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goran_dragic

The NBA announced today that Miami HEAT guard Goran Dragić was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for week 13 (games played Monday, January 8 through Sunday, January 14). It is the fourth time Dragić has been named Player of the Week in his career, including the second time this season after also earning the honor on November 27. He has now become just the fourth player in the Eastern Conference to earn the award on multiple occasions this season and the first HEAT player to do so since LeBron James during the 2013-14 campaign. It also marks the 57th time in franchise history a HEAT player has earned the honor.

Dragić led the HEAT to a perfect 3-0 record for the week, helping to extend their current seven-game winning streak and their NBA-best 14 consecutive victories in January dating back to last season, after averaging 23.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.00 steals while shooting 50 percent from the field, including 46.2 percent from three-point range. He led the team in points in all three games, in assists and steals twice and minutes once. He scored at least 20 points in each contest, matching his season high for consecutive 20-point games. Additionally, he has led the team in assists 19 times and in scoring on 15 occasions this season, both team highs.

Dragić led off the week with a 24-point, 12-rebound double-double at Toronto on January 9, helping Miami to a 90-89 win, handing the Raptors just their second loss at home this season. He also dished out a team-high four assists in the contest while his 12 boards tied his career high. On the second night of a back-to-back set on the road, he scored a team-high 20 points while dishing out a game-high nine assists in a, 114-106, victory at Indiana, helping Miami snap a 10-game road losing streak to the Pacers. Dragić capped off the week scoring a game-high 25 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter in a, 97-79, win vs. Milwaukee on January 14.

lou williams

And, the league announced that L.A. Clippers guard Lou Williams has been named Western Conference Player of the Week for Week 13 (games played Monday, Jan. 8, through Sunday, Jan. 14). Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat was the Eastern Conference winner. This is Williams’ second Player of the Week award this season (Week 11) and the third of his career.

Williams helped the Clippers to a 4-0 week behind averages of 35.0 points, 4.8 assists and 1.50 steals, while shooting 45.7% from three-point range and 96.7% from the free-throw line in 36.5 minutes. He tallied an NBA best 140 points and scored at least 30 points in three of the team’s four games last week, highlighted by a 50-point performance at Golden State on Wednesday, Jan. 10. It was the highest scoring effort by any Clipper in a single game since Charles Smith tied a franchise record with 52 points on Dec. 1, 1990.

Now in his 13th NBA season, Williams is averaging career-highs in points (23.1), assists (4.9), three-point percentage (41.4%) and minutes (31.7) this season. He is currently the NBA’s leading bench scorer, averaging 21.8 points per game as a reserve, the highest scoring average of any bench player since Ricky Pierce averaged 23.0 points per game as a reserve in 1989-90.

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Clippers dominate in win vs Kings

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The Clippers are 14-19 and should get power forward Blake Griffin back in action pretty soon. The Kings are 11-22 and pretty much just building for the future. The two sides did battle yesterday, and LAC came away with a convincing win. Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

The Kings, young and old, had a part in a 122-95 beating the Los Angeles Clippers handed them Tuesday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers had their way most of the night as Sacramento’s defense allowed season highs in points for a quarter (41 in the second), half (71 in the first) and be reserves(72)…

The Kings (11-22) watched Milos Teodosic post 10 assists, a season high for the rookie. Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to score a game-high 22 points, also his season high…

The Kings scored 30 points in the first quarter, but offered no resistance on defense. So while the Kings’ shots stopped falling, the Clippers continued to score at will.

Full article

It’s always fun to see how a star player performs against his former team. But that gift will not be presented to us on Friday. Here’s the LA Times reporting:

Friday night was supposed to a matchup between the new-look Clippers and former teammate Chris Paul, who requested a trade to the Houston Rockets last summer because he no longer wanted to be a part of the team’s future.

But that matchup will not happen because Paul is out after straining his left adductor during Wednesday night in the loss to the Lakers…

It just won’t be the same without Blake Griffin (left knee), Danilo Gallinari (partially torn left glute), Wesley Johnson (sore left foot) and Patrick Beverley (season-ending right knee surgery).

Besides Paul being out for the Rockets, they won’t have forward Luc Mbah a Moute (dislocated right shoulder). He joined the Rockets as a free agent after spending the last two seasons with the Clippers. The Rockets also have listed center Clint Capela as doubtful with a bruised left heel.

Full article

Austin Rivers fined by NBA

Austin Rivers fined by NBA

Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers has been fined $25,000 for directing inappropriate comments toward a fan, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 3:14 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ 126-107 loss to the Utah Jazz on Thursday, Nov. 30 at Staples Center.

