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Report: Chris Paul unhappy after Doc Rivers-to-Clippers fails to materialize

Jun 22, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers Paul reacts during their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of their NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals basketball playoff series in Los Angeles Reuters

Chris Paul didn’t like Clippers owner Donald Sterling insinuating Paul had Vinny Del Negro had fired.

Then Paul asked the Clippers to acquire Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett, which probably isn’t happening (though I won’t rule it out until the Clippers hire a coach or Rivers directly announces his intentions to coach Boston next season).

How do you think Paul is taking it?

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Free-agent star Chris Paul pushed the Clippers to hire Rivers as coach, but will have to settle for Lionel Hollins, Brian Shaw or Byron Scott if he plans to re-sign with Los Angeles in July. Paul is unhappy with the fallout over the failed deal, sources told Yahoo! Sports on Friday night.

Paul has every right to demand the Clippers not only offer him a maximum contract, but heed his wishes. If the NBA didn’t constrain player pay with an individual maximum contract, Paul could fetch a lot more on the open market.

And the Clippers will happily oblige Paul’s requests in order to keep him. He’s just that valuable.

But I don’t think we’re near the point where Paul’s displeasure really matters. Where else is he going to go? The Rockets or Mavericks might be appealing, but Los Angeles can still offer the most money, the most exposure and a roster he helped build.

There’s obviously a breaking point somewhere for Paul, but I think the camel’s back can hold plenty more straw.

This failed attempt to land Rivers and Garnett (if it really has failed) might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, anyway. The Clippers can make better use of their draft picks, either keeping them or trading them, and they can spend the money they’ll save by hiring Hollins, Shaw or Scott instead of Rivers in other ways.

In a vacuum, this was a bad trade for the Clippers. The biggest positive was appeasing Paul, and although it would have been worth it for that reason alone, they weren’t necessarily getting a better coach than their other options or a dependable replacement for DeAndre Jordan. As much as I’ve loved watching Garnett play and respect his game, 37-year-old big men with 18 years experience can no long be counted on.

The Clippers have walked far enough down this road with Paul that, if they have a chance to acquire Rivers and Garnett, they must take it. But if the NBA, Rivers and/or Boston prevents it from happening, it’s really no disaster – as long as Paul re-signs.

  1. thomaskouns - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Best point guard in the NBA but he might want to make it to the second round of the playoffs before making demands.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      Clips could do a sign and trade with Knickerbockers and receive Amare for CP3.

      • cmehustle - Jun 22, 2013 at 8:11 PM

        They could. Or wait how about throw in Blake for Steve Novak and Raymond Felton!

      • redbaronx - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        @fanofevilempire – In what world do you think anyone would give up CP3 for Amare? That’s about as likely to happen as the Heat trading LeBron for Carmelo. I love how Yankee fans just THINK people are going to give them their star players for an inferior star. That only happens in baseball….

    • moseskkim - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      The talent around him was not that great. Plus they faced a really tough opponent in memphis. They got out of the first round last year. He led NOLA to 2nd round. People keep using this argument against CP3 but talent level around him is important and only a four teams get to the second round. With a little better talent, he can lead em to a championship run.

  2. reesesteel23 - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    I like Cliff……..He just shows up and does his job…without being a Diva about it

  3. cantonbound13 - Jun 22, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Just team up with Dirk & D12 in Dallas. Problem solved. Of coarse Stern has to approve of it, we know he has to protect his beloved Miami Heat.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      Losers gonna lose, like you and the Knicks.

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        Stay classless bandwagoner. What are you going to do next week after the parade? Live your miserable life?

    • elcapitanfiscal - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      There you are cantonbound!

      I assumed you would never come out of hiding.

      Unfortunately, I was wrong

  4. cakemixa - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    One day Chris Paul will grow a pair and stop having to put his feelings out through the media.

