And-Ones: Clippers, Paul, Union, Gentile, Bender

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers acknowledges that if the team doesn’t break through this season, it would be reasonable to conclude that this core of players never will and that major changes are necessary, as he tells Grantland’s Zach Lowe.

“We’re all on that edge together,” Rivers said. “I believe we’re gonna be really good. But if we’re not, it depends on how we play, and what the reason is. That’s what would make you make a big decision.”

See more Clippers-related news amid our look around the league:

  • Clippers point guard Chris Paul is taking a determined stance in his role as president of the National Basketball Players Association as labor talks with the league approach, writes Kurt Streeter of ESPN the Magazine. Paul’s serious, no-nonsense demeanor helped lead the union to the hiring executive director Michele Roberts, as Anthony Tolliver, one of the union’s vice presidents, explains to Streeter. “At first there was a little bit of, um, hesitancy to elect a woman,” Tolliver said. “Not because we’re sexist, but we just weren’t quite sure how our guys were going to react to that. But Chris was adamant. He thought she’d be the best leader. By the end of the process, every single guy on our committee thought she was the best candidate. Chris said that from the beginning. We ended up following his lead.”
  • Roberts earned $1.2MM in her first year on the job, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal, who writes in a subscription-only piece.
  • The Rockets will try to sign draft-and-stash swingman Alessandro Gentile next summer, and a decent chance exists that they’ll make it happen, reports Marc Stein of amid a piece on draft prospect Dragan Bender, who dominated Gentile last week in an exhibition between their European teams. Bender wouldn’t be selected lower than third overall if he enters the 2016 draft, Stein believes. Gentile was the 53rd overall pick in 2014 and is under contract with Italy’s EA7 Milano through 2018, as Mark Porcaro shows in our Draft Rights Held Players database.
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