Patrick Beverley undergoes season-ending surgery

The L.A. Clippers today announced that guard Patrick Beverley underwent an arthroscopic lateral meniscus repair, and a microfracture procedure, on his right knee. The surgery was performed by Dr. Walt Lowe at the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, in Houston.

Beverley is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017-18 NBA season.

Beverley, 29, has appeared in 11 games for the Clippers this season, averaging 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.73 steals in 30.3 minutes per game.

“The hits just keep rolling,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “That’s a tough one because you could see him trying to get back. He plays the one game and then his knee was really bothering him. We sent him back to have a look at it and he ended up having surgery, where we thought it would just be the meniscus. It turned out to be a lot more. So he’s out for the season. We just want him to get healthy.”

Clippers to host WWE Night on October 28

The L.A. Clippers today announced that the team will host WWE Night at STAPLES Center on Saturday, October 28 against the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 p.m. WWE Superstars The Miz, Becky Lynch, Enzo Amore and Darren Young will be in attendance to participate in WWE-themed elements throughout the run of show.

All fans that purchase tickets with the promo code ‘WWE’ will receive a throwback WWE-style Clippers T-Shirt, and 10 lucky fans who purchase the WWE package will win a pre-game meet & greet opportunity with one or more of the WWE superstars. In addition, there will be WWE prize giveaways throughout the night, including tickets to Monday Night RAW on December 4 at STAPLES Center and Pay-Per-View chairs from past events.

Milos Teodosic out with a plantar fascia injury

Clippers guard Milos Teodosic suffered a plantar fascia injury in his left foot during the second quarter of the Clippers’ game against Phoenix on October 21. Teodosic will be out indefinitely.

Teodosic, 30, has started in two games this season, and has averaged 5.5 points and 4.0 assists in 16.0 minutes. He appeared in four games for the Clippers in the preseason (three starts), and averaged 6.8 points, 5.5 assists and 1.00 steals in 24.9 minutes.

Clippers convert C.J. Williams contract, waive Marshall Plumlee, Ike Iroegbu and Tyrone Wallace

The L.A. Clippers today announced that the team has converted the contract of forward C.J. Williams to a two-way contract and waived guard Ike Iroegbu, center Marshall Plumlee and guard Tyrone Wallace.

Williams, 27, appeared in four games (one start) for the Clippers this preseason, and averaged 5.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 18.9 minutes. Undrafted out of North Carolina State in 2012, Williams appeared in 50 games (39 starts) for the G League’s Texas Legends, and averaged 12.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 29.3 minutes.

Iroegbu, 22, appeared in one game for the Clippers this preseason, tallying seven points (3-9 FG, 0-3 3PT, 1-2 FT), five rebounds and one assist in 17 minutes off the bench against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 13. A graduate of Washington State University, Iroegbu went undrafted in 2017.

Plumlee, 25, appeared in four games (zero starts) for the Clippers this preseason, and averaged 1.0 point and 1.0 rebound in 5.5 minutes. Undrafted out of Duke in 2016, Plumlee appeared in 21 games (one start) for the New York Knicks in his rookie year, and averaged 1.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 8.1 minutes.

Wallace, 23, appeared in four games (one start) for the Clippers this preseason, and averaged 10.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.00 steals in 20.9 minutes. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Wallace appeared in 38 games (15 starts) for the G League’s Salt Lake City Stars last season, and averaged 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 27.0 minutes.

The Atlanta Hawks have acquired guard/forward DeAndre Liggins and cash considerations from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for draft considerations, the team announced today.

Liggins, 29, holds career averages of 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 119 appearances over four seasons with Orlando, Oklahoma City, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas.

UPDATE: The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has waived DeAndre Liggins, the team announced today.

Clippers center Willie Reed arrested

Here’s the LA Times reporting on newly-signed backup Clippers center Willie Reed, who has been arrested:

Willie Reed arrested

Newly signed Clippers center Willie Reed was arrested early Sunday morning in Miami on suspicion of domestic violence.

Reed, 27, was jailed by police for misdemeanor battery in downtown Miami at a condominium complex, according to Miami-Dade jail records…

Reed’s attorney, David Oscar Markus, added that, “Willie will continue to cooperate with the authorities, the Clippers, and with the league so that they have all of the facts regarding this misdemeanor allegation.”

Lawrence Frank takes over Clippers basketball operations

The L.A. Clippers announced today that they are creating separate roles for coaching leadership and basketball operations leadership. The team says the change stems from discussions between team owner Steve Ballmer and Doc Rivers.

