Latest On The Chris Paul Trade

Chris Paul‘s departure from the Clippers today severed a relationship that began to fall apart when the team acquired Austin Rivers in 2015, according to a Facebook post from Michael Eaves of ESPN. Several Clippers believed Rivers brought an entitled attitude to the team because he is the son of coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers. Veterans didn’t think Austin Rivers tried hard enough to fit in, which created dissension in the locker room. Paul, in particular, thought that Austin Rivers got preferential treatment from his father.

The situation reportedly reached a breaking point prior to the trade deadline when the Knicks offered Carmelo Anthony and Sasha Vujacic to L.A. in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers. Doc Rivers blocked the deal, which led Paul to believe that coaching his son was more important than winning, with an unidentified league executive saying, “Chris despises Doc.”

There’s more fallout from today’s blockbuster trade:

  • The decision to opt in for the final year of his contract gives Paul more flexibility if he wants to team up with LeBron James next summer, Eaves notes in the same post. He mentions the Rockets, Lakers and possibly the Clippers, if Doc Rivers is gone, as potential destinations for that to happen. In the meantime, Paul can see how well his game meshes with James Harden‘s and gets a financial windfall because Texas doesn’t have a state income tax.
  • Austin Rivers denied on Twitter that he had anything to do with Paul’s desire to leave. “These false rumors are comedy…so fictional it’s actually amusing! People will say or do anything to get attention,” he posted. He concluded the message with “A lot of clowns out there,” using two clown emoji symbols.
  • The Clippers were concerned about the later years of Paul’s next contract, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. A five-year deal in excess of $200MM would have paid Paul nearly $45MM at age 37, and L.A. wasn’t willing to make that commitment.
  • Newly hired Clippers consultant Jerry West didn’t attend Tuesday’s meeting with Paul, according to Chris Broussard of Fox Sports 1 (Twitter link).
  • The Rockets would have preferred to clear cap space by trading Ryan Anderson, but there wasn’t much of a market available, reports Zach Lowe of Two teams that were interested asked for two first-round picks in exchange for taking the three years and $60MM left on Anderson’s contract.
  • Trading for Paul before July 1st will allow the Rockets to enter free agency over the salary cap, Lowe adds, giving them access to a full midlevel exception worth more than $8MM and a biannual exception topping $3MM.
  • The Rockets will continue to pursue other stars, but probably can’t offer Trevor Ariza in any deal, according to Lowe. Paul remains close with his former teammate in New Orleans, and the chance to reunite played a decision in Paul’s decision to pick Houston. The Clippers, Lowe relays, had made several attempts to obtain Ariza.
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey credits Harden for making today’s trade happen. In a video posted by Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston, Morey says the Rockets now have the two best playmakers in the league.
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30 thoughts on “Latest On The Chris Paul Trade

  1. nutznboltz

    Doc Rivers is the most overrated coach in pro sports. The only reason he won a championship in Boston was because of Thibodeau. The clippers have never played defense since Rivers has become the coach to attest to that.

    • JPSonOfJohn

      Agreed. If true, that trade for Melo is a no brainer that would have happened on any other team or if clips had any other coach.

    • formerlyz

      To be fair, they were actually a much better defensive team either last year or the year before that. I can’t recall correctly, and am too lazy right now to look it up, but 1 of those years, they were much improved…

      But ya, Doc has been overrated for the last 8 or 9 years. People called him trash in Orlando and wanted his head the 1st year he was in Boston. Even Celtics fans didn’t show up to games or had bags over their heads for a while, while they hated on Paul Pierce and wanted Rivers gone. They get Ray Allen, KG, end up with Rondo, and get good bench pueces, and all of the sudden, Doc Rivers is the greatest thing that ever happened to coaching. Never bought that. He is a pretty good coach, for the most part, but he isn’t top 10 in the league IMO. As an executive, he is really bad. I guarantee Jerry West pulled off this deal today. No way Doc has the creativity to make that move

      • KnicksCavsFan

        What masterfulness was exhibited in this trade? Paul told them he was leaving. The front office asked Houston if they were willing to do a sign-and-trade and effectively gave them whatever combination of players they could to match the salaries. There was no brilliance shown for getting the guys they got. Beverly was on the trade block. Lou Williams became unnecessary and Decker and the others acquired today were pawns acquired to match the salaries.

        • formerlyz

          Getting Harrell and Liggins to give them more versatility and athleticism was a really good fit. They also added legitimate depth. I also think getting the 1st round pick back as well was somewhat impressive, considering he was leaving anyway. Obviously, the fact that he was going to Houston was player driven, and Houston had to match salaries, but the specific guys brought back make a lot of sense

          • KnicksCavsFan

            But there’s no evidence that West had anything to do with it. Harrell is in consequential piece that I’m sure Houston was happy to offer. Liggins is a nothing piece to and was probably acquired for salary trade purposes. I just think you’re overthinking this. The 3rd pieces on were just bodies with salary to move.

