One of the biggest moves of the NBA offseason so far has been star point guard Chris Paul’s trade to the Houston Rockets after Paul made it clear he planned to opt out of his contract and explore the free-agent market.
Thus, to ensure the Los Angeles Clippers weren’t left empty-handed, they completed a sign-and-trade agreement that netted them seven players, a draft pick and some cash in return.
CP3’s exit from Los Angeles, though, has led to a lot of speculation about his relationship with coach Doc Rivers and his son, Austin Rivers. Rumors have spread that Paul didn’t like the preferential treatment Austin received from his dad.
However, according to USA TODAY Sports, when the younger Rivers recently spoke to Paul on the phone, CP3 said the rumors shouldn’t be believed:
“I called Chris and was like, ‘Chris, what’s going on?’’” Austin Rivers said. “Chris is like, ‘This is the biggest bull(expletive) I’ve ever seen in my life.’ Chris was just like, ‘This is a joke.’ So I asked him, I’m like, ‘You don’t need to come out and say nothing publicly, I don’t need you to do that. It’s just going to make it even more, now they’re going to drag it out two more days. I’ll take it. I don’t care. I’ve been dealing with this (dynamic) since I was six (years old). I really don’t even care.’”
After losing to the Utah Jazz in seven games in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs this season, Paul was simply ready to move on to other, different things this offseason, and the chance to play with James Harden in Houston was simply too good to pass up.
Rivers said he has no hard feelings toward Paul and understands why he wanted to explore other options after spending six seasons in Los Angeles:
“What do I have to do with someone else’s move?” Austin Rivers asked. “Chris wanted to move because he’d been (with the Clippers) for a while. He’s had great years there, but he wanted something new. A lot of players want that. It’s really that simple.”
Though many now think the Clippers have to rebuild after losing CP3, the team did re-sign star forward Blake Griffin to a max contract this offseason and also added valuable pieces like guard Patrick Beverly and sixth man Lou Williams through the trade with the Rockets. They also recently signed Danilo Gallinari and still have big man DeAndre Jordan on the roster.