Doc Rivers refused huge trade with Knicks that involved son Austin, Carmelo Anthony
In a move that shocked the NBA world, the Los Angeles Clippers sent superstar Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets for guards Louis Williams and Patrick Beverley, forward Sam Dekker, a top-3 protected 2018 first round selection, and a haul of other role players. There were reports that Paul was considering signing with Houston during free agency, but he decided to opt-in and pick up his player option so the Clippers organization could get something from the deal, which was very unexpected, not to mention classy.
Reasons for Paul’s discomfort with the Clippers were not known, albeit constantly speculated. People talked about a poor relationship with teammate Blake Griffin and frustration of never getting past the second round, but that was all speculation. However, the NBA world got what they were asking for – a true reason for Paul’s decision. Per Michael Eaves from ESPN, head coach Doc Rivers was at fault.
Apparently, Paul was outraged when Rivers brought his son, Austin Rivers, to the team. Austin did not fit well with his teammates and, according to Eaves, got better treatment from Doc than other players. However, it was not only that.
Doc Rivers reportedly refused a trade to bring forward Carmelo Anthony to the Clippers. His reason was that the eventual trade included his son, and keeping Austin was more important than improving the team. Due to behavior like this, Paul apparently pulled the plug and decided to leave the organization.
But what really solidified Paul’s dissatisfaction with Doc was a proposed trade involving Carmelo Anthony last season. New York offered Carmelo and Sasha Vujacic to the Clippers in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers, a deal to which Rivers ultimately said no. That event led Paul to feel that keeping his son on the roster was more important to Doc than improving the team. So, ultimately, Paul lost both trust and faith in Doc. As one league executive put it, “Chris despises Doc.”