    • adoombray - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      One day people will realize that citing “sources” or any article that starts with “REPORT:” is usually B.S. When names aren’t named, it could mean anything. I mean, it could have been the guy who makes the coffee who saw Chris Paul have a scowl on his face, and it turns into “SOURCES SAY THAT CHRIS PAUL IS UNHAPPY WITH THE PRESIDENT AND IS VOTING REPUBLICAN NEXT YEAR”

      • badintent - Jun 23, 2013 at 12:22 AM

        Paul is unhappy with the NSA and their snooping on his Verizon calls to Donald Sterling.

    • gmsingh123 - Jun 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM

      They need to ditch Chris Paul and recruit his brother out of the insurance business.

  5. Gordon - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Yes, because catering to a star player worked out so well for the Cavs & Magic.

  6. mitchication - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    In other news, I am also reportedly unhappy about management change at my job. Because they tried to get another manager from a similar company, and it was all over the news and it was a dumb idea and it was never going to happen. Now my company looks like buffoons and I still have to work here.

  7. ihatecomingupwiththesenames - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    “The biggest positive was appeasing Paul, and although it would have been worth it for that reason alone, they weren’t necessarily getting a better coach than their other options or a dependable replacement for DeAndre Jordan.”

    Dan – all due respect but that is preposterous. Rivers is a far superior coach than Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, and Brian Shaw. Brian Shaw has never even been an NBA head coach! Do you think that Paul was trying to swing this trade for b/c Rivers is a cooler guy? His teams bring DEFENSE every single night, and he is incredible out of time outs. If you can get Rondo,KG, and PP to buy in, you can coach anyone. Under Rivers the Cs have won their division 6 out of 9, and he has coached 2 Finals teams and 1 NBA champion. Damn near made it two for that matter.

    How in the world would you say that the Clippers “weren’t necessarily getting a better coach than their other options.” ? ? ?

    • kinggw - Jun 22, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      Easy, because Rivers isn’t discernibly better than Hollins or Scott. He was a mediocre coach in Orlando and he was a mediocre coach in Boston before Garnett and Allen arrived. Now that his superstars are on the decline His defense that you rave about is former assistant coach Tom Thibodeaux’s creation. And lets not bring up the Atlantic division which has been god awful for a while.

      Rivers’ greatest asset is that he’s a players coach. So yes, Paul essentially wants him because he’s a cooler guy. That’s important, but it doesnt mean he’s great with x’s and o’s. Feldman is right, this deal falling through may be the best thing to happen to the Clippers. Doc has gravitas with the players but he’s not worth $7M per year, the Clippers could achieve the same results with Hollins or Scott.

      • redbaronx - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        @kinggw – although I disagree that Rivers is a mediocre coach (he’s special when it comes to motivating…not unlike Phil Jackson), this might be a hidden blessing. Garnett is over as a star player. I think the Clippers are better off using their draft pick. And while I have no faith in Scott, I think Hollins has proven himself and Shaw has potential and I think if the Clippers get either of them, they’ll be fortunate.

    • skinsfanwill - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      I was saying almost the exact same thing. And someone please stop telling CP3 that he is the best PG in the league. He’s not. I’ll take Rondo (attitude and all) and Westbrook all day over Chris Paul. Shoot, gimme Steph Curry too.

  8. doubleogator - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    I am so tired of these professional athletes that try to control everything within an organization while making obscene amounts of money; and then have the nerve to say they are unhappy…boo-hoo. Just go out and play hard like you get paid to do, and let upper management do their jobs!

  9. tonyc920 - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Since when do the players run the teams, or should I say ” Let the inmates run the Prison” ? That’s completely B.S. in my opinion. It WILL ruin the NBA which isn’t doing that well anyway. It will end up as a league of “Haves and Have Nots”. Smaller market Franchises will fold. Milw, Cleve, Sacremen, Toron, Charlotte, N.O. Indiana, Mark my words, in 5 years this league will be in serious trouble.

    • adoombray - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      you should probably not judge a guy so harshly when it’s just a rumor being reported by the media with 0 reason to believe there is any truth behind it.

