Chris Paul Rumors

Eastern Notes: LeBron, Irving, Stevens, Shved

March 31 at 10:58am CDT By Chuck Myron

The relationship between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving was “rocky” at points earlier this season, Irving admits, but it’s grown into a bond that appears much stronger than the one between James and Kevin Love, as Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group details. Love and James say it doesn’t matter whether they become as tight as Irving and James are as long as they can develop a greater on-court connection, Vardon writes.

“People get so infatuated with the best of friends, things of that nature,” James said. “First of all, I’ve got three very good friends in this league, and that’s Carmelo [Anthony], and that’s C.P. [Chris Paul], and that’s [Dwyane Wade] Wade. And after that I have a bunch of teammates. I have guys I ride for every day. But Kyrie is a guy I understand how important he is to this team, how important he is. And the same with Kev as well.”

James and Love can opt out to hit free agency this summer, while Irving will enter year one of his five-year extension next season. Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS hears “some Brad Stevens chatter” in connection to the University of Texas coaching job (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether there’s interest on either side, though Texas athletics director Steve Patterson has spoken with NBA coaching agents of late, tweets Chris Mannix of Davis identifies Avery Johnson as a possible sleeper for the job. Stevens is just finishing up the second season of a six-year, $22MM deal and there have been no indications that he wants to leave the Celtics. Further, the Celtics would probably deny him permission to go, as Ben Rohrbach of surmises (Twitter link).
  • Alexey Shved loves playing for coach Derek Fisher and is open to re-signing with New York after his contract expires this summer, sources tell Ian Begley of (Twitter link). The Knicks can make Shved a restricted free agent if they tender a qualifying offer of nearly $4.103MM.
  • The Cavs have assigned Joe Harris to the D-League, the team announced. It’s the eighth time Cleveland has sent last year’s 33rd overall pick to its affiliate, though none of the seven previous assignments have lasted as long as a week, as our leaguewide assignments/recalls log shows.

Trade Retrospective: Chris Paul To The Clippers

August 24 2014 at 12:40pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

With the Kevin Love blockbuster now official, time will tell which franchise got the better of the trade. The Wolves dealt away their star player for a number of intriguing pieces, and the Cavs netted a another star to pair alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, while the Sixers look to nab the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft. It’s always a risky proposition to deal a top-flight player away, as past deals have demonstrated. It’s with that in mind that I’ve been looking back at other blockbuster trades and how they have worked out for all involved.

So far I’ve examined the trades that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers; Deron Williams to the Nets; Kevin Garnett to the Celtics; Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks; and Shaquille O’Neal to the Heat. Next up is the 2011 deal that saw Chris Paul traded from the Pelicans to the Clippers.

On December 8, 2011, the Pelicans had agreed to a three-team trade that would send Paul to the Lakers; Pau Gasol to the Rockets; and Kevin Martin; Luis Scola; Lamar Odom; Goran Dragic; and a 2012 first-rounder (Royce White) that Houston had acquired from the Knicks, to New Orleans.

During this time the league was in charge of all decisions involving the Pelicans while they awaited new ownership to take control of the franchise. There were numerous reports that other team owners were angry about the trade due to their focus at achieving competitive balance between the larger and smaller market teams. The league allowing a pairing of Paul alongside Kobe Bryant was the antithesis of this goal.

An email that was sent to then Commissioner David Stern was published in The New York Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer, in which Cavs owner Dan Gilbert called the proposed deal “a travesty” and urged Stern to put the deal to a vote of “the 29 owners of the Pelicans,” referring to the rest of the league’s teams. Despite the backlash, the league claimed the deal was turned down for purely basketball reasons. “It’s not true that the owners killed the deal,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said at the time. “The deal was never discussed at the Board of Governors meeting and the league office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons.”

The second attempt at trading Paul to a team in Los Angeles went a bit smoother, and on December 15th, Paul was dealt to the Clippers. Let’s take a look at the players and assets involved:

It’s hard to compare the two deals and not think that the league and the Pelicans would have been better served with the initial trade to the Lakers, seeing how well Dragic has developed, and how Gordon’s injury woes and bloated contract haven’t quite worked out in New Orleans’ favor.

