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Rumor: Chris Paul threatened to sign with Rockets if Clips didn’t hire Rivers

Jul 31, 2013, 2:49 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Four Getty Images

If you remember the Doc Rivers talks with the Clippers, they went on for a bit, stalled out, then started up again out of the blue and a deal got done. Some deals are like that, both sides need to walk away for a bit and take a deep breath, think about it then come back and hammer things out.

And sometimes those deals need a push to get going.

We all know Chris Paul has had a lot of influence over the Clippers moves the past couple years, and over at Grantland Bill Simmons (founder of that site and part of ESPN’s pre/postgame show last year) published a rumor that has been around the league — CP3 gave the Rivers talks a push.

To Chris Paul, who basically told the Clippers that after they squashed the first incarnation of their Doc Rivers trade. Chris didn’t like that. He let them know he was heading to Houston to team up with Dwight. And he wasn’t kidding. For about 36 hours, Morey probably felt like all 11 guys in “Ocean’s Eleven.” You know what happened next: The Clippers blinked, the Doc trade got revived and finished, and the Clippers were offering Chris 107 million reasons to play for him. Crisis averted. The lesson, as always: Chris Paul runs the Clippers.

I listed this as a rumor, not a report, so take some salt with it. My question is: What if the Clippers had called his bluff? Would Paul really have left the Clippers for the Rockets? I’m not sold on that. But the Clippers were never going to call that bluff because they haven’t called his bluff for two seasons. Jamal Crawford is a Clipper because CP3 wanted him. Paul didn’t directly fire Vinny Del Negro he simply chose not to save him, which was enough of an indication for Donald Sterling to know what he had to do.

Is this rumor true? Decide for yourself. Rumors, like myths and legends, are rarely 100 percent true but more stories built around what people believe to be true. But if perception is reality this is how many NBA fans will remember the Doc Rivers hiring by the Clippers.

  1. bucrightoff - Jul 31, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Paul, Harden and Howard as a Big 3 would be close to unstopable. If Chris valued winning first that’d be a no brainer. As it is, money trumps all.

    • bcboneless - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      the rockets could not have signed both howard and paul. they had to make money savings trades as it was just to get dwight.

      • 8to80texansblog - Aug 1, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        Yes they could have. They would have had to make more moves, including trading away Asik and probably Lin, which would have freed up a lot of room. Plus they could have taken the Luxury Tax hit.

    • spthegr8 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      @buc
      They STILL wouldn’t have beat the Heat in a 7 game series. Just Saying!!!

      • qadrir - Jul 31, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        The trio of CP3, Harden & Howard will beat Miami Trio anytime of the day.

      • 8to80texansblog - Aug 1, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        It would be a good series. I tend to think the team with the best player usually wins the series. And it’s undeniable that LBJ is the best player right now. But I can’t imagine that quartet of Harden, Paul, Howard, Parsons wouldn’t win at least 1 title in the next 4 years though.

  2. allen227 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Lol. Threatened? Who is he and what has he done? He’s overrated and very overpaid. Try winning something.

    • topdawg4ever - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      Exactly. Why does Chris Paul have all of this power? He has been an under-achiever for a few years now and last year’s post season play was horrific. Maybe if he got past the first round he’d be entitled to manipulate the team.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 3, 2013 at 11:32 PM

        topdawg4ever

        You say Paul has been an under-achiever for a few yrs now. His career PER is 25.5 and he is currently has the 6th highest career average PER in league history. ONLY 5 men out of all who have played in the NBA have a higher career PER than Paul.

        Oh yeah, the last two seasons, Chris Paul’s PER have been above his 25.5 6th place all time PER.

        So if he’s been under-achieving these past few yrs, other players must be sucking wind…

        His true shooting percentages the past 2 seasons are both higher than his career average, same with his effective FG% from the last 2 seasons.

        His win share percentage last yr was the HIGHEST of his career and the yr before it was higher than his career win share percentage.

        The LAST 2 seasons, Chris Paul’s Offensive ratings have been the two highest of his career so I guess he really has been under-achieving these past few yrs now as you say.

        His Defensive rating last yr was the best of his career too and the yr before it was at his career average.

        Now I AGREE with you that he should’t be entitled to manipulate a team but one cannot in good conscience say he has under-achieved the past few yrs either.

      • topdawg4ever - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        I was talking about his post-season performances which have been awful. He needs to show he is a leader and can take the Clips to the post season. THEN he can manipulate all he wants.

    • paleihe - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      Overrated? What a ridiculous statement.

    • 24thesho - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      I was yelling that same thing during the Olympic games; he’s is really very overrated.

