Jeff Goodman: Rockets GM Daryl Morey not done yet, source told ESPN. Harden and CP3. Will try and add a third star to compete with Warriors.
Marc J. Spears: Chris Paul was seriously interested in Spurs, source says, but chance to play off ball & share PG duties w/James Harden was more attractive.
Jeff Goodman: Clippers like the upside of Sam Dekker, the toughness of Patrick Beverly and the short-term contracts of both Beverly and Lou Williams. Source said Clippers will go after a big wing in free agency, and try and retain Blake Griffin.
Brad Turner: Can confirm Chris Paul informed Clippers he opt-in on his deal and will be traded to Rockets for Patrick Beverely, Lou Williams, Sam Decker
Mark Berman: Sam Dekker part of blockbuster trade with Clippers that brings Chris Paul to the #Rockets: "I'm excited to see what LA holds. It's a shock." pic.twitter.com/BuAu6h7HdK
Jeff Goodman: Clippers had strong feeling that Chris Paul was headed out of LA, source told ESPN. Instead of getting nothing, got value from Houston.
LeBron James: My brother off to a new journey! Best of luck @Chris Paul!! H-Town y'all got a great one coming to your city. #BrotherHood🙏🏾
Jeff Goodman: Spurs didn't show significant interest in Chris Paul, source told ESPN. Already have an aging point guard in Tony Parker.
Adrian Wojnarowski: After Chris Paul agreed to opt-in on contract, Clippers are trading All-Star guard to the Houston Rockets, league sources tell @The Vertical
Mark Berman: NBA sources confirm #Rockets trade for Chris Paul. Clippers get Beverley, Dekker, Williams and 2018 first round pick.
The Houston Rockets have emerged as increasingly serious threats in the chase for soon-to-be free agent Chris Paul, according to league sources.
The Rockets still have work to do in terms of clearing sufficient salary-cap space to make a representative offer for Paul, but sources said that Houston star James Harden has been advocating hard in favor of the Paul pursuit and has made his interest in teaming with the LA Clippers' All-Star known directly to the point guard.
The Clippers, sources say, continue to worry that they won't be able to convince Paul to remain despite their considerable financial advantage over external suitors.
Ben Dubose: ESPN's @ChrisBHaynes is on @SportsCenter now. His top FA storyline? Chris Paul and the #Rockets. "Serious chance of luring Chris Paul away."
Paul also has plans to talk with the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets, one executive said. Griffin can sign a five-year deal worth $175 million with L.A., or sign a four-year deal worth $130 million with another team. The Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder are two teams that will make a bid for Griffin, according to several executives. “West knows he has a big task ahead of him with the Clippers,” one executive said. “But he feels as if Steve Ballmer is going to be one of the great owners in this league.”
September 24, 2021 | 10:17 am EDT Update
Keith Smith: Hearing from multiple sources that Boston’s recent camp invites, Ryan Arcidiacono and Garrison Mathews, have a real shot at making the Celtics final 15-man roster. One source said “It’s not a lock that the roster is done either. Brad is still doing some tinkering.”
Have you guys talked about the playoffs as a goal for this team going into the new year? What are the expectations for the Cavaliers in that locker room? Darius Garland: In our locker room, our expectations are to make the playoffs. The league is very balanced this year, so it’s going to be tough, but I think we’ve got the guys and the mindset to do it.
Where do you feel you rank among the rest of the NBA point guards right now? Darius Garland: In my opinion, I think I’m up there for sure. I think last year I really solidified myself, and I think this year I have a lot to learn. I’m coming back for more this year, especially having the target on my back of these executives that are saying I’ll be the breakout player of the year. A lot of people are going to be coming at me and trying to see what I can do. I’m just coming in and trying to be aggressive, trying to play the game the right way, and trying to get wins.
What are your long-term goals looking ahead? Darius Garland: Team goals are winning championships and getting as many wins as we can. I want to be an All-Star, be the best I can be, and be one of the best players to ever play this game. That’s always been my goal since I picked up a basketball. I always wanted to be the best version of me. I want to be known around the league. I want to have my kids’ friends talk about remembering Darius Garland. A lot of All-Star appearances would be amazing. Hall of Fame.
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September 24, 2021 | 10:00 am EDT Update
Shams Charania: Free agent guard Garrison Mathews is signing a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Boston Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Mathews spent his first two NBA seasons with Wizards and played 64 games (24 starts) in 2020-21.
Hart’s contract seems built to trade and we have another logjam of capable guards this year. Do you foresee any moves once the season starts to try and swap a guard or two for forward help? — Nicholas S. The Hart contract was a smart move by New Orleans to create maximum flexibility moving forward. They can use his deal as a way to extract assets from a team looking to open up cap space in the future, or they can get rid of his contract themselves to open up additional space. While I expect New Orleans to be active on the trade market, especially if they get off to a slow start, I’d look to the backcourt as an area they’re more likely to address than the forward position.
Either way, I do think there will be quality guards available later in the season. We see it every year at the trade deadline. I think New Orleans would prefer to see Graham exceed expectations and someone like Alexander-Walker, Murphy or Marshall have a breakout season to make the backcourt look better than it does going into the season. Even if that is true, the Pels will need to add a third star to this roster at some point down the road to give Zion and Ingram a real shot at competing in the West. The most realistic path for that is acquiring one of the next disgruntled guards to hit the trade market. Maybe it’ll happen as early as this season. You never know when the next upset superstar will pop up out of nowhere.