Doc Rivers will continue to serve as the team’s head coach, while Lawrence Frank takes over responsibility for basketball operations. Frank and Rivers will be peers in the Clippers’ structure, each reporting directly to owner Steve Ballmer. Doc and Lawrence will work closely together to lead the Clippers towards its goal of an NBA championship.

In announcing the shift, Ballmer noted: “Doc knows how to win championships. That is what we prioritize, and that is what Doc will focus on. He is key to integrating our new players with our returning players and taking us to new heights on the court.” He added: “Lawrence is someone I learn from every single time I hear him talk. He gets recruiting, talent development and identification, salary cap strategy – he gets it all. I know the team will be well positioned with him leading the front office. It is great to have two independent voices — and two of the League’s absolute professionals — working in partnership for our team. With these two guys at the helm, we will have great success.”

Rivers remarked: “I am committed to the Clippers success and am excited to focus on the coaching side as two thirds of our roster will be new this year. This is a change I discussed with Steve since my bet last year on Lawrence Frank has worked out so well.”

Frank commented that: “After a year in the organization’s front office, I am excited to continue to invest in our front office and I look forward to the opportunity. Steve has charged us with taking the Clippers to the next level, and together with Doc we will do just that.”

Clippers re-sign Blake Griffin

Clippers re-sign Blake Griffin

The L.A. Clippers announced have re-signed free agent forward Blake Griffin.

“I just want to say how excited I am to be back. Obviously, this has been my home since I have been drafted.” Griffin said. “In the end, I realized this was a no-brainer for me. This was the best place for me, and this is the place where I want to start and finish my career.”

Griffin, 28, averaged 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 61 games (all starts) last season for L.A. The five-time All-Star has played his entire career with the Clippers since being drafted first overall in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma. In 471 career games (all starts), he holds averages of 21.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

On April 1, 2017, Griffin reached 10,000 career points, becoming the first player in team history to tally 10,000+ points exclusively in a Clippers uniform.

Griffin was the 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year and has been an All-NBA performer four times throughout his career.

Three-team trade sends Danilo Gallinari to Clippers, Jamal Crawford to Hawks

The L.A. Clippers announced today the team has acquired forward Danilo Gallinari from the Denver Nuggets as part of a three-team trade that sends Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone and L.A.’s 2018 protected first round draft pick (via Houston) to Atlanta and a 2019 second round draft pick from Atlanta (via Washington) to Denver.

Gallinari, 28, averaged 18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 63 games (all starts) last season with the Nuggets. An eight year NBA veteran, Gallinari has appeared in 460 career games (390 starts) with Denver and the New York Knicks, and owns career averages of 15.3 points, 4.7 rebounds 2.0 assists. The Sant’Angelo Lodigiano native was originally selected by the Knicks with the 6th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft after spending four-plus years playing internationally in Italy.

“Since we acquired Danilo in 2011, he has exemplified every positive aspect of the organization we are continuing to build,” said Nuggets President and Governor Josh Kroenke. “His hard work, professionalism, and efforts in the Denver community during his time with us will forever make him a fan favorite. On behalf of Nuggets fans everywhere and our entire organization, I would like to thank him for everything he did during his time with us and wish him nothing but the best in the future both in life and in basketball.”

“Danilo has been a special player for the Nuggets organization as well as a prominent figure in the Denver community for the last six years,” stated Connelly. “He was a consummate professional throughout his time with us and we want to wish him all the best as he begins this new chapter.”

Stone, 20, was a second-round pick of the New Orleans Pelicans (40th overall) in the 2016 NBA Draft, and was traded to the Clippers on draft night. Last season, he played in seven contests with the Clippers, spending much of the year in the NBA G League with Santa Cruz Warriors and Salt Lake City Stars. In 13 games (two starts) in the G League, the 6’11 center averaged 16.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 21.7 minutes (.491 FG%, .826 FT%).

The Milwaukee, WI native played his freshman season at the University of Maryland, averaging 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes (.568 FG%, .761 FT%) before declaring for the 2016 Draft.

Crawford, who has won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award a record three times (including with Atlanta), played from 2009-11 with the Hawks, and has also seen action with the Chicago Bulls (2000-04), the New York Knicks (2004-08), Golden State Warriors (2008-09), Portland Trail Blazers (2011-12) and the Clippers (2012-17).

In 17 NBA seasons, the 6’5 guard holds career averages of 15.3 points, 3.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 30.6 minutes (1182 games, 433 starts). He was originally the eighth overall pick of the 2000 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers after playing one season collegiately at Michigan.

The L.A. Clippers have acquired the draft rights to Oklahoma State University guard Jawun Evans from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for cash considerations.

