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Chris Paul

Pacific Notes: Goodwin, Jones, Clippers, D’Antoni

Former Suns guard Archie Goodwin cleared waivers today at 5 pm Eastern time and is now officially a free agent. Phoenix released Goodwin on Monday after being unable to deal him to another team. The 22-year-old out of Kentucky spent three seasons with the Suns. He appeared in 57 games last season, averaging 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per night.

There’s more news out of the Pacific Division:

  • Derrick Jones overcame long odds to earn a spot on the Suns‘ roster, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. The 19-year-old wasn’t taken in the draft after being ruled ineligible at UNLV, then missed all of summer league with an injury. Jones signed a four-year contract that could be worth up to $3.6MM, but all he is guaranteed for now is $42.5K of his $543,471 salary. Still, he is elated about the opportunity. “When I was the last one here from training camp, I knew there was a reason I am here,” Jones said. “I feel as though I’m a NBA player. I have NBA athleticism. My game is going to come a long way. I just got to be able to knock down my jump shots consistently. That’s one thing I’m going to put in work to do.”
  • The Clippers understand they may be facing their final season with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, relays Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. Both are expected to opt out next summer and become free agents. With J.J. Redick also headed toward free agency and L.A. well over the salary cap, it will create a serious financial strain to keep the current core together. “We’re not really worried about what happens after this season. We’re worried about what happens in the season,” Griffin said. “Every year, if you don’t have a sense of urgency, if it takes somebody being like ‘This could be the last year to have a sense of urgency,’ then you’re already kind of playing from behind. I don’t think it really affects us.”
  • New Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni thought his career might be over when he left the Lakers in 2014, writes Bill Oram of The Orange Country Register. Not only did that team underachieve, but D’Antoni spent much of the season fighting with Kobe Bryant. D’Antoni revived his career as an assistant with the Sixers last season before being hired by Houston over the summer. “It’s a privilege to be able to coach in this league,” D’Antoni said. “It’s very rare you can dictate where you want to go, and usually where you’re going they have problems or you wouldn’t be going there. You just try to find the right situation, and if it’s not the right situation, try to make it work. If it doesn’t work out, try to live to fight a battle someplace else. It was a privilege to coach the Lakers. It was a privilege to coach Kobe and those guys. I’m better for it.”

Community Shootaround: Potential CBA Changes

Following the Clippers’ game in Sacramento on Tuesday night, NBPA president Chris Paul caught a flight to New York to participate in Wednesday’s meeting between the league and the players’ union, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter). The sitdown was the latest indication that the two sides are making progress on negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

There’s plenty of optimism that the NBA and NBPA will strike a deal well before the opt-out deadline of December 15, and while we don’t know exactly what changes will be made to the CBA, we’ve gotten some hints. We’re not expecting any massive, game-changing alterations to the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, but it seems as if plenty of smaller changes will be implemented to attempt to improve the game.

The league’s rookie scale system is expected to be adjusted so that it aligns more with salary cap increases, rather than increasing at a fixed rate. Veteran contract extensions are expected to be tweaked to make them more appealing to players, giving teams a better chance to lock up potential free agents before they reach the open market. The NBA’s draft and D-League are among the other areas expected to receive attention in CBA talks.

As Howard Beck details in a piece this week at Bleacher Report, the NBA also hopes to include a mechanism in the new CBA to prevent another massive spike in the salary cap, since this year’s $24MM+ increase was viewed as problematic. According to Beck, some team executive believe a new CBA might also adjust the maximum salary concept, making it a little harder for clubs to collect multiple superstars.

For today’s Community Shootaround, we’re asking this: What one change would you like to see the NBA and NBPA make to the CBA? Do you consider it crucial to address one of the areas mentioned above, or is there another are you believe the two sides should be focused on?

Weigh in below in the comments section with your thoughts on the subject, and feel free to get creative in your answers. Got an off-the-wall idea for NBA draft lottery reform or a new-look salary cap? Share it below, even if it’s unlikely to be implemented in the next CBA.

