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Revamping Clippers get first look at Paul in camp

Chris Paul tells the team he will exercise his option for next season, keeping him a Clipper for at least two years.

Associated Press

Chris Paul tells the team he will exercise his option for next season, keeping him a Clipper for at least two years.

LOS ANGELES — Four-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul reported to the Clippers' training complex Thursday, meeting his new teammates and even getting on the court during practice in his new No. 3 jersey.

"This is not my day, by the way. This is the Clippers' day," Paul, 26, told an overflowing media crowd. " … I'm so grateful and thankful to be here."

A day earlier, the Clippers acquired Paul in a four-player trade with New Orleans, out­maneuvering the Lakers and several other suitors.

Blake Griffin said he's sad to lose teammates Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and Al-Farouq Aminu in the deal, but the rookie of the year is looking forward to lining up with Paul and fellow newcomers Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups. Griffin said that when basketball fans hear about the Clippers, "it's not going to be a joke anymore."

Paul is eager to play with Griffin after they teamed up last season at the All-Star Game. He knows fans are salivating at the prospect of Paul's passes finding Griffin for all varieties of dunks.

"That's something that's not going to happen overnight either," Paul said. "I've got to find the right height. It's like Blake plays on a goal that's lower than 10 foot or something. I'm excited for the opportunity to not only help him grow, but for him to help me to get to the next level."

Blazers land Crawford: Free agent guard Jamal Crawford, who was reportedly considering the Kings and Blazers, agreed to a two-year deal with Portland. Financial terms were not released. In order to make a deal, the team used the new amnesty clause to waive guard Brandon Roy, who announced his retirement last week because of knee problems. Crawford, who played for the Hawks the past two seasons, has averaged 15.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists for his career.

Bobcats get shooter: Charlotte, which finished 29th in 3-point percentage last season, signed shooting guard Reggie Williams to a two-year deal. Terms were not released. Williams was eighth in the league in 3-point shooting last season for the Warriors at 42.3 percent.

Forward chooses Nets: The Nets signed free agent forward Shawne Williams away from the rival Knicks. Williams played in 64 games for New York last season and posted career-best averages of 7.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game. The Nets also waived forward Travis Outlaw and signed free agent forward Ime Udoka.

Knicks: Having lost out on Crawford and Williams, the team signed 7-foot center Jerome Jordan. The team had only the new $2.5 million, two-year exception left and were outbid for both players.

Hornets: Free agent power forward Carl Landry agreed to a one-year contract. Landry's agent said the deal is worth $8.8 million.

Jazz: Free agent forward Josh Howard is set to join the team, pending a successful physical.

Timberwolves: Guard Bonzi Wells, who hasn't played in the league since 2008, signed a camp contract, allowing him to attempt a comeback.

Security official sues league: Warren Glover, a former NBA security director, said in a lawsuit against the league and three former security executives that he was forced out of his job because he stuck up for colleagues who complained of sexual harassment. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. "Mr. Glover's allegations are without merit," league spokesman Mike Bass said.

Howard reiterates his trade request

ORLANDO — Magic center Dwight Howard wanted to make it clear Thursday that his trade request has not been withdrawn.

"There's no back and forth," the All-Star center said. "It still stands."

On Wednesday, general manager Otis Smith shook off questions about what offers he had received and said that trade discussions "could go to the end of the season."

Howard can opt out of his current contract in July 2012. Smith has given Howard's agent permission to discuss trades with the Mavs, Nets and Lakers.

Howard will hear the fans' reaction to his trade request in person Saturday, when the team holds an open scrimmage at the Amway Center.

Meanwhile, free agent forward Earl Clark, who played 33 games in Orlando last season after coming over in a trade with Phoenix, re-signed.

Times wires

Revamping Clippers get first look at Paul in camp 12/15/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 15, 2011 10:25pm]
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