Apr 3, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley (22) warms up before the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
It feels like Patrick Beverley has about as good of a chance of playing out the year with the Utah Jazz as he does of winning the NBA scoring title. Now Beverley appears to be indicating interest in two possible landing spots.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported over the weekend that the Los Angeles Lakers will be facing the rival LA Clippers on Oct. 20 this year. Beverley responded to the news with a praying-hands emoji.
At the risk of going full Brian Windhorst … now why would Beverley tweet that? It sure sounds like he wants to participate in that matchup one way or the other.
If Beverley wants out of the rebuilding Jazz, who recently acquired him as part of the Rudy Gobert trade, he might potentially consider agreeing to a buyout of the one year and $13 million he has left on his contract (though it might not be wise to give back any kind of money at 34 years old). Beverley can also hope for a trade to one of those destinations.
Aug 18, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer at press conference at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
There are many things about the Los Angeles Clippers’ future arena that excite team owner Steve Ballmer. One of them is that there will be no secret hallways that take you to the locker rooms.
Ballmer recently took ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk on a tour of the Inglewood, Calif., construction site where the Intuit Dome is being built. While showing the reporter around, Ballmer motioned to where the locker rooms will be. He joked that there will be no secret entrances to them.
You can see the comments below at around the 1:15 mark:
PART 1: Steve Ballmer took me inside the construction site of the Intuit Dome and we talked about the Clippers’ finally having their own home complete with a Wall of sound and no secret hallways and how the dome is “another statement that says, ‘Hey look, we're nobody’s brother” pic.twitter.com/8Z4VkAIRzi
“Let’s just say that we know there are back halls at Staples … We don’t want that. We don’t want any back hallways to locker rooms,” Ballmer said.
Ballmer was making a lighthearted reference to an ugly incident that took place between the Clippers and Houston Rockets during the 2017-18 season. L.A. beat the Rockets 113-102 in what was Chris Paul’s first game against his former team. The game got out of hand at the end and multiple players were ejected. After both teams left the court, Paul supposedly led some Rockets players through a secret hallway to confront the Clippers in their locker room.
The Intuit Dome is scheduled to open in 2024. If Paul is still playing and wants to get into the Clippers’ locker room, he’s going to have to use the main entrance like everyone else.
May 24, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in game four of the 2022 Western Conference finals at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Draymond Green couldn’t resist taking a funny shot at one of his rival teams.
Green was part of the 2022 ESPYs this summer, which was hosted by his teammate, Steph Curry. Green had a couch setup and microphone for his “The Draymond Green Show” podcast.
He joked in his intros that they were live from Los Angeles, “home of seven professional teams. And the Clippers.”
The Clippers have been among the Warriors’ rivals in the Western Conference over the last several years. Green’s infamous confrontation with Kevin Durant also happened to come against the Clippers in 2018. Now it was Green’s chance to get some revenge, and he did.
The 33-year-old Griffin, an unrestricted free agent this summer, was drafted by the Clippers in 2009 and spent the first nine years of his career there. But a reunion seems unlikely for a couple of reasons. The Clippers do not really have a need for Griffin these days unless Isaiah Hartenstein and/or Nicolas Batum leave in free agency. Meanwhile, Griffin himself may still have some bad blood over the stunning 2018 trade that sent him to the Detroit Pistons, which was overseen by owner Steve Ballmer and executives Lawrence Frank and Jerry West (all of whom are still the Clippers’ key decision-makers).
That would appear to make the Lakers the likelier landing spot for the ex-Dunk Contest champion Griffin. They have some shoring up to do in the frontcourt with Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony hitting free agency. That said, it makes perfect sense that Griffin would want to return to L.A. considering some of his non-basketball ventures.
Mar 21, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Nerlens Noel #3 of the New York Knicks reacts after he loses control of the ball in the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on March 21, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Knicks are looking to free up some salary cap space for the start of the NBA’s free agency period, and the team has apparently thought about dealing one big man in order to do so.
On Tuesday, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported that the Knicks have had “exploratory discussions” around trading center Nerlens Noel to the Los Angeles Clippers. Scotto also said that, according to HoopsHype salary cap expert Yossi Gozlan, the Knicks could create up to $24.5 million in cap space by trading Noel if they don’t have to take on any additional salary in a deal.
Noel is set to make $9.24 million next season with a $9.68 million team option for the 2023-24 season. The Clippers could take Noel’s salary on due to the $9.7 million trade exception they got after trading Serge Ibaka to the Milwaukee Bucks last season.
Freeing up $24.5 million could help the Knicks successfully pursue one notable free agent that they are reportedly all-in on.
Noel initially signed with the Knicks prior to the 2020-21 season. In 64 games, he averaged 5.1 points and 0.7 assists per game, but made key defensive contributions for the Knicks on their way to earning the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The 28-year-old averaged 6.4 total rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.2 blocks per game. Noel re-signed with the Knicks prior to last season, but only appeared in 25 games due to injuries. He averaged 3.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.
Nov 8, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) walks on the court after the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
John Wall has reached a buyout with the Houston Rockets and is set to become a free agent. But the veteran guard appears to have already chosen his new home.
Wall is planning to sign with the LA Clippers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday. Other teams have interest in Wall, but Woj says the guard intends to join the Clippers.
