Report: Danny Ainge celebrated as if he’d kept Chris Paul from joining Lakers himself when Clippers won trade war

Jason Simpson
2 Min Read

In December of 2011, the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to acquire guard Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets.

However, the deal fell through. The NBA owned the Hornets at the time, and former league commissioner David Stern blocked the deal from happening.

In the end, Paul landed with the Los Angeles Clippers instead. The guard wound up spending six outstanding seasons with the Clippers in the 2010s.

The Lakers’ failed deal for Paul was extremely controversial, but one person who apparently loved the situation was executive Danny Ainge.

“I’m told that when the Clippers outmaneuvered the Lakers for Chris Paul, Ainge celebrated as if he had kept Paul from wearing the purple and gold himself,” Ric Bucher said.

Paul’s stint with the Clippers was impressive. In his six seasons with the organization, he earned five All-Star selections and had some of the best years of his career.

During that six-year stretch, he averaged 18.8 points, 9.8 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from beyond the arc.

During two of his seasons with the Clippers, he led the league in assists per game, and during three of his seasons with the Clippers, he led the league in steals per game.

Unfortunately for Paul, he was never able to lead the organization to an NBA title, and he’s still looking for his first championship ring today. However, there’s no doubt that he left a major mark on the Clippers organization.

As for Ainge, it doesn’t sound like he’s too fond of the Lakers organization. These days, the 63-year-old executive is looking to lead the Utah Jazz to the promised land by helping the franchise win its first NBA title.

However, the Jazz have a long way to go, as they’re just at the beginning of a major rebuild. They’ve traded away both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert this offseason.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.