Report: Chris Paul would play for Clippers, but there are hitches

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Chris Paul is not going to the Lakers, they pulled out of the running for him. He’s not going to get traded to the Knicks, even Paul realizes they don’t have the young assets to make the move (even if some Knicks fans don’t).

If he can’t land there, he wouldn’t mind playing along side Blake Griffin for the Los Angeles Clippers, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com.

But it’s not that simple.

To make the deal work the Clippers are likely going to have to throw in Eric Gordon and/or Minnesota’s unprotected first round pick for this draft (to which the Clippers have the rights), along with Chris Kaman, Eric Bledsoe and Al-Farouq Aminu. Steep price, but not an unfair one.

But the Clippers are not going to pay that price without some assurances from Paul.

The Clippers know Paul is going to want to play out his contract and sign as a free agent even if he doesn’t change teams (under the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, if he gets an extension it can only be for four years but if he becomes a free agent then re-signs with the same team he can get five years).

What the Clippers want Paul to do right after the trade is pick up his option year for next season. This would give him one more year guaranteed under his current deal, then he would be a free agent in the summer of 2013.

When presumably the Clippers think they could sign him. This is where Donald Sterling the Clippers owner being a guy nobody likes comes in. Maybe Griffin and Paul can change the complexion of the Clippers on the court, but there is still one problem looming — Sterling. And if you think that what an owner does doesn’t reach into the locker room you underestimate Sterling. Or you don’t remember Sterling heckling Baron Davis while Davis was still a Clipper.

Still, this is a move the Clippers have to make, if they can get Paul to give them that year.

Russell Westbrook scores most points ever in triple-double, 57

AP Photo/John Raoux
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Russell Westbrook led a double-digit comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Been there done, that.

Westbrook hit a defining buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Been there done, that.

Westbrook posted a historic triple-double. Been there, done that.

All three in one game?

That’s a new level for Westbrook, who lifted the Thunder to a 114-106 win over the Magic tonight while posting an incredible stat line: 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

James Harden scored 53 in a triple-double just this season, and Westbrook has already one-upped that record.

This MVP race is one for the ages.

Russell Westbrook’s 3-pointer caps incredible Thunder comeback, send Magic game to OT (video)

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The Thunder trailed the Magic by 21 points in the second half and 14 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Russell Westbrook capped the incredible comeback with this 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.

This becoming the norm for Oklahoma City.

NBA: Timberwolves got away with key late foul in win over Pacers

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Paul George expressed extreme dismay after the Pacers’ loss to the Timberwolves last night — the latest cause for concern in Indiana with its biggest star just one season from free agency.

But perhaps George wouldn’t have sounded so disillusioned if that game featured correct officiating down the stretch.

Minnesota’s Kris Dunn got away with fouling Jeff Teague by disrupting the Pacers guard’s speed/quickness/balance rhythm with 21.6 seconds left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Dunn (MIN) makes contact to Teague’s (IND) arm that affects his SQBR and causes him to lose control of the ball.

Because the Timberwolves were in the penalty, a correct would’ve sent Teague — who’s making 86% of his free throws this season and 84% for his career — to the line. He would’ve had two attempts to build on Indiana’s two-point lead.

Instead, he forced an off-balance shot, which Minnesota rebounded. Ricky Rubio drew a shooting foul on a 3-pointer on the other end, and his three free throws lifted the Timberwolves to a 115-114 win.

The two-minute report featured a few other missed calls: George getting away with pushing off then Wiggins getting away with fouling George on a possession where George missed anyway, Andrew Wiggins getting away with a travel on a possession where Minnesota turned the ball over anyway. But those were effectively wash’s. Dunn’s uncalled foul was the one of consequence — especially if it contributes, even in a small way, to George’s exit from the Pacers.

Edmond Sumner declares for NBA draft despite torn ACL

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Edmond Sumner has grown about five inches since high school.

That has helped turn the 6-foot-5 Xavier point guard into an intriguing NBA prospect — but also seemingly contributed to physical complications. Sumner missed nearly all of his freshman year with knee tendinitis. Then, after a promising second season and start to his third, he tore his ACL in January.

Still, he’s entering the NBA draft.

Sumner:

Rick Broering of Musketeer Report:

Like with Duke’s Harry Giles, medical testing will be huge with Sumner. But at least Giles ended the season on the court. Sumner might not be healthy at all during the pre-draft process.

Sumner looked like a borderline first-round pick before the injury. This probably pushes him into the second round.

His long strides provide impressive speed and quickness, and he’s still shifty. Add quality court vision, and his ability to drive by defenders is even more valuable.

A 6-foot-8 wingspan and good lateral mobility also help make him a quality defender.

But it’s also concerning that so much of his positives could be undermined by his knee issues, especially considering his unreliable jumper. If Sumner can’t move like he did before getting hurt, I don’t see how he sticks in the NBA.

If Sumner’s knees check out, it’s worth rolling the dice on him and hoping his jumper develops. He might even be OK without shooting range, though that’d lower his ceiling considerably.

Again, though, the first thing is examining his knees.