Chris Paul

Latest On Blake Griffin

The Clippers think it might take Blake Griffin two months to recover from the broken right (shooting) hand he suffered when he reportedly struck equipment manager Mathias Testi, reports Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. That’s in contrast to the timetable of approximately four to six weeks that the team put forth Tuesday, though coach/executive Doc Rivers later later called that timeframe unrealistic.

Rivers would probably prefer to trade Griffin rather than Chris Paul or DeAndre Jordan if he were to deal one of the team’s three max players, several league sources insisted to Lowe. That partly because Rivers knows Griffin would net the best return among them, Lowe adds. Still, the Clippers boss doesn’t want to trade any of them, according to the ESPN scribe, even though he suggested to Lowe before the season that another playoff disappointment would leave him open to foundational changes. For now, Rivers has indicated that he thinks the Clippers have a realistic shot at the title this year, and he isn’t willing to trade assets of value for first-round picks, Lowe writes.

Griffin is making nearly $18.908MM this season on a contract that runs through 2017/18, which is a player option year. Paul can also opt out in the summer of 2017, while Jordan couldn’t opt out until 2018.

2016 NBA All-Star Game Reserves Announced

The NBA has officially announced the reserves for the 2016 All-Star game, which will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Sunday, February 14th. The names of the reserves were first reported by Carron J. Phillips of The News Journal and confirmed by Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution (All four Twitter links). The starters for both conferences were announced last week, with Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard voted to tip off the exhibition in the West and LeBron James, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Kyle Lowry slated to represent the East.

While the starters are selected by the fans, reserves are chosen by the coaches in each conference, though they are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. Listed below are the reserves for the 2016 NBA All-Star game for each conference:

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Who was the biggest surprise among the All-Star reserves announced tonight? Share your thoughts with a comment.

Pacific Rumors: Bledsoe, Karl, Clippers

The loss of Eric Bledsoe to a season-ending knee injury has forced Suns coach Jeff Hornacek to make several adjustments to his rotation, Greg Esposito of the team’s website reports. Brandon Knight has taken over the role as the main floor leader with Ronnie Price and Bryce Cotton backing him up. Rookie Devin Booker gets the nod at shooting guard, with Sonny Weems and Archie Goodwin in reserve, Hornacek told Esposito. The Suns nearly upset the Cavaliers on Monday and Hornacek felt his new backcourt played reasonably well in Bledsoe’s absence. “Without Eric in the game, it was a little different,” Hornacek told Esposito. “We had gone over a few plays that might be good for the guys. I thought they really came out and executed it. Defensively, we gave up a lot of 3-point attempts that we need to get better at. Some of it was closing out that we need to get better at.”

In other news around the Pacific Division:

  • Kings coach George Karl has found it difficult to connect with his players and is frustrated by their lack of consistency, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. Karl can no longer be as fiery as he once was because of the way current players react, so he has tried to appeal to them in other ways, Jones continues. “Just tell stories,” Karl told Jones. “You try to bring up situations. My explanation the last couple of weeks is just trying to explain to them how difficult this league is, how tough it is to be successful in this league.”
  • The Clippers used a three-guard alignment against the Wizards on Monday and coach Doc Rivers liked the results, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports. Rivers played reserves Jamal Crawford, Pablo Priogioni and Austin Rivers during the first half and the Clippers extended their lead. His son’s versatility allows the three-guard set to work, according to the coach. “The reason we get away with it is because Austin can guard the one, two or the three,” Doc Rivers told the assembled media. “We just put him on them and then we put Pablo on the second-best guy and put Jamal on the third guy. And so it works for us.”
  • Chris Paul is impressed how the Clippers are playing without Blake Griffin, according to Robert Morales of the Long Beach Press-Telegram. The Clippers won their first two games after Griffin suffered a partially torn quad tendon. “I just think we’re fighting,” he told Morales. “We know we’re a big man short and so everyone knows that they have to be involved in the game.”

Pacific Notes: Mbah a Moute, Scott, Warriors

It appears a mere formality that the Clippers will retain Luc Mbah a Moute past the date next month when his non-guaranteed contract would become fully guaranteed, writes Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. He made his sixth straight start in Wednesday’s victory over the Bucks, and while Doc Rivers indicated that he’ll probably move him in and out of the starting lineup, the Clippers coach/executive is nonetheless impressed, as Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relays. He’s not the only one.

“He does all the different things that don’t show up on the stat sheet,” Chris Paul said, according to Bolch. “He makes the cuts, he does the box outs, and that’s why he’s so valuable for us.”

