With the news of Doc Rivers no longer wanting to coach the Los Angeles Clippers flying out the window, as they traded a 2015 first-round pick for him on Sunday, it seems they've made the first step towards guaranteeing Chris Paul's status with their team.
The Boston Celtics have agreed, in principle, with the Clippers in a deal that would let Rivers out of his three-year, $21 million contract with the team—allowing him to sign the same contract with the Clippers, while getting the draft pick as compensation.
After dragging their feet, kicking, screaming and flat-out refusing to include a first-round pick as compensation for Rivers, the Clippers finally relented and made the right move for their team. Well, at the very least, they made the right move in their team's pursuit to re-sign Paul.
Marc Stein is reporting that the Clippers expect getting Doc was enough for Paul to re-sign, and they expect him to do so sometime in the near future.
Sources tell ESPN that Clips believe CP3 will soon notify them that deal w/Doc Rivers' clinches his ... http://t.co/FCETvB8Xj9— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 23, 2013
This all may come as a surprise, especially after the past three weeks were dreadful for the Los Angeles front office.
However, over the past week, Paul has been lobbying the team to get Rivers, which seems to be the most important addition to their star point guard.
When we last left off with the Rivers saga, Paul had been left upset for the second time this offseason concerning the Clippers' handling of a coach.
This time around, Rivers had announced that he no longer wanted to coach the Clippers, as Boston couldn't get what they deemed to be fair compensation for giving up a top-tier head coach.
Paul, who had been pushing for the Rivers trade from the start, was reportedly upset with the organization and the thought of settling for somebody other than Rivers.
Whether the near-deal with Scott was a ploy to get Boston back on the phone, or the most recent talks were a last-ditch effort, the main takeaway is that the Clippers landed the coach that Paul wanted.
However, does that necessarily mean that he will be inclined to return to the team next season, or is he still possibly on his way out the door?
Right off the bat, we've got to look at the reason the deal was revived in the first place, at least upon its initial revival.
While one part of that deal will be done, it seems getting Garnett in Los Angeles would be blocked by the league, if pursued.
To reiterate: All indications are NBA WILL approve LAC deal for Doc Rivers. But all indications also are any KG-to-Clips trade gets blocked— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 23, 2013
As it looks now, Doc, Paul and the Clippers will be together for some time to come if Stein's report is to be believed, and they'll continue to chase an NBA Championship.
If Paul does end up signing a contract extension with the Clippers, it would be a deal to the tune of five years for north of $100 million, compared to the four-year, $80 million deal that he could get in the open market.
Of course, this also puts incredible pressure on everyone involved with the Clippers. Paul and Blake Griffin are suddenly expected to help turn this Clippers team into a title contender, while Rivers is expected to coach the Clippers to the level of his first few years with the Celtics, not the post-2010 Celtics.
The only unknown that remains is whether they pursue further options for DeAndre Jordan, who would have gone back to Boston in a deal for Garnett, or if the Griffin and Eric Bledsoe swap for Dwight Howard becomes more than just a giggling whisper.
So, while they were doing almost everything possible to fumble Paul away just two seasons after losing him, it seems the Clippers have fallen into the correct moves.