Once the trade was completed, Paul announced that he would opt in for the final year of his deal, thus ensuring he’d remain with the Clippers for at least two seasons. Paul would later sign a five-year, $107MM contract extension on July 10, 2013.

The Clippers’ records in the years leading up to the Paul trade were quite dismal.

  1. 2007/08: 23-59
  2. 2008/09: 19-63
  3. 2009/10: 29-53
  4. 2010/11: 32-50

Their records after the deal:

  1. 2011/12: 40-26 (Lost in second round of playoffs to the Spurs)
  2. 2012/13: 56-26 (Lost in first round to Grizzlies)
  3. 2013/14: 57-25 (Lost in second round to Thunder)

While they haven’t made it past the second round of the playoffs yet, there is a marked improvement in the franchise since Paul arrived. Let’s look at his production since arriving in Los Angeles.

  1. 2011/12: 19.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 9.1 APG, and 2.5 SPG. His slash line was .478/.371/.861.
  2. 2012/13: 16.9 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 9.7 APG, and 2.4 SPG. His slash line was .481/.328/.885.
  3. 2013/14: 19.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 10.7 APG, and 2.5 SPG. His slash line was .467/.368/.855.

While Paul isn’t solely responsible for the reversal of the Clippers’ fortunes, he’s been an integral part of the turnaround, and it’s hard to argue that Los Angeles didn’t win this deal easily, especially since Paul still has a number of seasons left in his prime before he begins to hit his decline phase.

The Pelicans definitely took a major step back with the trade. First let’s look at their records in the seasons prior to the trade.

  1. 2007/08: 56-26 (Lost in second round to the Spurs)
  2. 2008/09: 49-33 (Lost in first round to the Nuggets)
  3. 2009/10: 37-45
  4. 2010/11: 46-36 (Lost in first round to Lakers)

While they weren’t anyone’s definition of a Championship caliber team, here are their records after Paul was traded.

  1. 2011/12: 21-45
  2. 2012/13: 27-55
  3. 2013/14: 34-48

This trade would look a bit different if Eric Gordon had avoided injuries and continued the developmental progress he displayed during his first three seasons in the league, when he was considered a budding star. Here are his numbers with the Clippers.

  1. 2008/09: 16.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 2.8 APG. His slash line was .456/.389/.854.
  2. 2009/10: 16.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 3.0 APG. His slash line was .449/.371/.742.
  3. 2010/11: 22.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 4.4 APG. His slash line was .450/.364/.825.

Gordon only managed nine games during his first season in New Orleans. It was revealed that he had a pre-existing knee injury that was aggravated during the first game of the season. The injury was originally believed to be just a bone bruise, but further examinations determined that Gordon had cartilage damage in his right knee, and he underwent surgery in February of 2012. Gordon returned toward the end of the season, but was noticeably slowed as he continued to recover.

He entered the summer of 2012 as a restricted free agent and on July 11, 2012, Gordon signed a four-year, $58MM offer sheet with the Suns. The Pelicans matched the offer, much to Gordon’s displeasure, and the Indianapolis native returned to New Orleans a touch disgruntled by the events. At the time Gordon said, “If (the Pelicans) were interested, there wouldn’t have been no tour, there wouldn’t have been nothing. There’s been no negotiations. I was right there in Indiana. I haven’t received no calls, to me personally, they’ve contacted my agent. As for now, I don’t know what’s going on. If the Pelicans match as of right now, I’d be disappointed.”

Since the surgery Gordon hasn’t been the same player. Here are his numbers since arriving in New Orleans:

  1. 2011/12: 20.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 3.4 APG. His slash line was .450/.250/.754.
  2. 2012/13: 17.0 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 3.3 APG. His slash line was .402/.324/.842.
  3. 2013/14: 15.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 3.3 A{G. His slash line was .436/.391/.785.

The injury to Gordon wasn’t something that could be predicted, but it’s interesting to look at the numbers of the players New Orleans could have gotten if the first trade went through.

Here are Kevin Martin‘s stats during the same span:

  1. 2011/12: 17.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 2.8 APG. His slash line was .413/.347/.894.
  2. 2012/13: 14.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and 1.4 APG. His slash line was .450/.426/.890.
  3. 2013/14: 19.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 1.8 APG. His slash line was .430/.387/.891.

