Chris Paul may play 2016 Games

Updated: July 27, 2013, 2:36 PM ET
By Jeff Goodman | ESPN.com

LAS VEGAS -- Chris Paul has changed his mind and is leaning toward playing in the 2016 Olympics.

The Los Angeles Clippers point guard, who was on the 2008 and 2012 gold medal teams, said he was leaning heavily toward bypassing the 2016 Games -- until Duke's Mike Krzyzewski announced he was returning to coach the team.

Paul
Paul

"If it had been another coach than Coach K, I was prepared to be done," Paul told ESPN.com.

Paul will be 31 when the 2016 Olympics, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, take place. He will still likely be a major piece for the team, despite a strong crop of young and talented point guards that includes Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry.

Paul was in Las Vegas coaching his CP3 All-Stars summer league program this week shortly after returning from a trip to China with teammate Blake Griffin and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. Paul also watched the Team USA intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas Thursday night, which featured nearly 30 of the top young NBA players.

Paul admitted there were times when he and Griffin weren't on the same page last season, but said the trip gave the pair an opportunity to bond.

"We talked about everything," Paul said. "We talked more than we ever have. As we get more familiar with one another, we get more comfortable. Last year we had our moments, but we're both very competitive and just want to win."

Paul was believed to be the driving force behind the Clippers dealing a first-round draft pick to land former Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. The Clippers also made moves to acquire shooting guard J.J. Redick and forward Jared Dudley, and Paul was excited about the addition of first-round draft pick Reggie Bullock -- who came through his AAU program.

"Having Doc isn't going to automatically translate to wins, but it will certainly help give us a better chance to win games," Paul said. "We control our own destiny, but there are so many factors. We've got to stay healthy."

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