Daryl Morey, Free Agency, Trade, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Louis Williams, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, nba, atbnews

 

Jeff Goodman: Clippers like the upside of Sam Dekker, the toughness of Patrick Beverly and the short-term contracts of both Beverly and Lou Williams. Source said Clippers will go after a big wing in free agency, and try and retain Blake Griffin. – via ESPN
Chris Paul: Unbelievable amount of emotions right now- I don’t even know what to say. Lots of love and tears. I’m so blessed and thankful for the ability to play this game, this is the part that no one can prepare you for. To the Los Angeles community and to CLIPPER NATION I say THANK YOU!!! For the past 6 years you all have welcomed not only me but my family. We love all of you. Most importantly, I’m thinking about the kids at LA’s Best and the Brotherhood Crusade. You guys have changed my life. Doesn’t matter where I go to work- we have a lot more to do. – via Instagram
The relationship between Paul and Doc Rivers frayed, sources say. The Clippers may push the idea that they were hesitant to offer Paul a fifth season on the back of his deal, and they surely were. No team is thrilled about earmarking $40 million-plus for a 37-year-old. But they would have gone there to keep Paul. Bereft of draft picks, they are not set up well to rebuild. The alternative may be despair. – via ESPN
On his plans for making the most of Harden and Paul as a dynamic duo… “It’s a little early to say that we’ll do this or we’ll do that, for sure. But I do know, (and) I’ve always thought that the more point guards you have on the court the better. And we’ve got, probably, two of the best if not the best in the league. So we’ll just have to figure it out a little bit. And the other good thing about it is that there will always be a great point guard on the floor at all times, so it’s definitely a positive. And Chris Paul, I’ve coached him for eight summers with USA Basketball. And he’s one of the smartest, and — I’ve always thought — the best point guard in the league, forever. So we’ll figure it out. And we will have different guys on the ball at different times, I’m sure. But again, I just don’t see a problem. “It’s a little bit like USA Basketball. You say, ‘Well, wait a minute, you’ve got LeBron (James) and you’ve got these guys, how do you figure it all out?’ Well, they figure it out. … That’s how our guys (will do it). They’re at the point in their careers where it’s just a matter of winning, and so we will hopefully figure it out together.”  – via USA Today Sports
He had heard the vision from the Clippers’ front office, with president of basketball operations Doc Rivers and general manager Lawrence Frank sharing their view on the future. Owner Steve Ballmer took part as well. And then, in a move that gave the Clippers a chance to avoid losing him for nothing while also setting him up for a massive payday in 2018, he informed them of their options: Either trade him to Houston after he picked up the $24.2 million option for next season, or watch him opt out and sign with the Rockets in free agency. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks. – via USA Today Sports
According to a very juicy report from SportsCenter anchor Michael Eaves, the tension started as soon as the Clippers acquired Austin Rivers, who everyone seemed to loathe: [Chris] Paul’s relationship with Doc Rivers started to deteriorate rapidly after the Clippers acquired Austin Rivers. Several members of the team felt Austin acted entitled because his dad was both the coach and the President of Basketball Operations. In the view of the tenured players, Austin Rivers never tried to fit in, and when players tried to address the situation with him, he still did not respond the way the core of the team wanted him to. It led to resentment within the locker room, which often played out during games. One of Paul’s biggest contentions with Doc was that Paul, and other players, felt Doc treated Austin more favorably than other players. He would yell at guys for certain things during games and practices, but not get on Austin in the same manner for similar transgressions.  – via Deadspin.com
If Eaves is correct, the Clippers had a chance to acquire Carmelo Anthony for Rivers and Jamal Crawford. This would have been a coup for L.A., but Doc Rivers turned down the deal, enraging Paul. In this rare case, both GMs involved look like morons here, Phil Jackson for proposing it and Rivers for refusing it. But what really solidified Paul’s dissatisfaction with Doc was a proposed trade involving Carmelo Anthony last season. New York offered Carmelo and Sasha Vujacic to the Clippers in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers, a deal to which Rivers ultimately said no. That event led Paul to feel that keeping his son on the roster was more important to Doc than improving the team. So, ultimately, Paul lost both trust and faith in Doc. As one league executive put it, “Chris despises Doc.” – via Deadspin.com

 

Doc Rivers spoke to the media and commented on the trade. He spoke at length about why Paul left, his relationship with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers. He defended his players saying that Paul left to go play with Harden because he wanted to. This was most likely in response to reports Wednesday that Paul left due to issues with teammates and the coaching staff. “At the end of the day, when you lose a CP, it’s a big loss. I thank him for the years he was here. He left because he wanted to be with James Harden. Let’s not get that twisted. I wish him well. I have no problem with that. Do I disagree? Yeah, I think he would have been better served here. But that’s not for me. That’s CP to decide and he decided against that. We’ve heard all the stories about Blake and DJ and Austin. I can’t comment just on Austin because it’s just not right. We’ve heard he left because of all three today. He left because of DJ, he left because of Blake and now he left because of Austin. We know he didn’t leave because of that. There is a lot of speculation on why he left. The one thing I know is he didn’t leave because of any of those three guys. He left because he felt like he would have a better chance to win somewhere else.” – via CBSSports.com

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