In his final season at Oklahoma State, Evans, 20, led the Big 12 in scoring (19.2 ppg), was an AP All-America Honorable Mention selection and was named to the All-Big 12 First Team. In 54 appearances over two seasons at OSU, Evans averaged 16.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds, while shooting 40.7% from three-point range.

Evans, 6’0”, 185 pounds, was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2015-16. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning USA Basketball team at the FIBA U19 World Championships and a McDonald’s and Parade All-American out of Kimball High School in Dallas.

Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers

The Clippers backcourt is weaker now with Chris Paul gone, but their frontcourt will receive a boost thanks to the upcoming re-signing of Blake Griffin and newly reported addition of small forward Danilo Gallinari. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers

The LA Clippers have acquired Denver Nuggets free-agent forward Danilo Gallinari on a three-year, $65 million contract as part of a three-team sign-and-trade deal, league sources told ESPN.

Los Angeles, Denver and Atlanta reached agreement Tuesday night on a deal that will have the Clippers send Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, a 2018 first-round pick previously acquired from Houston and cash to the Hawks, league sources said.

Atlanta will send a 2019 second-round pick it previously acquired from Washington to Denver to complete the trade, league sources said.

Blake Griffin to re-sign with Clippers

Chris Paul is gone, but Blake Griffin is sticking around. The Clippers are without their floor general, but their versatile power forward will re-sign with the squad. Here’s the LA Times reporting:

Blake Griffin to re-sign with Clippers

Blake Griffin walked into Staples Center on Friday afternoon, his eyes quickly diverting to a video of the Clippers starting lineup that included him. A few seconds later, the video shifted to a museum in which it walked through different parts of his life during the seven years he wore No. 32 for the Clippers.

As soon as a smile crossed Griffin’s face upon entering the arena, one team executive who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said the sense was that the power forward would return to the Clippers.

And Griffin will, agreeing to sign a maximum contract with the Clippers for five years and $175.74 million, according to an NBA official…

Griffin technically couldn’t agree to the deal until the NBA’s free-agency period opened at 9:01 PT Friday night, but the Clippers were allowed to talk with the power forward earlier in the day because he had spent the past seven years on the team.

Chris Paul was on his way out, so the Clippers managed to get some players for him. None on his level, though. With the CP3/LAC era over, here’s the LA Times with what needs to happen next for the squad:

Keeping Blake Griffin the priority for Clippers

Blake Griffin now becomes the priority for the Los Angeles Clippers to re-sign in the wake of Chris Paul’s great escape from Los Angeles.

The Clippers have the upper hand in the talks with Griffin because they can offer more money than any other team, a five-year deal worth about $175 million. But the Clippers are hesitant to give Griffin all five years because of his health issues, according to an NBA executive who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Griffin is recovering from surgery on the plantar plate of his right big toe that could sideline him up to November and possibly December.

Still, there are at least four other teams looking to talk with Griffin and he has a visit scheduled with the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, said an NBA executive.

The Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder also are teams that have expressed interest in Griffin.

Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

The L.A. Clippers announced today the team has acquired guard Patrick Beverley, forward Sam Dekker, center Montrez Harrell, guard Darrun Hilliard, guard DeAndre Liggins, guard Lou Williams, forward Kyle Wiltjer and a 2018 First Round Pick from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Chris Paul.

“Since winning back-to-back championships, the pursuit of a third title has remained the ultimate goal for our franchise,” said Rockets owner Leslie Alexander. “We feel that combining two of the league’s greatest players in James Harden and Chris Paul, operating in Coach D’Antoni’s system, gives us a championship caliber team that will compete at the highest level for years to come.

“On behalf of the Rockets organization and our fans I’d also like to thank Sam, Montrezl, Kyle, and Lou for helping make this past season a special one. I’d also like to personally express my deepest gratitude to Pat Beverley, who, for the past five seasons, always left everything he had out on the court.”

Paul (6-0, 175) has racked up a multitude of honors across his 12 NBA seasons split between the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets and the Clippers. A nine-time All-Star, Paul has also been named All-NBA First Team four times, Second Team three times and Third Team once. In addition, Paul has been named NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times and Second Team twice and helped Team USA capture a gold medal in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

For his career, Paul has started all 834 of his games played, while averaging 18.7 points, 9.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.29 steals while shooting 47.3% from the floor, 37.0% from 3-point range, and 86.6% from the line with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.08. He is the only player in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.00 steals. There are only three other players in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds (Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and John Wall).