NBA GMs Weigh In On 2016/17 Season has completed its annual survey of NBA general managers, asking each of the league’s 30 GMs an array of questions about the league’s top teams, players, and coaches. As John Schuhmann of details in his piece announcing the results, it comes as little surprise that NBA GMs are just as bullish on the Cavaliers‘ and Warriors‘ chances in 2016/17 as the rest of us are — those are the only two teams GMs predicted to become this season’s NBA champion, with Golden State getting 69% of the vote and Cleveland getting 31%.

While there are many responses in the GM survey worth checking out, we’ll focus on rounding up some of the more interesting ones related to rosters and player movement. Let’s dive in…

  • LeBron James led the way in votes for 2016/17’s MVP award, but Karl-Anthony Towns was the clear choice for the player most GMs would want to start a franchise with today.
  • The Warriors were the only team to receive more than two votes for which team made the best offseason moves — Golden State was the runaway winner at 83.3%, largely due to the signing of Kevin Durant. The addition of Durant was easily voted the move most likely to make the biggest impact this season, and it was also viewed as the most surprising move of the summer, just ahead of Dwyane Wade joining the Bulls.
  • The Jazz‘s trade for George Hill received at least one vote for the move likely to have the biggest impact, and it was the winner for the most underrated player acquisition of the offseason.
  • Dejounte Murray (Spurs), Kris Dunn (Timberwolves), and Patrick McCaw (Warriors) were considered the biggest steals of the draft by GMs, who voted Milos Teodosic and Sergio Llull as the top international players not currently in the NBA.
  • NBA general managers view Tom Thibodeau as the new coach most likely to make an immediate positive impact on his new team, and think Chris Paul is the player most likely to become a future NBA head coach.
  • The rules that GMs wants to see changed or modified include the draft lottery system, the number of timeouts per game, and intentional fouling.

Pacific Notes: Paul, Walton, Chriss, Ranadive

The Clippers aren’t worried about a sprained left thumb that Chris Paul suffered Saturday in practice, according to Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. The All-Star point guard stood on the sidelines as the team practiced today, but his availability for the season opener isn’t in doubt. Paul has been listed as “day-to-day,” and coach Doc Rivers explained that he sat out practice as a precaution. “He’ll play in definitely one of the two [remaining preseason games], and that tells you it’s not that serious,” Rivers said.

There’s more news out of the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr believes the Lakers are the only team that could have tempted Luke Walton to leave Golden State, writes Joey Ramirez of Walton spent two years on the Warriors’ bench and served as Kerr’s lead assistant last season. He accepted a five-year deal in May to take over in Los Angeles, where he spent the first eight seasons of his playing career. “He’s such a great guy,” Kerr said. “He’s become one of my best friends. We’re all gonna miss him, but we’re all happy for him. I know he wouldn’t have taken any other job but the Laker job to leave Golden State.” 
  • Marquese Chriss may be a 19-year-old rookie, but he is impressing his Suns teammates by standing up to veterans in preseason games, relays Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. His latest skirmish was with Mavericks’ center Andrew Bogut on Friday night. “’Quese has to show that he ain’t scared,”  said Eric Bledsoe. “Once one of those players or a veteran player feels like he got fear in you, as a young player, it will ride you for the rest of your career. ‘Quese is setting the tone early.”
  • Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has apologized to former executive Geoff Petrie for slighting his contributions to the organization in a recent interview, writes Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. The apology was prompted by Petrie’s angry response after reading the two-part piece in USA Today. Voisin accuses both parties of engaging in revisionist history and contends the whole incident was unnecessary.