            • formerlyz

              Just saying…on the day LeBron went back to Cleveland, I picked GS to win it after they signed Livingston…

              Point being that if you look at the skillset of what returned to the Clippers, it fills a lot of needs…Beverley, Rivers, Liggins, Blake, DeAndre. Lou Williams, Harrell, Dekker off the bench, going into the offseason is an improved group, despite losing such a great player like Chris Paul. They still need to move Crawford, grab a backup big, and another wing, but they should have more depth, and could be better defensively, again, despite losing an elite defender in Chris Paul

              • formerlyz

                Just to clarify, I’m not saying Houston lost the deal or the Clippers are title contenders or anything like that. I just liked the return they got, especially considering the situation. That’s all

                • You are saying that the Clippers with Beverly and Liggins and the rest are “an improved group” over the Clippers with Paul, which is plainly dumb.

                  And how do they “still need to move Crawford?” They need him more than ever now, he is now their best ballerhandler and playmaker in the backcourt. Sure they should trade him if they are going into full rebuild but you did not suggest that was happening, you talked about the ng better.

                  • formerlyz

                    Evidently, you don see the skillet’s around Blake. Beverly as a shooter that doesn’t need the ball in his hands (and obviously an elite defender) , Rivers as a combo guard that can shoot it, Liggins as a versatile wing defender that can also make plays for his teammates, Lou Williams off the bench in Crawford’s role at half the price. Harrell at the backup 4/5 providing energy, versatility and he can make plays off the dribble. Dekker can give them a shooter at the 3/4 off the bench…

                    Obviously, Chris Paul and figuring out their needs is better, but they didn’t have many avenues to fill those needs, as they hadn’t in the last 3 years. They were also losing Chris Paul regardless. So to get pieces back b/c of what he allowed them to do, and end up wit the start of a good situation around Blake Griffin is definitely an improvement

  2. formerlyz

    Ya I don’t buy the Austin Rivers talk. But I do buy that CP3 didn’t like Doc. I said that from the beginning when he first became the coach there. Doc asks for too much control over his PGs, which is why he and Rondo had issues with each other…

    In the situaturn with the Melo trade, I just don’t think they were able to find someone to take on Jamal Crawford. I’m sure the knicks didn’t want him back in the deal, but he was necessary to match salaries, and I would assume they couldn’t find a 3rd team to take that on to facilitate the deal.

    • The article says Doc rejected the trade, not the Knicks did because they couldn’t find a third team to take Crawford. The Knicks proposed the trade with them receiving Crawford. You are making up fake scenarios for some reason.

      • formerlyz

        You are 1000% buying word for word what you read. Very rarely does stuff like that happen, and this particular thing would have been absurd. A lot of stories come our around this time. I don’t buy that part

  3. dodgerfan711

    Doc is a joke. He said “you should see the trades donald sterling wouldn’t let me make”. Then he declines a trade that could have changed the whole franchise because he doesn’t want to trade his son. Pathetic and part of the blame should be on Balmer who has no control of his own team

    • Connorsoxfan

      Well in fairness that team would’ve had a 5 man rotation in the playoffs if they made that trade. That’s their bench for Melo basically. Isn’t Wesley Johnson and Luc Mbah a Moute or whatever the only candidates for time off the bench after that? I can see where Doc is coming from blocking that but I’m not sure I believe that’s why, but if it was that’s a valid reason.

      • dodgerfan711

        Its a star driven leauge. We knew for sure clips had no chance as is. With Melo they could have made some noise. I am even willing to say that team coluld have beat golden state if they were all healthy

        • Connorsoxfan

          No way dude look at the Wizards you can’t win with all starters and no bench. Wall and Beal with Porter and Gortat form a great lineup but Bogdanovic and a healthy Mahinmi were the only people who deserved playing time off the bench and it showed.

    • formerlyz

      I guarantee that part of it isn’t entirely true. It’s totally absurd. You can’t just believe everything that’s out there. I don’t see anyone that would have wanted to take on the Crawford contract, which was necessary to make the deal.

      • Scott

        According to the report, New York made the offer, so apparently they were ok with Crawford’s contract. Sure they may have wanted to unload Crawford to another team after the deal, but I think Phil wanted to get rid of Melo no matter how bad the coming back were.

        • formerlyz

          Ya…I don’t buy the report entirely…i do think that offer was made, but I think it was contingent on them finding someone to take on Crawford, which they probably couldnt

    • KnicksCavsFan

      I agree that Austin is dispensable and shouldn’t stand in the way of any trade that makes them decidedly better. That being said, let’s not automatically assume that was indeed a deal in place that was vetoed.

  4. crazysull

    I love Doc but he just hasn’t been the same since he left the Celtics, but I also think Paul is right and the fact that he has his own son on the team would cause an issue. I wouldn’t be surprised if Doc did decline a trade that would send his son to the Knicks in return for Melo. Also Rivers’ comments are “comical” because who are people going to believe? Chris Paul or Austin Rivers? I don’t know about you guys but I am siding with Paul on this one.

    • Reflect

      He wasn’t good for the Celtics either. Their offense was a mess, you just couldn’t tell because they had 3 incredible players saving every possession.

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