Paul has averaged a point/assist double-double in six of his 12 seasons, including three of the past four. That is already the fourth-highest total in NBA history, trailing only John Stockton (12), Magic Johnson (9), and Steve Nash (7). Four of Nash’s seven seasons averaging a double-double came while playing for current Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix. Nash was also named NBA MVP twice during his four seasons with D’Antoni.

Among players who were active last season, Paul has the most career assists (8,251) and steals (1,912) and ranks 10th in NBA history in assists and 15th in steals. He joins Jason Kidd, Gary Payton and Stockton as the only players with at least 8,000 assists and 1,900 steals.

Paul has hit at least 120 3-pointers in each of the past three seasons after not having more than 92 in a season prior for his career. He also shot 39.3% from behind-the-arc over the past three seasons after shooting 35.7% his first nine seasons. Paul averaged a career-high 2.0 3FGM on a career-best 41.1% shooting in 2016-17.

Earlier today the Rockets completed five separate trades with Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Portland:

· Houston acquired forward Ryan Kelly from Atlanta in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired guard DeAndre Liggins from Dallas in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired guard Darrun Hilliard from Detroit in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired forward Shawn Long from Philadelphia in exchange for a future second round pick and cash considerations
· Houston acquired guard Tim Quarterman from Portland in exchange for cash considerations.

Beverley, 28, was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2017, the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2014 and recently received the 2017 NBA Hustle Award. Last season with Houston, Beverly averaged career-highs in rebounds (5.9), assists (4.2) and steals (1.48). Over five seasons with the Rockets, he appeared in 291 games, holding career averages of 9.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.26 steals in 28.5 minutes. Initially selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 42nd pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of the University of Arkansas, Beverley spent three-plus seasons playing internationally in Greece and Russia, before joining Houston in December 2012. Beverley averaged 13.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his two collegiate seasons with the Razorbacks.

Dekker, 23, appeared in 80 games over his first two NBA seasons with the Rockets, averaging 6.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists, while shooting 47.3% from the field. The University of Wisconsin stand-out spent three collegiate seasons with the Badgers, holding averages of 12.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 27.9 minutes and led Wisconsin to back-to-back Final Four appearances in his sophomore and junior seasons. Dekker was a two-time Second-Team All-Big Ten selection (2014 & 2015), and his 1,363 points rank 17th all-time in Wisconsin school history.

Harrell, 23, holds career averages of 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds, while shooting 65.1% from the field in 97 appearances over two seasons with the Rockets. The 32nd pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Harrell was a member of Louisville’s 2013 NCAA Championship team, earned First Team All-AAC honors in 2014 and received the Karl Malone Award as the nation’s top power forward as a senior in 2015.

The 2015 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Williams, 30, averaged a career-high 17.5 points in only 24.6 minutes per game last season with Houston and Los Angeles. In 12 NBA seasons with Philadelphia, Toronto, Los Angeles and Houston, he holds career averages of 12.8 points, 2.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 782 career games with 90 starts.

Originally the 45th overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2005 NBA Draft out of South Gwinnett High School near Atlanta, Williams was a 2005 McDonald’s All-American and was named the 2005 Naismith Prep Player of the Year.

Hilliard, 24, holds career averages of 3.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 77 appearances over two seasons with the Detroit Pistons. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native was selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by Detroit.

Liggins, 29, holds career averages of 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 119 appearances over four seasons with Orlando, Oklahoma City, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas.

Wiltjer, 24, averaged 0.9 points and 0.7 rebounds in 14 games last season as a rookie in Houston.

The Clippers are about to take a big step downward, while the Rockets are on the rise. Here’s ESPN.com on the news:

Rockets will reportedly trade for Chris Paul

The Houston Rockets have reached an agreement on a trade for LA Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul, sources told ESPN.

The Rockets will send Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams and a top-three protected 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers in exchange for Paul…

The Clippers were determined get something for Paul rather than lose him for nothing, sources told ESPN, so Paul instead agreed to opt in for the final year of his contract (worth $24.2 million) to facilitate the trade.

The Rockets, needing to make another move to make the financials work before they can officially acquire Paul, are telling teams that they’ve assembled the needed pieces and the trade is headed to the league office for approval, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Chris Paul named to NBA All-Defensive First Team

The NBA announced today that L.A. Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. This is Paul’s sixth consecutive year on the First Team and seventh overall time in his career, making him the 9th player in NBA history with at least seven career nods. He received 140 points, including 61 First Team votes.

Joining Paul on the NBA All-Defensive First team are forward Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, forward Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and guard Patrick Beverley of the Houston Rockets.

Paul was third in the NBA in steals per game (1.95) this season. He has led the NBA in steals in six of the past 10 seasons. Paul was previously named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2009 and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2011 and 2008.

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