically” this never happened *

  • http://www.netstakeover.com/ JetSkiJohnson

    Still should have left.

  • shockexchange

    Basically, (Denny Green voice) “The Clippers … they are who we thought they were.” Cliff Paul and Blake will be doing those cheezy commercials while The Kang and Miami take the cake.

  • The Mauve Avenger

    How do these stories leak? Seems like something they would try to keep under wraps.

  • MUBWAR

    sterling hates him more for that 107 millions nbk

  • LakeShow

    Paul’s a smart duded. Get what he wants without looking like a complete bad guy…

  • Poetryselite

    Let’s say this story is true (although it’s viable to be either way), people are so quick to all of a sudden, question CP3′s image and his loyalty. However, I present another scenario: When LBJ left Cleveland, he left for one reason and one reason only… he wanted to win that elusive title. I mention Lebron because CP3 didn’t want history to repeat with him. He demanded a stronger supporting cast (coach, team, whatever he needed) so that he would have a reason to stay. At least CP3 knows his chances to win a title are greater this season than they were the last 2 seasons combined. And that’s all CP3 wants… a legit shot to compete for basketball’s crown jewel.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    idk, the NBA’s slumlord having one of his players hold his team hostage by threatening to leave probably irks him just as much, if not more than paying the guy.

  • spit hot fiyah

    would houston even have been able to sign paul and howard at the same time?

  • TR

    Do you guys think the Clips would be a playoff team without Paul and if Bledsoe was kept?

  • bike

    Paul can be a mean little prick when he wants to. He’s never really been the same after Pau playfully rubbed his head.

  • bill

    I didn’t even think Sterling cared.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    they would have had to trade a couple guys, but yeah. They could have made it happen.

  • AlbertBarr

    Kind of poetic…Clippers are finally relevant but Sterling can’t enjoy it because he is a horrible and spiteful human being. Unfortunately he is still raking in cash…

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    How is this a prick move?

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Always weird how this information comes out after the fact. Almost a month after the fact. Why should anyone care about who he was about to sign with? And why would anyone release this information?

  • Basketball_iQ

    In warfare, the character is assassinated first…..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well why would people from the Rockets keep this story under wraps?

  • Max

    Morey makes everything happen.

  • Basketball_iQ

    Exactly,,,, people act like the players are slaves to these franchises,,, these are men trying to get as much as they can out of stingy billionaires. Miss me with that

  • Ugh

    TL;DR version: ‘Dude wants to win’.

  • Ugh

    I don’t actually believe this story. Nobody, even Chris Paul, would believe that Griffin+Paul+Rivers > Howard+Harden+Paul. If he could have gone to Houston with Dwight, he would have just done that.

  • Ugh

    I don’t actually believe this story. Nobody, even Chris Paul, would believe that Griffin+Paul+Rivers > Howard+Harden+Paul. If he could have gone to Houston with Dwight, he would have just done that.

  • Markus437

    Adding Chris Paul instead of Dwight would have made the Rockets better imo since the gap in skill between Lin and Paul is way larger than with Asik and Howard

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    To be honest, I think it would’ve been a better team had he gone to Houston…

  • RKJ92

    I might be wrong but I think I heard that Bill Simmons actually reported this, being good friends with Morey and such.. just what I heard though like I said!

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Free agent. He did nothing wrong. Had a right to make whatever moves he wanted to make. If the franchise gave him that kind of power and he used it, that’s not on him…it’s on the franchise.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    First place I saw it was in Simmons column this morning so that makes good sense to me lol

  • LakeShow

    More top heavy, but not as deep.

  • LakeShow

    The Clippers are arguably better.

  • The Seed

    HurtP3, career is over in Clipperland. He will not win a ring with Blake.

  • RKJ92

    Haha hey I don’t know, I was just commenting how the story might have gotten leaked! :-p

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Ok, one thing that is being misreported here. “to team up with Dwight Howard” is a lie. unless Paul knew Howard was going to Houston before everyone else did for sure. That is a blatant lie.
    .
    With that being said,
    .
    Does this mean Chris Paul was Daryl Morey’s #1 free agency option?

  • underdog

    He punched Julius Hodge in the ballsack well before that. I’m not saying he’s a dirty player, it’s just because he’s probably the top PG in the league, it doesn’t make him immediately a likeable character.

  • Nathan Shane Long

    CHRIS PAUL IS THE NBA BIGGEST DIVA!

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Look at the players behind Howard and Harden and factor in the fact that they would have had to trade other pieces to get Chris, probably more good pieces. Which would have left Paul, Howard, Harden and not much else. Now look at the Clippers with Chris, not losing anyone but Bledsoe and gaining good pieces in return.