Martin’s numbers are comparable to Gordon’s, and he’s currently signed to a four-year, $28MM contract, which is significantly less than Gordon’s deal. To compound the disparity, let’s look at Goran Dragic‘s numbers during the same span.

  1. 2011/12: 11.7 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 5.3 APG. His slash line was .462/.337/.805.
  2. 2012/13: 14.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 7.4 APG. His slash line was .443/.319/.748.
  3. 2013/14: 20.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 5.9 APG. His slash line was .505/.408/.760.

Dragic is currently in the middle of a four-year, $30MM deal he signed as a restricted free agent back in 2012. If you do the math, the Pelicans could have had both Martin and Dragic for the same price they are paying the oft-injured Gordon now.

Chris Kaman only played for one season in New Orleans, averaging 13.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 1.6 BPG. He would then sign with the Mavericks in the offseason for one year and $8MM.

Al-Farouq Aminu lasted three seasons in New Orleans before leaving this summer to also sign with Dallas as a free agent on a two-year, $2.1MM deal. Aminu’s numbers with the Pelicans were:

  1. 2011/12: 6.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.0 APG. His slash line was .411/.277/.754.
  2. 2012/13: 7.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 1.4 APG. His slash line was .475/.211/.737.
  3. 2013/14: 7.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 1.4 APG. His slash line was .474/.271/.664.

In keeping with the theme of “what could have been,” here are Luis Scola‘s numbers during the same stretch:

  1. 2011/12: 15.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 2.1 APG. His slash line was .491/.000/.773.
  2. 2012/13: 12.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 2.2 APG. His slash line was .472/.188/.787.
  3. 2013/14: 7.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.0 APG. His slash line was .470/.143/.728.

The polite way to describe Austin Rivers‘ career thus far would be to say he’s been a disappointment, as he hasn’t lived up to having been a lottery pick. Rivers was a highly touted freshman when he entered college for his lone season at Duke, but many draft experts correctly predicted that he should have remained in school for at least one more season. Rivers’ numbers in the NBA thus far are:

  1. 2012/13: 6.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 2.1 APG. His slash line was .372/.326/.546.
  2. 2013/14: 7.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, and 2.3 APG. His slash line was .405/.364/.636.

Rivers is only 22 years old, and he could still develop into a serviceable rotation player, but from what he’s shown on the court thus far, it is extremely unlikely he’ll justify being selected in the lottery, even in a draft as weak as 2012’s.

The results of this trade are a prime example of how it is almost impossible to get equal value when trading away a star player. Granted, if Gordon had not have been injured and he continued to be a 20+ PPG scorer, the deal would look a lot more favorable for New Orleans.

The only benefit the franchise received from the trade was losing enough games during the 2011/12 season to secure the No. 1 overall pick they used to select Anthony Davis, who has the potential to become a top-five player in the league over the next few seasons. If Paul had remained on the roster it isn’t likely they would have been in that draft position, and Paul would have almost assuredly left as a free agent as soon as he was able.

It’s hard to predict what the Pelicans’ record would have been had the league not nixed the original trade. But looking at the transactions with hindsight, the franchise would have received better value with the original deal. The Suns should also send yearly thank-you cards to the Pelicans for matching their offer sheet to Gordon.

As for the Clippers, they clearly got the best player in the trade, and though it hasn’t resulted in a trip to the Conference Finals and beyond thus far, I’d be willing to bet they would make this deal 100 times over. This transaction is another shining example of the worth of a superstar in today’s NBA.

Chris Paul Mulling Boycott If Sterling Stays

July 24 2014 at 11:19pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Chris Paul called the notion of Donald Sterling staying on as owner “unacceptable” and told Jeff Goodman of that he would seriously consider sitting out the 2014/15 season if Sterling remained at the head of the Clippers franchise.

“That’s something me and [coach Doc Rivers] are both talking about,” said Paul on Thursday, in reference to a potential boycott. “Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soon — sooner rather than later.”

