NBA Trade Rumors - Olshey on the Paul Trade that Wasn't

After practice today, Los Angeles Clippers General Manager Neil Olshey spoke with the assembled media (and there were more media assembled than you might normally have expected for a Monday practice at the Clippers training facility). Olshey exaggerated when he said he hasn't slept in two weeks, but he couldn't hide the fact that he hadn't shaved, and it's clear he spent the night in his office.

He handled the media scrum with his usual aplomb. Simply put, the Hornets made a trade proposal, but the aggregate package that they were asking for was too much, and the Clippers decided they'd rather stick with the team they've got. We know that it was more complicated than that - there had to be some back and forth, so horse-trading, some counter-offers - but in the end, his account is what matters. There was a deal on the table, the Clippers didn't think it was worth it, they walked away, no harm done. Chris Paul is not a Clipper today, and that's OK.

Olshey and Coach Vinny Del Negro spoke with the 14 players under contract (I haven't fact-checked that yet, do they really have 14 players under contract without DeAndre here now? wow) before practice today and explained the situation. They talked about saying no to a trade offer, they talked about the offer sheet for DeAndre Jordan, they talked about how this is a business. From Neil's standpoint, that conversation went well, which VDN reiterated later. Without speaking directly to any of the players whose names were involved, I can't tell you specifically how they feel about the situation, but I can tell you this: they were all in uniform and practicing today (Bledsoe just doing light shooting of course). So far, no 'no shows', no early departures. As Olshey says, these guys are pros.

Regarding Jordan, Olshey referenced having more cap space now than when they match the offer, saying that they have a sequence they have to follow. (Note that I'm a tad confused on this point right now - I was under the impression that DJ's offer sheet amount becomes his cap hold, but now I'm not sure. Larry Coon's salary cap FAQ appears to be down right now, so I have not been able to check on this yet.) The Clippers appear to have every intention of matching on Jordan.

Despite it all, VDN (also unshaven) was pleased with practice today. He said that the team was focused and energized.

When asked if he was frustrated with the situation, Olshey was as cool and calm as ever. This is just how it works, and it's no big thang. That deal is off, and the Clippers have the team they have, a team about which they are very excited. Might this deal come back? Sure. As he said, "By the time I get back up to my office, I'll have three more messages." Three is probably an understatement.

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