    • biasedhomer - Jul 31, 2013 at 7:31 PM

      How is he over rated? He’s the best PG in the league.

      • felisberto - Aug 1, 2013 at 7:19 AM

        Tony Parker is better than him.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 3, 2013 at 11:22 PM

        felisberto

        I’m a SPURS fan since back from the David Robinson yrs. I’m not a Chris Paul fan or a fan of any of the teams he’s been on.

        But, even though I’m a fan of Parker and the Spurs, I don’t let emotions get in the way of facts.

        Currently, right now Chris Paul is ranked #6 ALL TIME on the the list of PER rankings. Only 5 men are above him out of everyone who has ever played in the NBA.

        Tony Parker is currently in 92nd place.

        Parker does have a higher career 2 pt FG% but Paul has a higher career 3 pt FG% and a much higher career free throw %. Due to this Paul has a higher career true shooting percentage than Parker as well.

        As far as their win shares per 48 mins of floor time, it isn’t even close. Paul is at .244 for his career and Parker is only at .151

        Their scoring per 36 mins of court time in their careers is similar with Parker at 18.7 and Paul at 18.3.

        But Paul averages many more assists per 36 min’s of game time than Parker and fewer turnovers as well.

        So while I’m NOT a Chris Paul fan and I’m a fan of the Spurs, just how is Parker better than him?

      • Theo - Aug 17, 2013 at 5:54 AM

        You have to be pretty moronic to say Tony Parker is better than Paul. Only PG who has a chance against him is Rondo, IMHO.

        I would also like to remind felisberto that CP3 was a starter for the West team in the last All-Star Game, not Parker.

        Saying CP3 is overrated is just talking from you behind. He has all the abilities to lead a team to a Championship. The Clippers roster is just not good enough.

  3. abchome - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Looks like Simmons has a hard time getting over Rivers’ leaving his beloved Celtics. What’s done is done, just move on!

  4. dare9498 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    I am not real knowledgeable about the salary cap and stuff like that, but I do remember the Rockets had to do a lot of work just to get enough money to get Howard on the team. Even if Chris Paul did want to go to the Rockets, I do not think it would have been as easy as he made it sound.

    • joshm5683 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      They were in the same situation the Lakers will be in next year. They don’t have as much cap space on paper, but a lot of that is due to the holds of current free agents. If the Rockets renounced all of their free agents and done a bit of finessing with some trades for some guys still on their roster they could have easily done it, much like the Lakers “can” do next year with a stretch provision on Steve Nash, although now they also have Nick Young with a player option next year and Chris Kaman.

      Personally I don’t think CP3 would have left the Clips but you never know. The Clippers historically haven’t been very good and are still the red headed stepchild in town. The rest of the country loves “lob city” but whenever CP3 is shown as Dodgers games hes booed pretty heavily. Part of that probably stems from the David Stern veto of him to the Lakers, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Clips will never run LA even if they do win a title.

      • dannymac17 - Jul 31, 2013 at 10:06 PM

        they booed Durant, not Paul

  5. timb12 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Man the Rockets were the stick!

  6. patfic15 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    I thought he only wanted to play for a black coach? So much for that rumor.

  7. 00maltliquor - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    ROTF LMFAO!

  8. chargerdillon - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Business as usual for the Clippers, first or second round playoff elimination coming up

  9. htownred34 - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Still got D12, I ain’t even mad. Had a chance to get Chris Paul, now I’m mad. What a team that would’ve been…

  10. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Watch out, Simmons! You’re about to get another smackdown, courtesy of Doc Rivers & kids.

  11. qadrir - Jul 31, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    If Chris Paul wanted a ring he would have opted out and signed with Rockets. he will not win a ring with pathetic Clippers.

  12. middy8484 - Jul 31, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    He is overrated!!!!! What has he won? Let him go.

  13. fearthehoody - Jul 31, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Gee, and people wonder why the NBA has such a terrible rep! There is no discipline as the inmates run the asylum.

  14. mrlaloosh - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    CP-ME always gets his way. He’ll never win a ring anywhere. The Pelicans will win one before the Clippers. Book it.

  15. 10tender - Aug 1, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    He’s way overrated, anyone remember another PG who was good but couldn’t win anything despite having the nickname ‘Starbury’? I’d hate to be Blake Griffin.

    • Theo - Aug 17, 2013 at 5:58 AM

      You CANNOT be serious in comparing MArbury with Paul. Starbury can’t even hold a candle to CP3. Friggin’ Steve Francis kicked Marbury’s ass.

  16. 8to80texansblog - Aug 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Daryl Morey must have been in heaven for a few days while that was on the table.

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