Western Notes: Powell, Hairston, Payne

Mavs big man Dwight Powell, who inked a four-year, $37MM deal to remain in Dallas this offseason, will be counted on to play center more this season as well as to expand his shooting range to help stretch defenses, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. “The 3-point shot is a natural progression,” coach Rick Carlisle said regarding his expectations for Powell. “We’ve worked extremely hard with him on it. And exhibition season is a great opportunity to [work on it]. He’s a two-position player who gives us flexibility because he can switch and move his feet and stay in front of little guys, too. He’s a player at four and five that is starting to really define our game, the ability to play big and small, to some degree.” The 25-year-old is a career 18.5% shooter from beyond the arc, connecting on just 5 of his 27 attempts.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Rocketsdeal with P.J. Hairston is non-guaranteed and will pay him $980,431 for 2016/17, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (via Twitter).
  • Thunder coach Billy Donovan is taking a positive approach to Cameron Payne‘s broken foot that will keep him out of action indefinitely, believing that the missed time won’t necessarily impede the second year player’s development, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes. “I think any player, when they get back, it’s just getting into that rhythm of being able to play and that comfort and getting back in shape,” Donovan said. “So, I think once he gets back to that point — then I think that there may be this opportunity for him — sitting out could be the best thing for his growth. Sometimes, you get a chance to grow when you’re not playing.
  • With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin able to opt out of their deals and become unrestricted free agents next summer, the Clippers will have some decisions to make regarding their futures in Los Angeles. Based on owner Steve Ballmer’s track record and the word of team sources, the franchise will pay whatever it takes to retain both players, Ramona Shelburne of writes. The scribe adds that both players have deep business and personal ties to the area, which increases the likelihood they will re-sign with the Clippers. Shelburne also notes that the only way the team would net a decent return if it decided to trade one of the duo this season, would be if Paul/Griffin would agree to waive their player option for 2017/18. With the cap set to jump to over $100MM next summer, there is no logical reason for either player to agree to that stipulation, Shelburne opines.

And-Ones: Fredette, Alexander, Hunter

Jimmer Fredette, who signed a one-year deal to play for the Shanghai Sharks in China, is disappointed he isn’t playing in the NBA this season, but looks at his overseas trek as the next chapter in his career, Dick Harmon of The Deseret News writes. “I’m anxious to get it started,” Fredette said. “It is very similar to an NBA style of play with the Sharks,” Fredette said. “And in a city three times the size of New York City, it will be a lot of fun. I can’t imagine a city that size after being in New York last year.

The guard hopes his experience overseas will make him a better player and help him land another NBA shot in the future, Harmon relays. “I just want to get better. My goal is to improve everything I do,” Fredette said. “As an American, they want you to go over there and score the basketball, to be free and play your game and try to produce. That’s my game, to be aggressive, to score, make the right play. I think it will continue to grow my confidence and get me prepared for my future.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Magic training camp signee Cliff Alexander is a decent pick-and-roll player, has good hands and is physical around the rim and in the paint area,’s Josh Cohen opines in his analysis of the player. The 20-year-old will compete for one of the remaining two regular season roster spots in Orlando during the preseason.
  • LeBron James, James Jones and Chris Paul have been served with notices of deposition in former NBA players’ union executive director Billy Hunter’s wrongful termination lawsuit against the NBPA, Ethan Sherwood Strauss of reports. Paul is the union president, James serves as vice president and Jones as secretary treasurer. Hunter is suing the NBPA for $10.5 million in addition to attorney’s fees, for compensation he allegedly did not receive after his ouster in February 2013, Strauss notes.
  • The Bulls, who completely overhauled their roster this offseason, could struggle mightily this season if the team is unable to get consistent production from its reserves, Bobby Marks of The Vertical opines in his look back at Chicago’s summer.

Doc Rivers Talks Pierce, Allen, KG, Griffin

Clippers head coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers made an appearance in Boston at the annual ABCD Hoops Dream fundraiser at TD Garden on Tuesday, and made time for a discussion with reporters. Given the location of the event, it was no surprise that many of the questions focused on the NBA futures – or lack thereof – for the Celtics’ old “big three” of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett.

In addition to discussing Pierce, Allen, and Garnett, the Clippers’ coach addressed a few other topics, including the offseason’s Blake Griffin trade rumors. ESPN’s Chris Forsberg has a nice round-up of Rivers’ comments, so let’s check out a few of the highlights….