News broke Tuesday that Rivers indicated to interim CEO Dick Parsons that he’d potentially relinquish his role as coach and president of basketball operations if Sterling wasn’t ousted from his the front office. Now, Paul is publicly echoing Rivers’ thoughts and also suggested that a group of other players from the team are on the same wavelength as well.

We’re all going to talk about it,” Paul explained to Goodman. “We’re all definitely going to talk about it. Doc, [Blake Griffin], [DeAndre Jordan]. It’s unacceptable.

Closing arguments for the Sterling trial are set for Monday, at which point the judge will determine whether or not Shelly Sterling’s sale of the team without her husband’s consent was within the realm of legality. Should Donald Sterling keep his position as owner, and if Rivers, Paul, and company follow through on their threat to boycott, it would be an unprecedented move by the group that throws the state of the Clippers’ 2014/15 season seriously into question.

Joakim Noah Leads All-Defensive Team

June 2 2014 at 1:10pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah, Paul George, Chris Paul, Serge Ibaka and Andre Iguodala make up this year’s All-Defensive First Team, the NBA announced in a press release. LeBron James, Patrick Beverley, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Roy Hibbert are on the second team. The news is a boon for the Bulls, who would have had to pay Taj Gibson a $250K bonus for making either the first or second All-Defensive teams. Chicago scrambled late in the season to avoid the possibility that such a bonus for Gibson would force the team to pay the luxury tax. Earning the bonus would have pushed Gibson’s salary cap figure higher for next season, too, since it would have been considered a “likely” bonus for next season.

Noah received 105 first-place votes, far outdistancing George, who with 65 first-place votes earned the second most. Iguodala and James received an identical number of first-place votes (57), but Iguodala’s 34 second-team votes were better than the four-time MVP’s 20, allowing Golden State’s swingman to take the final position on the first team.

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was the highest vote-getter who missed the cut for the second team, followed by Anthony Davis and Tony Allen. Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard were next, directly in front of Gibson.

Latest On Donald Sterling

April 26 2014 at 8:44pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the media this evening in regards to Clippers owner Donald Sterling‘s alleged racist remarks on an audio recording which was first reported by

Here’s the latest on this developing story:

  • Silver stated that the first priority is determining if the audio recording is authentic, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
  • Kennedy also tweets that Silver said, “The audio recording posting by TMZ is truly offensive and disturbing and we intend to get to the bottom of it ASAP.”
  • Silver said that the situation is most unfair to the Clippers’ players and coaches, tweets Arash Markazi of
  • Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) reports that Silver urged patience and that due process would have to occur prior to any sanctions.
  • Silver said, “I’m not prepared to discuss any potential sanctions against Donald Sterling. We will, however, move quickly,” per another tweet by Kennedy.
  • Sterling has agreed not to attend Sunday’s game against the Warriors, reports Chris Mannix of (Twitter link).
  • Markazi tweets that Silver said he hopes to have the investigation wrapped up in the next few days, hopefully before Game 5 on Tuesday.
  • Earlier today the Clippers players and coaches held a meeting where they discussed boycotting their next game, but they decided against it, writes Markazi.
  • Michael McCann of examined the NBA’s legal options in this case.
  • President of the NBA player’s union Chris Paul said, “On behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively. We have asked [Sacramento] Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA, to determine our response and our next steps. As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs, and the drive to the Finals,” write Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today.
  • In the same article Johnson said, “The reported comments made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling are reprehensible and unacceptable. The National Basketball Players Association must and will play a very active role in determining how this issue is addressed.
  • In an article by Ben Golliver of, Charles Barkley weighed in, saying, “This is the first test of Adam Silver. He’s got to suspend [Sterling] right now. You can’t have this guy making statements like that. [Silver] has to suspend him and fine him immediately. He has to be suspended. … When you’re in a position of power, and you can take jobs and economic opportunities from people, that’s what crosses the line. We can’t have an NBA owner discriminating against a league — we’re a black league.”