    • badintent - Jun 23, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      Toronto has over 6 million people, not a small market.

  10. 00maltliquor - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Oh no! Everybody run and hide, they’ve angered his Majesty!

  11. onbucky96 - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Did I miss something? When was Chris Paul made GM of the Clippers?

  12. noring4youstill - Jun 22, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    I hope we get another The Decision.

  13. northstarnic - Jun 22, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    “Paul has every right to demand the Clippers not only offer him a maximum contract, but heed his wishes.”
    What the hell is this?! No wonder these athletes are spoiled jerks who feel entitled to everything and more. You “journalists” run around pumping them up, telling them they are the center if the universe.

  14. redbaronx - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    @northstarnic – Frankly, I don’t think Paul is even worth a maximum contract. Paul is definitely one of the top PG’s in the league if not THE top one. But he’s not the kind of player that causes a matchup problem. I really think teams should reserve max contracts for difference makers along the lines of a LeBron, Rose, or Durant. Size, speed, strength. Where the advantage they give their teams causes a constant mismatch. I just don’t see CP3 being worth a max contract if your goal is winning a ring. I hear teams like the Wizards ready to offer John Wall (or Gilbert Arenas…) a max contract, and I just shake my head. Sometimes the bravest thing to do is NOT to give in to players.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      I don’t think you can mention Rose in the same breath of LeBron at this point. The Bulls did pretty much just as good without Rose this year as they did with him the year prior. They still got ousted by the Heat in 5 games – same way, too: by winning the 1st game and losing the next 4. One can argue that little Nate Robinson played just as good this year as Rose did the year before. And I personally think that Russell Westbrook is the engine of the Thunder.

      • scalfor3 - Jun 23, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        You think Nate Robinson played just as well this year as Rose last year? I love watching Nate play, but you need to pass whatever you’ve been smoking this way.

      • redbaronx - Jun 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        @fanofthegame79 – Seriously??? You’re comparing Nate Robinson to Derrick Rose? Despite the fact that your comment is absurd, I will respond:

        1) The Bulls played the series of their life this year without Rose. That’s due to Tibbs and the entire team. Not just Nate…
        2) Nate is a great spark plug of a player who can rise to the occasion, but you’re smoking pot if you think Nate is a regular first team player, or if you think you should be mentioning him in the same breath as Rose.
        3) Rose may not be the most dominant player in the game (that title belongs to LeBron right now), but that wasn’t the point of my post. The point was that Chris Paul is not a superstar player that can dominate the game and change the course of a game all by himself. There are a few players that can do that in the NBA all by themselves. Rose is DEFINITELY that type of player. I never compared Rose to LeBron. LeBron’s skills and physicality are in a class by itself. That doesn’t mean Rose isn’t a superstar worthy of a max contract and a franchise player…

  15. scalfor3 - Jun 23, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    I really think the Clippers screwed the pooch on this one, big time. Even when you remove the CP3 aspect from it, it seems like a late first rounder and DeAndre Jordan is a small price to pay for KG/Doc. Doc is one of the best coaches in the league and a guy who is respected by players throughout the NBA. KG, even at his age, is much better than DeAndre Jordan at shooting, team defense, not being a dumbass in the locker room, being able to shoot free throws (and thus play at the end of games) and…um, everything but dunking. He’d also benefit greatly from being merely a role player in Clipperland, rather than being one of the main guys in Boston. I don’t know how people can say this would be the Clips “mortaging their furture”. If their future is DeAndre Jordan and a late first rounder, their future isn’t that bright anyways.

    Then, on top of that, you throw in the fact that you’ve pissed off your best player a month before he becomes a free agent. PBT can pooh pooh the possibility of CP3 leaving all they want, but it still doesn’t justify the risk of losing one of the rare true franchise players in the game, especially because you were being stingy with a freakin late first round pick. Just when it looks like they’ve turned it around, they remind you why they’re the Clippers.

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