Still, not everyone is a fan. The Clippers won’t win the title if Mbah a Moute remains the starting three man, posits Zach Lowe of ESPN.com, who calls on the team to bench the “safe, known commodity” of Mbah a Moute in favor of the higher risk-reward proposition of either Lance Stephenson or Wesley Johnson. See more from the Pacific Division:

  • The voiding of the contract Mbah a Moute signed with the Kings in July led to uncertainty about his future that didn’t end until he signed with the Clippers in late September, and he called the past summer a difficult one, according to Gardner. “I like to usually go into the summer knowing where I’m going to be, training at the facility. All that stuff was out the window,” Mbah a Moute said. “God works in mysterious ways. I’m here now and trying to make the best out of it, trying to help the team.”
  • Lakers executives Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss still support Byron Scott and plan to keep him through at least the end of the season, though Kupchak, Buss or both will likely meet with Scott next week to get a read on his plan for player development, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. The execs understand the difficulty of the position Scott finds himself in — a “no-win situation,” as a team source described it to Medina — as Kobe Bryant‘s farewell season chafes against the need to foster young talent.
  • A group opposing the Warriors‘ plan for a new arena will file suit to block construction in the wake of the project having cleared its final political hurdle Tuesday, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to green-light the new building, reports J.K. Dineen of the San Francisco Chronicle.

And-Ones: Paul, Agent Changes, Leonard

Chris Paul rejects the notion that he’s a poor teammate, an idea that rumors of a rift between Paul and DeAndre Jordan helped fuel this summer, writes Dan Woike of the Orange County Register. Jordan has downplayed any tension, citing a mutual desire to win, and that’s just what Paul is thinking about as he envisions playing the rest of his career with the Clippers, as Woike details.

“Hell, I never imagined I’d leave New Orleans, but there’s no question this is where I want to be,” Paul said to Woike. “I want to win. Here.”

The earliest Paul can elect free agency is the summer of 2017. See more from around the NBA:

  • Agent Michael Tellem, the son of former agent turned Pistons organization executive Arn Tellem, is leaving the Wasserman Media Group for the Creative Artists Agency and taking high-profile client Danilo Gallinari with him, reports international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). Mario Hezonja, Bojan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica have dropped Tellem and will continue with Wasserman, Pick adds (on Twitter). The loss of Arn Tellem has proven tough for Wasserman, which also lost Al Horford, LaMarcus Aldridge and Joe Johnson over the offseason. Gallinari, Hezonja and Bjelica all signed new deals earlier this summer, while Bogdanovic remains on a deal with the Nets that runs through 2016/17.
  • Extension talks between the Trail Blazers and Meyers Leonard are off to a late start, but Leonard’s preference is to stay in Portland, observes Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. The deadline for the sides to reach a deal is Monday. “I really, really like and love this city,” Leonard said. “I love the organization and now that a greater opportunity has presented itself, I think a lot more people are embracing me. I’d love to be here. That’s my hope. But I don’t know if I’ll get an extension. I don’t know what will happen after this year. We’ll have to wait and see.”
  • Al Harrington said in March that he was retiring, but instead the 16-year NBA veteran is joining the Sydney Kings of Australia on a four-week deal, league sources told Olgun Uluc of Fox Sports Australia.

And-Ones: Clippers, Paul, Union, Gentile, Bender

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers acknowledges that if the team doesn’t break through this season, it would be reasonable to conclude that this core of players never will and that major changes are necessary, as he tells Grantland’s Zach Lowe.

“We’re all on that edge together,” Rivers said. “I believe we’re gonna be really good. But if we’re not, it depends on how we play, and what the reason is. That’s what would make you make a big decision.”

See more Clippers-related news amid our look around the league:

  • Clippers point guard Chris Paul is taking a determined stance in his role as president of the National Basketball Players Association as labor talks with the league approach, writes Kurt Streeter of ESPN the Magazine. Paul’s serious, no-nonsense demeanor helped lead the union to the hiring executive director Michele Roberts, as Anthony Tolliver, one of the union’s vice presidents, explains to Streeter. “At first there was a little bit of, um, hesitancy to elect a woman,” Tolliver said. “Not because we’re sexist, but we just weren’t quite sure how our guys were going to react to that. But Chris was adamant. He thought she’d be the best leader. By the end of the process, every single guy on our committee thought she was the best candidate. Chris said that from the beginning. We ended up following his lead.”
  • Roberts earned $1.2MM in her first year on the job, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal, who writes in a subscription-only piece.
  • The Rockets will try to sign draft-and-stash swingman Alessandro Gentile next summer, and a decent chance exists that they’ll make it happen, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com amid a piece on draft prospect Dragan Bender, who dominated Gentile last week in an exhibition between their European teams. Bender wouldn’t be selected lower than third overall if he enters the 2016 draft, Stein believes. Gentile was the 53rd overall pick in 2014 and is under contract with Italy’s EA7 Milano through 2018, as Mark Porcaro shows in our Draft Rights Held Players database.