Chris Paul Addresses Union Criticisms

March 14 2014 at 8:53pm CDT By Cray Allred

Following agent Jeff Schwartz’s op-ed criticising the union’s lack of transparency in selecting its next executive director, union president Chris Paul has responded with an op-ed of his own at ESPN. The whole piece is worth a read, but here are some of the highlights:

On changes already in progress to make the union more transparent: 

“Working with our Acting Executive Director Ron Klempner, we’ve spent the past year reviewing and reforming the core policy infrastructure of our union, creating an organization that is strong, strategic, transparent and absolutely accountable to our players.”

On where the union is in the selection process:

“In an effort to conduct a thorough and professional search, we partnered with outside consultants to identify over 200 professionals from the worlds of sports, law, labor and business who might be qualified to lead our union. Our Executive Committee has devoted the time, resources and energy necessary to narrow down this quality pool of potential candidates. During our All-Star Weekend Winter Meeting, we devoted virtually all of our time together to discussing the process that we’ve engaged in, and the procedures for considering and voting on our next Executive Director. We also heard from our leading candidates for the position to date, and players attending were able to take their measure.”

On the criticism the union has received:

“I’ve been encouraged by the passionate interest in the outcome of these deliberations — player agents, corporate sponsors, team owners, sports journalists and NBA fans. And while some of these interests have been critical or skeptical of the very deliberate steps we’ve been taking in this process, it’s a testament to the commitment and passion we all have to protect our players and ultimately the game we all love so much. But make no mistake, the decision about our next Executive Director will be made by NBA players, in a process that has been and will continue to be open, transparent, painstaking and professional.”

On why the process has taken so long:

“One of our greatest challenges as an organized group of players is managing the logistics that require us to be constantly moving throughout the country. However, we’re in the last stages of implementing a plan that will allow every player to consider the candidates, discuss their merits with teammates and fellow union members and very soon, vote on new leadership for the NBPA. The process has taken time, but we know it has been time well spent.”

Western Rumors: Udrih, Clippers, Gordon, Jazz

February 13 2014 at 9:41pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Beno Udrih played three seasons for the Spurs, and Marc Berman of the New York Post thinks the veteran journeyman might end up back in San Antonio before the deadline passes. The Knicks have been trying to find suitors for Udrih, and former New York GM Scott Layden, now in the front office of San Antonio, was at attendance for Wednesday’s Knicks game. It might be too early to make assumptions, but it’s certainly possible Udrih might be on the move some time soon. Here’s more out of the Western Conference..

  • Chris Paul wasn’t necessarily a fan of the Hornets franchise, but his love for the city of New Orleans made for a difficult move to the Clippers. Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports recaps the blockbuster deal that paired Paul with Blake Griffin in Los Angeles.
  • A well placed source tells Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders that the Bucks aren’t interested in Pelicans guard Eric Gordon (Twitter link). Ingram hears Milwuakee doesn’t have any interest in dealing for oft-discussed guard.
  • The Jazz would be wise to find a suitor for Gordon Hayward, suggests Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders in his weekly chat. Kennedy thinks Hayward might command max dollars from a rival team as a restricted free agent, but there’s still some doubt whether he’s worth that kind of money.
  • Kennedy also believes the Lakers would be better off trading Pau Gasol for some assets that could help the team down the road. At this stage in his career, Kennedy thinks Gasol would like to play for a winner, so he might be likely to leave LA in free agency.

Atlantic Notes: Carmelo, Lopez, Patterson

January 5 2014 at 11:49am CDT By Chuck Myron

Carmelo Anthony brushed off rumors of trade talks involving him and Blake Griffin, calling the reports “silly and stupid” to gathered media today, including Frank Isola of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). That doesn’t mean that he and Chris Paul wouldn’t like to join forces, Isola notes, and Ian Begley of wrote yesterday that their desire to play together hasn’t waned since Paul first raised the idea in 2010. Anthony addressed the latest talk linking him to Paul, pointing out that, “It never happens,” as Isola also tweets. Of course, there’s wiggle room with that statement, too, since Anthony didn’t say it will never happen. As cryptic messages and conflicting reports abound, here’s the latest from the Knicks and their Atlantic Division rivals:

  • The Nets believe Brook Lopez will recover fully from the latest surgery on his right foot, but if the procedure designed to make the foot more resistant to injury doesn’t prove successful, the 25-year-old’s career is probably in jeopardy, writes Brian Windhorst of
  • Patrick Patterson‘s strong play has helped fuel the resurgence of the Raptors following his acquisition as part of the Rudy Gay trade, observes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
  • The Knicks and Clippers are denying that they’ve had internal discussions about an Anthony/CP3 trade, but with the Knicks far adrift from their title aspirations, Keith Schlosser of Knicks Journal thinks New York’s front office should be open to such a deal.
  • Tom Moore of The Intelligencer wonders how the Sixers would have fared if they hadn’t traded Jrue Holiday this past summer.