  • Alfredo Rodriguez

    Actually, Sterling has been a hostage before. Did you know that Donald helped Dr. Jerry Buss buy the Lakers by loaning him $1 million back in 1979? Dr. Buss even asked Sterling to join the NBA as a way of saying thanks. Years later, Jerry got Donald involved in that crucial Byron Scott-Norm Nixon swap in 1983, the crux of the fabled Clipper Curse. The swap paid off in 1985 when Scott helped the Lakers to finally defeat the Boston Celtics in an NBA Finals. Meanwhile, the Clippers became losers forever as they committed an immortal sin in sports: helping the enemy.

    Donald Sterling and Dr. Jerry Buss were friends. Sterling would do anything for the guy, even at the cost of his own basketball team.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Man I didn’t know any of that! Thanks for the story man

  • LobCity

    I wouldn’t buy into the hype of this story. CP3 had no leverage in forcing his way anywhere via sign & trade. The Clippers stepped their game up a few years ago by making smart draft choices and not overpaying for talent. After getting CP3 they stepped it up in free agency and paid big bucks for players/coaches. But make no mistake he wasn’t going anywhere, regardless of the Doc Rivers situation. Any other stories are BS from people trying to get clicks, “basically”.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Unless as I’m starting to theorize,
    .
    Chris Paul was actually Daryl Morey’s top priority. And Dwight was never part of any threat, as was reported seemingly in retrospect.

  • BugEyes

    Every story or trade gets leaked from the sports agents believe it or not. an angry players agent tells the sports writers that he wants a trade and boom there you have it

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    you ever wonder how you always get mail at the same time every morning? Daryl Morey.

  • Interdico Scriptor

    Clippers Western conf. representatives this year…

  • King David

    lol i know right

  • Yep

    Clippers are still massively overrated and probably still a 2nd round playoff exit waiting to happen with a at best scenario conference finals

  • LobCity

    That seems even more unlikely. This is all BS because he had very little leverage throughout the process, especially with a sign and trade. CP3 was never leaving. These stories about CP3 being “mad at sterling” or “heading to Houston” are exaggerated. These reporters are trying to paint Chris as some fickle superstar, but keep in min Mrs. Paul was set on staying and a coach wasn’t gonna change her mind.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol, yep, and he plays for the hornets and Vinny del negro is still coaching after a 56 win season….all of that.

  • Max

    I don’t get it haha.

  • danpowers

    boulevard press at its best. if this was a printed version i’d wipe my a*s with it.

  • danpowers

    at least the clips are deeper. but lets just wait and see, the combo of howard and harden will probably attrackt a couple of good players during the next one or two seasons.

  • LobCity

    I meant the new coach wasn’t gonna change him staying in LA, as in Doc or whoever they hired. Del Negro was done last year when they didnt offer an extension. Other important players wanted Del negro out too, that wasn’t just a CP3 thing. And he didnt do the hornets wrong. Told them he wasn’t gonna re-sign so help trade him rather than lose him. I’d say he helped his old team a lot more than LeBron and Dwight. The point is the Clipppers mad a lot of good decisions, listened to both Blake and CP3 about personnel decisions, and offered top dollar to keep both, so CP3 wasn’t going anywhere. Add the fact they bought a mansion in LA, moves there while fam out, and his wife loves it. There was never a doubt

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Chris Paul handled his situation no different than Dwight did. Chris gave the hornets a list of teams he was willing to go to. Told the team he wasn’t signing an extension.

    .

    The difference is? The front office in New Orleans was competent at appeasing his demands. Orlando wasn’t for Dwight.

    .

    “I meant the new coach wasn’t gonna change him staying in LA”

    - it might have. you don’t know.

    .

    “Del Negro was done last year when they didn’t offer an extension. Other important players wanted Del negro out too, that wasn’t just a CP3 thing.”

    - See, from Donald Sterling, “But if you have special players, and special players think that they know the best opportunity to win, you have to support them.”

    .
    There are only 2 special players on the Clippers roster. And one of them is outspoken about how badly he desires to win. The other guy just time travelled in a kia.
    .
    Don’t be naive and act like you don’t realize it was Chris Paul who got VDN fired & Doc Rivers hired. The threat may have been veiled, but it most definitely seems real. Everyone was under the impression Doc to LA was dead. Including Doc and the Celtics.

