Los Angeles Clippers Rumors

Rondo Tells Celtics He Wants Out

August 31 at 10:51pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

10:51pm: A spokeswoman for Rondo’s agent, Bill Duffy, told Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald (on Twitter) that both men deny that the guard has demanded a trade.

10:05am: Rajon Rondo has informed the Celtics that he wants out of Boston, as ESPNBoston.com writer Jackie MacMullan said in a recently published video featuring excerpts from the ESPN show “Around the Horn.” In the video clip, MacMullan responded to a question about whether or not Boston should trade Rondo, to which she answered, “Oh, I hope so. Just get it done. And it will happen because he’s told them he wants out. And no one believes me, but that’s the truth.”

This conflicts with previous reports that Rondo was content in Boston. Rondo had been quoted as saying, “I don’t like change much” and “I wouldn’t mind staying here the rest of my career,” writes Jay King of MassLive.com. The Celtics organization has also maintained that they intend to keep Rondo, in part because they’re eager to see how he plays at the beginning of this season, when he’ll be more than a year and a half removed from tearing his right ACL. If Rondo shows he’s still capable of performing at his peak level, then the team could potentially garner a larger return for their star player.

If Rondo presses the issue and the Celtics are forced to trade him prior to the season, the Kings appear to be the number one suitors for Rondo’s services, MacMullan notes. The Kings have enough enticing pieces to catch Boston’s interest, but according to MacMullan, Rondo has already told the Kings that he would not re-sign with them. It remains to be seen if Sacramento would be willing to make the deal knowing that Rondo intends to leave as a free agent next summer. The Kings were willing to trade for Kevin Love without such assurances, so it’s possible they could take the same gamble with Rondo.

During the video, the potential scenario for Rondo to join the Clippers was broached, to which MacMullan responded, “He [Doc Rivers] doesn’t like Rondo, remember that. I mean, he’s done with Rondo. They went a good, long way together, but that guy — Rondo drives him nuts. And then (the Clippers have) Chris Paul anyway, they don’t need him.”

As for the rest of the potential trade market for Rondo, MacMullan speculated that teams like the Knicks, Rockets, and Mavericks would be interested, but wouldn’t be able to offer Celtics GM Danny Ainge enough to get a deal done. She also listed the Lakers as a possibility, though Rondo might not be willing to re-sign with them either. The other possibility she raised was a sign-and-trade deal with the Suns for Eric Bledsoe, but he’s also looking for a max contract, which the Celtics would most likely be hesitant to agree to.

And-Ones: McRae, Clippers, Dudley

August 31 at 10:08pm CDT By Zach Links

Kevin Durant won’t be a free agent for another two years, but he was on the verge of hitting the open market when it comes to endorsements.  Durant secured an offer of between $265MM-$285MM from Under Armour, but Nike exercised its right to match today, as Darren Rovell and Marc Stein of ESPN.com write.  The exact parameters of the deal aren’t known, but it’s expected that Durant will earn more from the sneaker contract than he will from the Thunder over the next two years.  Here’s tonight’s look around the NBA..

  • Chris Anstey, the coach of CTI Melbourne United, spoke highly of his team’s newest addition, 76ers rookie Jordan McRae in an email to Marc Narducci of The Inquirer. “We are thrilled to have Jordan join us and play a part in his continued development, in consultation with Sixers coaching staff, to give him the best possible chance of making their roster next year or earlier,” Anstey wrote.  The coach also confirmed that the Sixers have the right to call McRae back until January.  McRae spoke with Hoops Rumors over the summer prior to the draft about his skill set and NBA goals.
  • Even though Milwaukee was “a little cold” for his tastes and he was waived by the Clippers just days after they acquired him, Miroslav Raduljica said he still wants to stay in the NBA, writes NBA.com’s John Schuhmann.  He didn’t go into detail on who might be interested, however, saying he’s only heard rumors about other teams.
  • The Clippers‘ trade of Jared Dudley might have been perplexing to some, but it made sense for a couple of financial reasons, as Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders explains.  Thanks to the deal, the Clippers saved roughly $3.5MM this season and gives them some breathing room under the hard-cap.  And, by waiving Carlos Delfino and Raduljica, the Clippers opened up some roster space.  They’re reportedly on the verge of a new deal with veteran Hedo Turkoglu.