Clippers Notes: Stephenson, Davis, Jordan, Paul

The Knicks have reportedly emerged as the latest suitor for Jamal Crawford, fueling the idea that the Clippers will trade their sixth man before the start of the season. Still, the Clippers could seek to put an end to such rumors with a new deal for the 35-year-old guard, one of the relatively few around the league who’s eligible for a veteran extension, as I pointed out Tuesday. While we wait to see just what the team will do with Crawford, see the latest from Clipperland:

  • Trade acquisition Lance Stephenson is confident that his new Clippers teammates will understand his on-court intensity, an in-the-moment leadership style he compares to that of Chris Paul, as Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times examines. The Clippers have been “missing that guy that’s tough and doesn’t bow down to no one,” Stephenson told Bolch. “I’m on a mission to win a chip. I’m on a mission to do great this year. I’m on a mission to prove everybody wrong,” Stephenson said. “I mean, a lot of people are doubting me and saying I’m a bad locker-room guy and all of those rumors, but there’s no facts that I’m a bad locker-room guy, so I’m going to just show everybody and just go hard this year.” 
  • Glen Davis, who said recently that he expects to sign by month’s end and wants to play for a contender, is hopeful that he’ll return to the Clippers, as he told the Gio & Jones show on CBS Sports Radio“I would love to go back,” Davis said. Doc [Rivers] and his system works for me. He needs a guy to set picks and do the dirty work and stuff like that. I feel at home there. It’s just about getting [a deal] done.”
  • Davis also said in the radio spot that he believes Rivers has changed his coaching style over the years, taking a more active approach with a Clippers core that’s younger than the one he had with the Celtics. Big Baby nonetheless suggested that Rivers should give DeAndre Jordan a larger role in the offense, and Davis also chimed in on the notion of a rift between Jordan and Paul, saying that while the two haven’t always seen eye to eye, their issues haven’t been profound. “It was like a false reality,” Davis said. “It was like they had problems but they didn’t have problems. We can hang out and have a good time off the court. It’s just sometimes with players, some players rub each other the wrong way. That’s what it was.”

DeAndre Jordan On Chris Paul, Mavs, Clippers

DeAndre Jordan is scheduled to address the media today for the first time since he spurned the Mavs for the Clippers, but he got a jump start on explaining his story via The Players’ Tribune. Half of the piece is written and the other half is presented in a video, one in which Jordan’s struggle with his decision is apparent as he reflects on the events of two weeks ago. The entire piece is well worth your time, but we’ll pass along some of the most noteworthy quotes from the big man here:

On Chris Paul, with whom he reportedly had a rift:

“I love Chris, man. Chris is a big brother to me. When you play sports, you’re competitive — especially when you play them at as high a level as we have these last few years. And of course, yeah, we all bump heads during the course of the game. But we know that whatever criticisms or arguments we have on the floor, they’re about one thing: winning.”

On the doubt that crept into his mind following his commitment to Dallas:

“I woke up Monday morning [July 6th] feeling like there was something missing, like something that I didn’t do, something that was not covered. And that’s why, and that’s when I started to begin to have second thoughts. I feel like we’ve all had decisions in our lives where we’ve had second thoughts about things and have gone back and had to revisit a situation, and I definitely feel like that this was one of those times for me.”

On the Mavs:

“Originally, I said yes to the Mavericks because I thought I needed change. I thought I wanted change at that point in time. And they had a great presentation. They have a great owner, great coach, a championship team, but, at the same time, I felt like I didn’t give it all of my thought. At the end of the day, we’re basketball players and these great athletes, but we’re also human, and we make mistakes. We have emotions and feelings, just like everybody else.”

On the Clippers:

“I decided to stay with the Clippers because I’ve been with this team for seven years, and being on one team for my entire career was definitely important to me. I’ve been here since I was 19, so this is what I know. I love the city, I love the fans, I love my teammates and I love this organization.”

On the difficulty of breaking his deal with the Mavs:

“A lot of the guys who I was talking to during the process, they were friends of mine. That’s what made it so tough. Talking to these guys and really wanting to maybe partner up with these guys and play, and then not wanting to, it’s definitely a tough situation it puts you in. It puts you in [it] because you want to make the right decision, but you also don’t want to step on toes.”

