Chris Paul preferred Clippers over Lakers
by Yannis Koutroupis, Hoopsworld.com
With the incredible offseason the Lakers have had, losing out on All-Star point guard Chris Paul has basically become an afterthought. For all of a couple hours, Paul was a Laker in a monster three-team deal that involved the Lakers trading Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol.
The trade was done in principal, but David Stern, who at the time was acting as the owner for the New Orleans Hornets, vetoed it in its final stages.
Endless negotiations with other teams would follow. By the time all the dust settled, Paul still ended up in Los Angeles. Except, it was with the Clippers rather than the Lakers. Historically, most players would prefer to be with the Lakers, whose history and success trumps that of the Clippers, but it’s a new day and age. Even though the Lakers are still contenders, the Clippers are on the rise and close to being in the championship mix. That, along with Clippers’ lack of success, actually made Paul prefer them.
“They had better pieces,” Paul said to GQ Magazine. “And winning with the Clippers would be legendary.”
The Clippers have been on a hot streak since acquiring Paul. They locked up All-Star power forward Blake Griffin to a long-term extension earlier this summer, then they made notable acquisitions in Odom, Jamal Crawford and Grant Hill to solidify their bench and gain experience.
Paul’s belief in the Clippers will be put to the ultimate test this offseason when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. They have his Bird rights and the ability to offer him more than any other team, so if he leaves, it will really be because he feels his chances of winning somewhere else are better.
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