Clippers, Hedo Turkoglu Nearing Deal

August 31 at 8:57pm CDT By Zach Links

The Clippers and Hedo Turkoglu are nearing agreement on a one-year, $1.4MM deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Turkoglu didn’t play a major role in Los Angeles after getting his buyout for Orlando, but the Clippers are apparently appreciative of his veteran leadership and like what he can do in limited minutes.  The 35-year-old averaged just 3.0 PPG in 10 minutes per contest across 38 games, not quite in line with his best work.  For his career, the veteran has averaged 11.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 3.0 APG while nailing 38.2% of his shots from outside the arc.

It has been a busy end of August for the Clippers who extended coach/president Doc Rivers, shipped Jared Dudley to the Bucks, and subsequently waived the players acquired in the trade.  The Clippers also re-signed Glen Davis, who, like Turkoglu, joined the club midseason.

Turkoglu will continue his career in 2014/15, but he certainly doesn’t need the money.  According to Basketball-Reference, Turkoglu has banked roughly $90MM over the course of his career.

And-Ones: Witte, Young, Dragic

August 31 at 5:29pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Sixers director of player personnel, Courtney Witte, is leaving to take a scouting position with the Clippers, Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com reports. According to Lynam’s source, Witte had been told by the Sixers that his contract wasn’t going to be renewed, and that the search for Witte’s replacement has been “ongoing for some time.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The league has trended towards smaller lineups the last few seasons, but John Zitzler of Basketball Insiders takes a look at five centers that are on the rise. Zitzler believes bigger things are in store for DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, DeAndre Jordan, and Nikola Vucevic.
  • In an interview with Michael Rand of the Star Tribune, Thaddeus Young was asked how the rebuilding process differs between the Wolves and the Sixers. Young said, “I think the situation in Philly is much different. It’s the same process, but this team is much more competitive and it’s a better roster. Philly, they were getting rid of everybody and getting worse. But I think [Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie] is doing a great job and has made some big moves.”
  • Zoran Dragic has re-negotiated his contract with Unicaja Malaga, reports La Opinion de Malaga (Translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Dragic’s contract has a buyout clause that he can exercise next June if he decides to leave for the NBA, Carchia notes. The Pacers are reportedly among the teams eyeing Dragic.

And-Ones: Flynn, Pistons, Love

August 30 at 10:55am CDT By Eddie Scarito

Former NBA lottery pick Jonny Flynn has signed a contract  with Capo d’Orlando of the Italian League, the team announced (translation by Sportando). Flynn last saw action in the NBA with the Blazers during the 2011/12 season. His career numbers are 9.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, and 3.9 APG. His career slash line is .400/.338/.809.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • With Greg Monroe likely to sign his qualifying offer, the Pistons‘ frontcourt trio of Monroe, Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond will be together for another season. Coach Stan Van Gundy‘s challenge will be to figure out how to use them more effectively than they were last season, writes Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Kevin Love has essentially traded places with Chris Bosh, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Love is now the third option on the Cavs, much like Bosh was alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with the Heat, Winderman notes, and it’s the statistical sacrifices of the third player that determines if these star trios are successful.
  • With the news that the Spurs are interested in Ray Allen, Nick Borges of ESPN.com runs down the free agent market for the future Hall-of-Famer. Borges notes that if Allen is seeking a title contender and the highest salary, then San Antonio is the best option. The Spurs can offer Allen the $5.3MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception. The Clippers, Mavs, Heat, and Cavaliers can only give Allen a veteran’s minimum contract.