On whether Pierce will be back for his 19th season, as has been reported:

“Depends on the day I talk to him. Paul has had the summer, he’s gone back and forth. … Paul didn’t have the best year last year. I don’t think he wants to go out that way. So I think that’s why he’s working to try to come back. But he still may change his mind next week. So we just have to wait. I told him if I see him at training camp, I’m assuming he’s playing.”

On Pierce’s eventual retirement:

“The day [Pierce] retires, he’s going to retire a Celtic. He has to. Paul’s a Celtic. So when he retires, he’s got to retire as a Celtic. I don’t think anyone disagrees with me.”

On whether Allen will return to the NBA:

“I don’t know. I won’t talk about what we talked about. I think if Ray was in the right spot, he may play. I think Ray wants to golf a lot too, right now. But Ray is in amazing shape. I don’t know how he does that. I didn’t know how he does that as a player; I don’t know how he does it as a non-player. He’s probably in top-five shape in the NBA. So could Ray play? Absolutely, I believe he could.”

On Garnett’s situation with the Timberwolves:

“I think Kevin – and I know it, because I talk to him – loves the young guys on his team. He loves how they work. He thinks they have an old-school mentality. So I think he’s really gotten into Kevin, the teacher. And I honestly never saw that coming, either. Yet he was a phenomenal teacher with [Boston]; I just didn’t think he would have the patience to do it. And I think Kevin loves teaching these young guys.”

On the Griffin trade rumors:

“We knew none of it was true. We figured that was one of you guys starting these rumors here in Boston. I was trying to find out who it was … No, it happens, unfortunately. Blake and [Chris Paul] are free agents [after this season]. Just like last year Oklahoma [City] had to deal with that, now it’s our turn.”

Be sure to check out the rest of Rivers’ comments right here.

Pacific Rumors: Suns, Collison, Clippers

Suns GM Ryan McDonough says the club plans to make a big splash in free agency next summer, he said during a podcast with The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski and summarized by Petersen on the Suns’ website. Phoenix has approximately $59.6MM in salary guarantees next season, which gives it plenty of flexibility to pursue top free agents. “Potentially it’s a very strong free agent class next year,” McDonough told Wojnarowski. “One of the things we’ve done with our contracts is we’ve lined them up to have max cap space next year without really touching the core of our roster. I think and I hope at this time next year, we’re major players in free agency.”

In other developments around the Pacific Division:

  • Kings point guard Darren Collison‘s court case has been delayed until September 8, James Ham of tweets. Collison faces allegations of domestic violence. The case was scheduled to be heard on August 18 after getting pushed back from an earlier date. Collison was arrested in May after local deputies responded to a report from a woman who said she was being assaulted inside a Northern California home. Collison could be facing a lengthy suspension from the league, depending upon the details that come out during the proceeding and the outcome of the case.
  • Elevating Earl Watson from interim coach to full-time head coach and adding two lottery picks are among the ways the Suns improved their state of their franchise this offseason, Matt Petersen of writes. The addition of two highly-respected veterans, combo forward Jared Dudley and guard Leandro Barbosa, will impact the team not only on the court but in the locker room, Petersen adds.
  • Clippers perennial All-Star point guard Chris Paul likes what the team accomplished in free agency despite limited resources, according to Rowan Kavner of The Clippers didn’t add a big-name free agent but retained its key free agents and made some under-the-radar signings, including Brandon Bass, Raymond Felton, Marreese Speights and Alan Anderson. “We definitely signed some veterans, some seasoned NBA guys who’ve been through a lot of different situations,” Paul told Kavner.

And-Ones: Salary Record, LeBron, CBA, D-League

The NBA’s record $24MM television deal is playing out just as predicted, writes Mitch Lawrence of Forbes. With LeBron James signing a three-year, $100MM deal with the Cavaliers, a record 17 teams now have the highest-paid players in franchise history on their current rosters. However, most of them are players who re-signed with their current teams or agreed to contract extensions. The only players who earned that distinction by changing teams this summer are Atlanta’s Dwight Howard, Boston’s Al Horford and Golden State’s Kevin Durant.

