Evening News: Chris Paul nearly signed with Rockets; Knicks heavily pursuing Udrih

Hello and welcome to the Evening News.

As the offseason continues, we’ll keep you updated every night.

What’s happening today?

Chris Paul nearly signed with Houston

In the days leading up to the Clippers’ trade for Doc Rivers, Chris Paul was doing everything in his power to make sure the former Celtics coach would be leading the Clippers in 2013.  Chris Paul

Discussions between Los Angeles and Boston had reached several impasses as the Clippers believed the Celtics were asking for too much in exchange for the coach. When Donald Sterling refused to improve his package consisting of several late picks, Chris Paul reportedly grew frustrated with the Clippers’ stinginess.

As Bill Simmons wrote on Grantland:

“To Chris Paul, who basically told the Clippers that after they squashed the first incarnation of their Doc Rivers trade. Chris didn’t like that. He let them know he was heading to Houston to team up with Dwight. And he wasn’t kidding. For about 36 hours, Morey probably felt like all 11 guys in Ocean’s Eleven. You know what happened next: The Clippers blinked, the Doc trade got revived and finished, and the Clippers were offering Chris 107 million reasons to play for him. Crisis averted. The lesson, as always: Chris Paul runs the Clippers.”

Although Paul agreed to re-sign with the Clippers on the first day of free agency, the actual decision to re-sign was far from a foregone conclusion prior to the Rivers trade. Reports surfaced in the week before free agency saying Paul and Howard were actively looking for ways to team up.

Bringing in Rivers, however, was apparently enough to convince Chris Paul to re-sign with Los Angeles for the long haul.

Knicks courting Beno Udrih Beno Udrih

With Jason Kidd now coaching the crosstown Nets, the Knicks are in search for a veteran backup point guard. While New York can only offer a minimum contract, rumors suggest they are actively trying to convince Beno Udrih to sign at a discounted price.

The 31-year-old Udrih has developed into an ultra-efficient backup point guard over his nine year NBA career. He has one of the league’s best midrange jump shots and rarely turns the ball over.

In nine starts with the Orlando last season, Udrih averaged 14.3 points and 8.1 assists. For the season, in mostly limited roles with the Bucks and Magic, Udrih averaged 8.2 points and 4.6 assists over 22 minutes per game.

Although he is a tad slow for a point guard, his 6’3″ frame gives him the size to defend shooting guards. He could fit in very nicely in a Kidd-esque facilitating role with New York.

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