Spurs Interested In Ray Allen

August 30 at 8:51am CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Spurs are showing interest in signing free agent Ray Allen, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). San Antonio’s preseason roster count currently sits at 17 players, after the recent signings of Josh DavisBryce Cotton, and JaMychal Green. The Spurs have also expressed interest in re-signing restricted free agent Aron Baynes, and bringing in power forward Gustavo Ayon.

For his part, Allen hasn’t even decided on whether or not he wants to play for another season or to retire. “It will require a perfect storm scenario for me,” said Allen earlier this month. “I’m in great shape, and I’ll continue to be in great shape, but I don’t want to go to a situation where I don’t understand the rhythm of how a coach coaches. He has to be a great coach, a veteran coach.” The Spurs’ Gregg Popovich certainly fits that requirement.

If Allen does decide to return for his 19th season in the NBA, he’ll have no shortage of suitors. Other teams already linked to Allen are the Cavs, Clippers, and Mavericks, notes Stein (Twitter link). The Cavs would seem to be the front runners, with former teammates LeBron James, Mike Miller, and James Jones already on the roster, and Cleveland primed to make a run at the title this season.

In 18 seasons, Allen’s career averages are 18.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 3.4 APG. His career slash line is .452/.400/.894. Hoops Rumors’ Chuck Myron took a look at the free agent stock of Allen, who is a surefire Hall of Famer, and though past his prime, he can still be a valuable asset off of the bench for a contending team.

Eastern Rumors: Brown, Allen, Mahinmi

August 29 at 9:21pm CDT By Cray Allred

Derrick Rose will be coming off the bench for Team USA, but the point guard and Team USA officials have insisted his limited role and rest patterns are about team fit and precaution, not physical concerns. Bulls fans certainly hope that is the case, and that the explosive Rose won’t be limited in any way when he returns to Chicago’s starting lineup for the 2014/15 season. Here’s a look around the rest of the Eastern Conference:

  • Shannon Brown‘s one-year deal with the Heat is completely non-guaranteed, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
  • Although Ray Allen is receiving interest from “several teams,” the shooting guard is still unsure if he wants to return for another season, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. The Cavs have been considered a front-runner for the storied veteran’s services, although the Clippers are expected to take a run at reuniting him with former coach Doc Rivers.
  • Ian Mahinmi is expected to miss 2-3 months with a shoulder injury, the French national team’s doctor tweets (translation via the Indianapolis Star). Mahinmi withdrew from FIBA competition, and that timetable could cut into the Pacers’ season. Mahinmi’s status could affect Indiana’s willingness to shop starting center Roy Hibbert, although it’s worth noting that injuries can be overstated to reduce the negative reaction to a player opting not to represent their country.

And-Ones: Wolves, Martin, Allen

August 29 at 7:36pm CDT By Zach Links

Wolves president Flip Saunders hopes the Wolves new players’ athleticism will translate into improved defense, Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press writes. Saunders said, “I’m hoping that the biggest change is going to be defensively. Always a key in your ability to guard is your athleticism. The quicker you are, the longer you are, the better chance you have to be a good defensive team.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Doc Rivers was in contact with free agent guard Ray Allen earlier this summer, and Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter) expects the Clippers to make a run at him again.
  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is still over the moon about reacquiring Tyson Chandler this summer, as NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan writes.  “It was kind of surprising that we got it done, just because with that many pieces and the fact that no one finds out,” Cuban said of the trade. “I’m glad we got it done. We’re excited. He can kind of quarterback our defense, he makes everybody better defensively and he’ll make Monta [Ellis] better offensively.”
  • Keith Schlosser of The Knicks Blog wonders if the Knicks would welcome back Kenyon Martin.  Martin gave the Knicks one of the most intimidating and physical defensive presences they’ve had in years, but he struggles to stay on the court.  Even though he’s seen just 50 games of action over the last two seasons, Schlosser sees K-Mart as a player who the Knicks could call on midseason if Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani, or Samuel Dalembert have injury troubles of their own.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Clippers Rumors: Rivers, Sterling, Raduljica