  • LobCity

    I’d say Dwight handled it a bit different by dragging out the process that one year where he ended up opting in. Also, did he ever provide a list? I recall him saying he only wanted to play for Brooklyn. CP3 at least was a lil flexible which allowed the hornets to talk to multiple teams and get the best deal possible. In the end, Dwight left the Lakers without a thing so….

    “I meant the new coach wasn’t gonna change him staying in LA”
    “- it might have. you don’t know.” <–this exactly how they want you to view the story "basically". There's people that have credible sources in the organization that say this is completely false. There's LA beat writers that say this completely false. So yeah, you can say maybe about a lot of things, but I'd rather trust people that have delivered accurate inside info as opposed to speculation.

    Blake Griffin is special, untouchable in trades (unless LeBron or Durant were available of course). CP3 is no doubt more business savvy and direct with his demands, but Blake has a lot of juice. Again, listen to credible people that follow the Clippers beat and they'll tell you how much Blake means to the Donald. Also, DJ is special and the front office loves him. They matched a ridiculous contract for a reason. While he isn't untouchable, his situation is kinda like Jim Buss-Bynum. It's tough to find centers in this league and the Clippers would prefer a coach utilizes DJ the right was rather than making a trade that would leave them searching for another center in 1-2 years. VDN's coaching, the input of all 3 players mentioned, and the front office(not Donald, but Sacks & Roeser) is what resulted in VDN being let go. National media jumped on the Donald quote but there was more to it. So yeah, CP3 might have been vocal but VDN was gone since last year for all those reasons. Keep in mind if it was up to Donald a lot of things would still be shitty so you cant live off that quote. And the Doc deal wasnt dead. Both organizations just leaked every single thing to scare the other side. The ESPN LA & LA times beat writer called the deal getting done, even after the "deal is dead. Doc ready to coach" reports came out.

    So based on speculation, yes, maybe that happened. Looking at the whole situation, the facts, what credible media reported plus what sources reported, no way it went down. "basically" lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, Dwights original list was, Brooklyn-Houston-Dallas.

    .

    He opted in simply because Orlando threatened him into it. They said, “opt in, or we are trading you to the Lakers”

    .

    Then he changed his stance to try and force his way to Brooklyn before they locked up Brook Lopez…..

    .

    Too late.

    .

    — Then he opted in, and they went and traded him to the Lakers anyway.

    .

    ” but I’d rather trust people that have delivered accurate inside info as opposed to speculation.”

    - LOL, yeah? what people? and when have they done so in the past? seems like you just attributing “these guys are trustworthy” to them because well, you believe what they are saying. Not because they are actually trustworthy people.

    .
    Did you really call DeAndre Jordan a special player? the dude is not very good. i hope you realize that. and no, his opinion is not swaying anything for the Clippers. They freaking tried to trade him for Kevin Garnett 2 months ago.
    .
    It makes a lot of sense to believe Paul went in and basically pushed for Doc Rivers. We know he was against Vinny Del Negro. We know how much player’s respect and want to play for Rivers. And we know Chris Paul, unlike Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan (lol) is more than willing to voice his opinion and demands to a team. Blake and DeAndre, while i’m sure they have opinions, are really too young, and in no position to leverage the Clippers into doing anything. It’s not like Blake can or wants to force his way out of town. And it’s not like either of them are free agents. Logically speaking, if any player had a concern about the coaching, and pushed one way or another, it was Chris Paul.
    .
    But hey, believe the people paid by the team, or who are reliant on a good relationship with the team, because in your opinion, they seem like more reliable sources. That’ll never backfire. Just like the people close to the organization in Cleveland were so sure LeBron wasn’t leaving, when they fired Mike Brown for him.

  • Ugh

    That’s true, but I’ll remind you of the Heatles experiment – the Heat got to the Finals with three All Stars, a bucket of fried chicken parts, a Volvo and some kitchen equipment Riley found in his boat shed.

    And the worst player on the Rockets roster (and it doesn’t matter which one you think it is) is about five times more capable player than Chris Bosh is.

  • Ugh

    Let me correct that – the worst player of that ‘what-if’ Rockets roster is about five times more capable.
    (I think Bosh is more capable than Lin. I didn’t want anyone thinking I’d said that.)

  • Ugh

    They’re certainly deeper than the Rockets, but I don’t think they’re better than a Harden/Howard/Paul and a cast of minimum wagers. That team is a total monster with me playing the PF and nbk on the wing.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Griffin and Paul/Howard and Harden are not LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. And you’re out of your mind for that statement about Chris Bosh. Show him some respect. Find me another 3rd option in the league capable of averaging 18 and 8.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Bosh is a top 20 player. Top 5 at his position. None of the Rockets players outside of Howard and Harden are even All-Star caliber.

