On Saturday, TMZ Sports passed along comments from Rivers about the situation after Paul became the focus of speculation involving a move to the San Antonio Spurs. The Clippers coach said he "absolutely" expects the nine-time All-Star to stay in Lob City despite the rumors.
His stance comes ahead of a summer filled with question marks for Los Angeles. Paul and power forward Blake Griffin both own early-termination options in their contracts, which they could exercise to become unrestricted free agents.
In February, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported the Clippers and their point guard had "verbally agreed" to a long-term deal. He would opt out of his deal and re-sign with the franchise for more than $200 million.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com noted Friday it might not be that easy, though. He pointed out the Spurs are "exploring the feasibility" of creating the necessary space under the salary cap in order to make a serious bid for Paul in free agency, which the Clippers view as a "legitimate concern."
San Antonio will be looking for more star power after getting swept by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. The team couldn't keep pace with the Dubs after 2016-17 MVP candidate and two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard reaggravated an ankle injury in Game 1 and never returned in the series.
While longtime Spurs point guard Tony Parker enjoyed a resurgent playoffs before his season came to a premature end with a ruptured quadriceps tendon in the second round versus the Houston Rockets, the 35-year-old is no longer capable of carrying a team on his shoulders like he could during his peak seasons.
San Antonio is a projected $25.7 million over the cap with 11 players under contract for next season, according to Spotrac, so it would need to get creative to make room for Paul.
There have also been whispers about Rivers' future in recent months. In March, Stein reported there has been "persistent chatter" around the league about the coach returning to the Orlando Magic, though a timetable for the possible move is unclear.
There are a lot of moving pieces for the Clippers this offseason. Paul is the biggest of them all. If he does decide to leave, whether it's for the Spurs or another team, it could have a trickle-down effect and leave L.A. looking a lot different heading into the 2017-18 season.