DeAndre Jordan Rumors: Friday

DeAndre Jordan appears torn between the Clippers and Mavericks, though he’s ruled out neither the Lakers nor the Knicks, as the last reports from Thursday indicated. We’ll round up today’s latest here, with any new information added to the top throughout the day:

  • Jordan’s representatives have told the Knicks he won’t sign with them, Wojnarowski reports (on Twitter), so Lopez looks like he’ll end up in New York.

1:11pm update:

  • Jordan has narrowed his list to just the Clippers and Mavs, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski, who writes in a story on New York’s tentative deal with Robin Lopez. That Lopez deal still seems tied to Jordan’s decision, however. So, it would appear that the Knicks haven’t abandoned hope, remote as their chances might be. The Clippers are confident, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders hears (Twitter links).

11:11am update:

8:16am update:

  • The Dan Fegan client has concerns about the Clippers‘ roster and doesn’t know that it’ll age well, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link). He’s worried about what will happen when Blake Griffin can opt out of his contract in two years, Shelburne adds.
  • Jordan entered free agency giving the Clippers a slight edge, a league source Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Other reports indicate that it’s a 50-50 proposition now, and Dan Woike of The Orange County Register has heard that it’s been that way for a while (Twitter link).
  • Those around Jordan have downplayed tension between him and Chris Paul, Medina writes in the same piece.

Latest On DeAndre Jordan

11:55am: Jordan is tired of being third in line behind Paul and Blake Griffin and wants a larger role on offense, Broussard hears, as he writes in a full story. There’s a 50% chance he goes to the Mavs and a 50% chance he stays with the Clippers, a source told Broussard.

TUESDAY, 11:13am: It’s likely that Jordan will sign for four years, with a player option after the third, no matter which team he chooses, sources tell Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That limits the edge the Clippers have as the only team that can offer five years, notes Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (on Twitter).

5:46pm: Jordan is scheduled to meet with the Mavericks, Lakers and Knicks on the first day of free agency on Wednesday, sources told Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). He will meet with the Clippers on Thursday, Turner adds.

MONDAY, 1:15pm: The Clippers have a slight edge, a league source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), which runs counter to what Amick said the Clippers believe (below).

SUNDAY 9:25pm: The Bucks are “a long shot” to land Jordan and it is unlikely they meet with him, reports Sam Amick of USA Today, who cites a person with knowledge of the Bucks’ situation.

Amick tweets that there is some sense from the Clippers’ side that the Mavs have a slight edge in the Jordan sweepstakes, but the upcoming meetings hold weight.

While sources indicate to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times that Jordan will either stay with the Clippers or go to Dallas, an acquaintance of Jordan claims the big man would love to play for the Rockets. Houston, of course, already has a quality center in Dwight Howard.

7:08pm: Jordan will also meet with the Knicks once the free agent negotiating period commences, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv reports.

1:11pm: The Clippers and Mavs remain the front-runners for Jordan, a source tells Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling, who suggests that the Knicks might end up meeting with the Relativity Sports client, too.

8:17am: Rumors of a rift between DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul are true, and the Mavs, Lakers and Bucks, as well as the Clippers, will have pitch meetings with Jordan at his home when free agent negotiating begins next week, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Chandler Parsons has been recruiting Jordan to the Mavs while the two have been hanging out together in Houston this summer, Turner also hears.

Bill Reiter of Fox Sports 1 first reported last month that Paul and Jordan had a falling out, though teammate Dahntay Jones and Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers separately denied it. Rivers is apparently confident about re-signing the seven-year veteran, whom the Clippers will offer a max deal.

Jordan, who’s said he won’t be “greedy” and seek a one-year deal that would take him to a surging salary cap next summer, can receive more money and a longer contract from the Clippers than from any other team, though the Mavs offer the advantage of no state income tax in Texas. The center, who turns 27 next month, has reportedly expressed serious interest in signing with Dallas, and the Mavs are high on the idea themselves. The Mavs front office has kicked around the idea of a sign-and-trade that would involve Jordan coming Dallas and Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton going to the Clippers, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com reported.

Chandler is also an apparent target for the Bucks, along with Brook Lopez, as coach Jason Kidd and GM John Hammond aim high. The draft-night acquisition of Greivis Vasquez nonetheless puts a squeeze on Milwaukee’s finances, and the Bucks would probably have to clear some salary for an estimated $18.96MM max salary for Jordan next season if Jared Dudley opts in.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com wrote last month that the Lakers would love to have Jordan, and he’ll apparently be one of a coterie of big men the team will target in free agency, along with LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s also a Mavs target, and Kevin Love. Interior players will no doubt be a priority for the Lakers, who have max-level cap flexibility, now that the team has used the No. 2 pick on guard D’Angelo Russell.

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