  • LobCity

    Thanks for clearing the dwight situation. cant say I followed it too much, got tired of all that mess real quick. hope u got some good sources tho lol.

    I trust people based on what they say and it being proven to be true. Not based on speculation people report, which allows causal fans to make assumptions and perceive that speculation as actual news. Basically, I listen to people who report news that actually come to fruition, rather than relying on “maybe” “potentially” “basically” and “might” reports. People gotta show me they got juice before i believe em. In addition I’ve met some people that are connected within the organization and causally drop nuggets, some even do it on twitter and get hit up & followed by national reporters lol. Lastly, I got some mutal friends with the players mentioned. I’m no thirsty fanboy begging for info, but if it comes my way I listen. I usually only comment on Clippers/UCLA stuff because that’s the only stuff I got some in-depth knowledge beyond the causal fan. Most of the time it’s to debunk bogus reports or rumors and the “same ol-clippers” stories/comments.
    So yeah, CP3 played a big role. I’m just dropping the info I know, take it however u want. VDN wanted to trade DJ, pissed off Roeser and Sacks. Didnt show much as a coach, yes I know what the record was, and he didnt have a contract. Griffin has juice even if u just see him as the Kia guy. DJ doesn’t have close to CP/BG juice but they like him. Picked him in the 2nd round, been around since he was 19, thru the good and the bad. He’s liked and he plays a position in demand. Not untouchable but well liked and they’d prefer to keep him. Recent trade talk was in a huge package deal with KG, PP and Doc. Special case. And again, from my understanding, this cp3 report never happened. That’s just me tho! Believe your sources lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i think i see the miscommunication between us. ( and i appreciate you explaining your POV on this situation)
    .
    I’m not saying Paul was actually going to leave. But the threat of leaving, presumably was enough to rekindle the flames of bringing in Doc Rivers.

  • Ugh

    You think 0 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assist and a block in Game 7 of the NBA Finals is the work of a Top 20 player?

    I see you come from the Otis Smith school of general managing – he thought Rashard Lewis was that good for those numbers, too.

  • danpowers

    i meant the clips with paul as they are and the rockets with harden and howard as they are. sure, a rockets team with harden, paul and howard could very well dethrone the heat even in their first run.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Completely idiotic to compare Bosh and Rashard Lewis. Foolish on your part. Let’s take 1 game and judge a player’s ability or skills on it. Or even one postseason. I don’t have to sit here and argue for Bosh. His career thus far speaks for itself. His time in Miami speaks for itself. The only reason he isn’t still getting 20 and 10 is because he chose to play for a team that didn’t require him to do it. If you’re unable to see Bosh as a top 20 guy, that’s your problem. In 2011-2012, he averaged 14 and 8 as the 3rd option in the playoffs. Last season, 12 and 7. On just 10 shots. That’s a career best postseason for most 3rd options. Numbers speak for themselves. Look at the numbers for 3rd options on other past championship teams and compare them to Bosh playing badly. This is them playing well:

    Shawn Marion: 12 pts, 6 rebs
    World Peace: 11 pts, 4 rebs
    Odom: 12 pts, 9 rebs

  • Ugh

    For someone who doesn’t have to defend Bosh because his game speaks for itself… well, do I really have to finish this sentence?

    Thanks for playing. I hope you enjoy your stay on the internet. Why not compile some more lists and post them in other threads, or perhaps compare players from other eras? All this and more on the SLAMOnline forums.

  • Ugh

    Yeah, which is why I don’t believe the rumour – if Paul, Howard and Harden were any kind of possible not one of them would have turned their back on it as an opportunity.

  • danpowers

    indeed

  • LobCity

    For sure. I get it. All I’m saying is, from the information I got, he never made a threat and never wavered on his commitment to LAC. He & Blake were informed of negotiations throughout the process. The deal was never dead. Sterling wanted to wait until Boston budged on the 1st rounder knowing Celtics were gonna blow it up. When it got to just one 1st rounder CP told em get er’ done, that sounds fair. They agreed to do 2015instead of 2014 1st and the rest is history. The Clippers were already going to start up talks after the weekend, regardless of CP3′s encouragement and that’s what ESPN LA & LA times reported. In Doc’s press conference he talked about how they were set on breaking it up. Ainge had the replacement lined up and was ready to pull the trigger. So, from what I know, that threat was never made and CP3 would have played for another coach on the list if Boston demanded too much. That’s all I was trying to say lol.. Good talking some Clipps tho

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