There’s more NBA-related news this afternoon:

  • Because James has a player option for the third season of his new contract, he can become a free agent in July of 2018, along with Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, tweets Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders. In March, James made headlines by speculating on the possibility of the four close friends one day joining forces.
  • A “super max” contract is among several changes the NBA and the players union should consider in a new collective bargaining agreement, suggests Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. That provision would allow for a contract that is 40% of the salary cap, but would only count as a normal maximum deal against the cap. It would be available only to a player who remains with his current team and it would not be tradeable. Kyler also would like to see a third round added to the draft to help teams stock their D-League affiliates, a two-way contract with different salaries when players are in the NBA and D-League, and minimum qualifications that players would have to meet before being eligible for maximum contracts.
  • The D-League will holds its national tryouts Sunday in Manhattan, tweets Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor. Among the players who received invitations are Sterling Gibbs of Connecticut, Jonathan Holton of West Virginia, Chris Obekpa of St John’s and Markus Kennedy of SMU (Twitter link).

Doc Rivers Talks Durant, CP3, Griffin, Roster

Clippers president and head coach Doc Rivers made an appearance this week on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast at The Vertical, and Rivers made several interesting comments about his team’s offseason and its future.

Notably, Rivers indicated that the Clippers were “in the top three at the very end” in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, a statement which seems to be odds with reports that surfaced at the time. A Los Angeles Times story published two days before Durant announced his decision suggested that the Clippers had been informed they were out of the running. Based on Rivers’ comments, it’s possible the Clips found out they weren’t one of Durant’s top two choices and decided to move on and lock up other free agents rather than waiting for his final decision.

Rivers spoke more extensively about his club’s pursuit of Durant and touched on several other noteworthy topics, so let’s round up a few of the highlights, courtesy of

On how the Clippers’ cap limitations affected their pursuit of Durant:

“We had to actually ask each guy to take a hit financially. We needed Kevin to take a hit this year to fit and next year we would have needed Blake [Griffin] and Chris [Paul] to take a hit financially. He didn’t have to do that if he stayed in Oklahoma. He didn’t have to do that if he went to Golden State. Plus they had room to build around that. I think at the end of the day, they looked at is as far as roster-wise, well, ‘The Clippers look great, we love who they are, but financially they are going to be so strapped, it’s going to be so hard to work, I think we’re going to go the safer place,’ and that was Golden State.”

On whether the Clippers will be able to lock up Griffin and Paul beyond 2017:

“It would be interesting if Steve Ballmer wasn’t the owner, I don’t know how confident I would be. With Steve, I’m extremely confident that we can keep both. You know, listen, winning is the key. The better we play on the floor, the better chance we have of not only keeping those guys but actually adding to our basketball team. That’s always the key factor in this. Quality of life is important, being comfortable, players getting along with the staff and each other. All that goes into it. But I think we’re in a good place there. I know both of them have said they want to play here. They want to play for us forever.”

On the Griffin trade rumors:

“It’s funny, you don’t want to go out and send out a press release every time there’s a rumor about Blake. We’re hoping Blake ends his career playing for the Clippers. Period. So when teams call, we say we have no interest.

“No team is calling right now because teams know we don’t have any interest.”

On the Clippers’ hole at small forward:

“We have a good core. The problem team-building with our core is we have three max players. I don’t think people understand that. I think since I’ve taken the job, even before then, we need a three, we need a three, we need a three. Yeah, we all know that but we also only have the minimum to try to go out and get a three. I think it’s been actually miraculous what we’ve done with just having minimum contracts.”

On the pros and cons of minimum-salary contracts:

“One thing I’ve learned with teams like ours, if you have a good team, you can convince guys to take the minimum. The problem is you’re going to keep losing guys. Every year we do it. Every single season we sign guys to the minimum and then we lose them to higher contracts. Cole Aldrich is the example from this year.”

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