Other teams are calling to pursue Wall in free agency, but his intention is to join the Clippers, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/6aSX4UfLBc
Wall was set to make $47 million this season. He agreed to accept $6.5 million less from the Rockets in order to become a free agent. Wall can end up making his original contract money if he signs for the taxpayers’ mid-level exception, which is around $6.5 million.
Wall, 31, sat out all of last season. He missed all of the 2019-2020 while receovering from heel and Achilles surgeries. The former Wizards star has only played in 40 games over the last three seasons. He averaged 20.6 points per game in those 40 contests.
Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the teams Kyrie Irving would reportedly welcome a trade to if the Brooklyn Nets move him, but that interest may not be mutual.
Clippers president Lawrence Frank was asked about the key qualities the team would take into account when considering potential trades. Frank said “basketball character” was hugely important to the Clippers. He suggested that reliability and commitment are key factors the team would assess.
"I think you look at it all… Basketball character is like can you be counted on every single day to do what you do at the highest level, & how committed are you though those habits."
“Basketball character is, can you be counted on every single day to do what you do at the highest level, and how committed are you through those habits?” Frank said. “I think all those things are leadership skills.”
Frank never mentioned Irving. Perhaps he was not necessarily trying to send a message. Considering the Nets have reportedly had some reservations about giving Irving a long-term deal because of commitment concerns, it’s hard to imagine the Clippers being eager to add him based on Frank’s stated priorities.
Nov 19, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LA Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue looks on against New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Jerry West’s ruthlessness may be on full display once again this summer.
Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reported this week that the LA Clippers are shopping sharpshooter Luke Kennard on the trade market. Deveney adds that the Clippers will look to move Kennard in July if they cannot trade him by the NBA Draft.
That is a bit of a startling development considering the season that Kennard just had for the Clippers. He shot a scalding 44.9 percent from three (which led the league) for a dependable 11.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Kennard is also just 25 years old and is owed a modest $28.5 million over the next two seasons (with a club option for 2024-25).
But most of Kennard’s production did come while the Clippers’ star trio of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Norman Powell were all injured. With the Clippers expected to be at full health next year, Kennard might only be able to scrap out 10 to 12 minutes per game off the bench. Complementary pieces like Terance Mann, Robert Covington, and Nicolas Batum (all of whom are better defenders) could shut Kennard out of closing lineups as well.
Mar 15, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kyrie Irving appears to be laying the ground work to leave the Brooklyn Nets this summer.
Irving has until June 29 to decide if he wants to exercise his $36.9 million player option for next season. He has been discussing a new contract with the Nets as that deadline looms. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Irving has given the Nets a list of teams he would like to be traded to if the two sides cannot work out a new deal.
ESPN Sources: If Kyrie Irving can’t reach an agreement to stay with Brooklyn, he has a list of teams he’d like them to consider on sign-and-trades, including Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, Mavs and 76ers. None of those teams have cap space to sign him without Nets’ help.
That does not necessarily mean Irving will leave Brooklyn, but it certainly is an indication that he is open to it. If he does want to play for another team, the Nets would rather get something of value in return. That is why they would likely want to have Irving opt in to facilitate a sign-and-trade.
As Wojnarowski noted, none of the teams Irving would be interested in playing for have enough salary cap space to sign Kyrie as a free agent. That is another reason a sign-and-trade would make sense.
A separate report on Thursday claimed Kevin Durant is also weighing options for his future. Durant is under contract with the Nets through the 2025-26 season, but he probably would want a fresh start elsewhere if Irving leaves.
It is also entirely possible that Irving and Durant are trying to put pressure on the Nets. The Nets are said to be hesitant to sign Kyrie to a long-term deal because of all the drama surrounding him in recent years. Perhaps Durant is trying to give his close friend an assist by helping Irving secure a new contract.
Feb 17, 2020; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks former player Marcus Morris speaks to media at his jersey retiring press conference before the game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
One LA Clippers player may be giving us a head start on F5 season.
Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. raised some eyebrows on Tuesday with a tweet indicating a desire to play with his twin brother Markieff again.
“Damn I would love to be back on the same team with bro!” tweeted Marcus.
Damn I would love to be back on the same team with bro!
The two brothers are very close. They played together in college at Kansas and then were selected with back-to-back picks in the 2011 NBA Draft. The two then went on to be teammates on the Phoenix Suns from 2013 to 2015 and even got into trouble together while there. They have not been on the same team since however.
After a lost season with the Miami Heat where he missed four months of action thanks to a cheap shot by Nikola Jokic, Markieff is about to become an unrestricted free agent. Marcus, meanwhile, is still under contract for two more seasons. That raises the possibility that a partnership could happen again on the Clippers, should they sign Markieff this summer.
But the Clippers, who already have close to a fully-loaded roster for next season, may not have much use for Markieff. In fact, even Marcus himself might be expendable since the Clippers have enough complementary shot-makers like Norman Powell, Reggie Jackson, and Luke Kennard. Could the Clippers foreseeably trade Marcus in a salary-saving measure, leading to Markieff following his brother wherever Marcus lands?
We probably won’t have any concrete answers for at least another several days until NBA free agency officially begins. But Marcus has been on shaky ground with the Clippers before, and this latest tweet of his may lead to a further summer of speculation.