August 29 at 1:50pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Clippers have pulled off a trade, reached a new deal with coach/executive Doc Rivers, and waived two players, and they reportedly met with Ekpe Udoh as they eye fellow free agent Chris Douglas-Roberts. That’s all within the space of the last three days. There’s a long holiday weekend ahead for some, but the Clippers certainly aren’t easing into it. Here’s the latest on the team:

  • Few knock the coaching credentials of Rivers, but his roster-building skills as an executive are another matter. Plenty of executives around the league question Rivers’ acquisition of Jared Dudley last year and his surrender of a first-round pick in the deal to rid the Clippers of Dudley this week, as Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher writes. “If [former Timberwolves GM] David Kahn made those deals, they’d have been burning crosses on his lawn,” one NBA executive told Bucher.
  • Shelly Sterling didn’t know who Steve Ballmer was when he called her this spring to express interest in buying the Clippers, as she tells Linda Deutsch of The Associated Press.  Still, she negotiated him up from an initial offer of $1.9 billion to the $2 billion price he wound up paying and obtained a promise from Ballmer that he would never move the team to Seattle, as Deutsch details.
  • Rival teams called the Bucks to talk about trading for Miroslav Raduljica last season, according to Shams Charania of RealGM. That seems to suggest there will be NBA suitors for the center whose three-day tenure with the Clippers just ended, though that’s just my speculation.

Clippers Waive Carlos Delfino

August 29 at 1:10pm CDT By Chuck Myron

1:10pm: The move is official, the team announced via press release, so Delfino hits waivers in time for the Clippers to stretch his salary.

12:16pm: The Clippers will indeed waive Carlos Delfino today, a source tells Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). USA Today’s Sam Amick reported earlier this week that the move was likely to happen. The team will use the stretch provision to spread out his remaining salary, just as the Clippers will do with Miroslav Raduljica, whom the Clippers are also reportedly set to release, Bolch adds.

Delfino has a guaranteed salary of $3.25MM for the coming season, while his salary of the same amount for 2015/16 is non-guaranteed. Using the stretch provision allows a team to evenly spread a player’s remaining salary out over two times the number of years remaining on his contract, plus one. That means Delfino’s salary will be stretched over five seasons, as Bolch points out. Since only half of Delfino’s remaining salary is guaranteed, that would reduce his cap hit to $65K for this season and each year through 2018/19. There had been confusion about whether the non-guaranteed season would count, and thus whether Delfino’s guaranteed salary would be stretched over three years instead of five. However, NBA Salary Cap FAQ author Larry Coon confirms to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times that Delfino’s salary will indeed be stretched over five years (Twitter link).

Raduljica’s contract is similarly structured, with fully guaranteed salary for this year and non-guaranteed salary for 2015/16. He’s set to make $1.5MM for this coming season, so waiving and stretching him drops his payout to $300K each year. Put together, today’s anticipated moves would give the Clippers an extra $3.8MM in breathing room against their hard cap. The team had been only $649,228 shy of that cap after Tuesday’s trade, according to the data compiled by Pincus for Basketball Insiders, so this gives the Clippers enough ammunition to sign veterans like Chris Douglas-Roberts and Ekpe Udoh, whom they have been eyeing, as Amick reported this week.

Cutting Delfino and Raduljica would drop the team’s roster to 11 players. The Clippers can only sign free agents for the minimum salary, having exhausted their cap exceptions, but it appears as though they’ll be able to add four minimum-salary veterans to field a full 15-man regular season roster once Delfino and Raduljica are officially gone. The timing of the moves will be key, since Sunday is the last day that teams can use the stretch provision to reduce salaries for the coming season, but it appears that the team will pull the trigger today.

Delfino missed all of last season with a right foot injury, and he’s reportedly expected to miss part of this one. The former 25th overall pick, who turns 32 today, has been a double-digit scorer in three of his last four healthy seasons, so it would seem there would be strong interest if he can fully recover.