Clippers Looking Outside NBA For Point Guard

January 4 2014 at 8:45pm CDT By Jonathan Nehring

With Chris Paul separating his shoulder Friday night against the Mavericks it appears the point guard will spend a substantial amount of time on the bench. Head coach and Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations Doc Rivers hinted that the Clippers may be looking as far as players outside the NBA to fill this hole. Rivers told Eric Patten of they “aren’t going to do much right now” and will just “wait and see what the report is on Chris and how Maalik Wayns is coming along.”

Wayns hasn’t played since the preseason when he tore his meniscus but was activated January 1st shortly before the Clippers played the Bobcats. Rivers told Patten that Wayns still isn’t ready to join the rotation and as we have noted, the Clippers have to make a decision on whether they even want to keep Maalik before his contract becomes fully guaranteed on January 10th.

With only Darren Collison guaranteed to play at point guard for the next few weeks, Doc Rivers told Patten they are looking at a few guys that could get out of their contracts in China. Rivers did also hint that they may not sign a point guard and may look for a shooting guard that could handle the ball.

According to ESPN’s Arash Markazi, two point guards currently playing in China that could be options for LA are Delonte West and Bobby Brown. (Twitter Link) West last played in the NBA for the Mavericks in 2011/12 and Brown last saw regular season NBA action with the Clippers back in 2009/10. West seems to have the advantage to get Clipper consideration over Brown as he played for Rivers two separate times in Boston.

The Clippers are at the 15-man maximum roster limit so any signing will subsequently require a player to be waived. The two players most likely to be waived would be those playing with non-guaranteed contracts, previously mentioned Wayns and 13 year veteran Stephen Jackson.

Clippers Owner Nearly Scuttled Redick Trade

October 29 2013 at 9:13pm CDT By Chuck Myron

TUESDAY, 9:13pm: Rivers has confirmed Wojnarowski’s story, according to Scott Howard-Cooper of (Twitter link).

MONDAY, 9:02pm: Clippers owner Donald Sterling instructed team president Andy Roeser to call off the team’s three-team swap that brought in J.J. Redick on a sign-and-trade, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Sterling only consented to the deal after Doc Rivers appealed to him to change his mind.

Front office executives from the Bucks, Suns, Clippers, along with Redick, whose willingness to join the Clippers in the sign-and-trade was at the center of the deal, reached an agreement on July 2nd, but Sterling called Roeser the next day to veto the trade. Sterling had OK’d the deal on July 1st, but had a change of heart. That left Rivers “beyond embarrassed and humiliated,” Wojnarowski hears, as Rivers feared the failure of the trade would short-circuit his credibility in his new role as Clippers senior vice president of basketball operations. Redick and agent Arn Tellem were incensed, as well, since the sharpshooter’s other suitors had moved on once the news that he was headed to the Clippers had emerged.

Rivers heard appeals to bring Chris Paul along with him to lobby Sterling, but Paul ultimately wasn’t involved, Wojnarowski writes. Rivers never threatened to resign when he spoke with Sterling, but a source tells Wojnarowski that Rivers stepping down was a possibility.

Ultimately, the mercurial Sterling changed his mind before the league’s July Moratorium ended on July 10th and allowed the deal to go through. The incident showcases the volatility of any trade before it’s officially announced, but it also casts suspicion on the level of trust between Sterling, Rivers and the rest of the front office. Sterling was fond of Eric Bledsoe, who went to Phoenix in the swap, and some believe he questioned the wisdom of awarding Redick a four-year, $27.755MM contract when he’s often been a bench player, according to Wojnarowski. Still, it’s unclear what made Sterling hesitate and ultimately change his mind.