Los Angeles Clippers Rumors

Los Angeles Clippers trade, free agent, and draft rumors, updated constantly by the NBA experts at HoopsRumors.com.

Pacific Notes: Clippers, Lakers, Lee

April 26 at 4:59pm CDT By Chris Crouse

If the Clippers fail to advance in the playoffs, the team’s lack of depth will be the culprit, Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles opines. Markazi blames president of basketball operations Doc Rivers for signing Spencer Hawes with the full mid-level exception. Markazi believes signing Paul Pierce to give the team more depth on the wing would have been a better use of the franchise’s resources.

There’s more from the Pacific Division on a playoff Sunday:

  • Rivers said he used the Spurs as his model when he came to the Clippers, Markazi writes in a separate story. He said he has tried to build a relationship with GM Dave Wohl similar to the one between San Antonio head coach and president of basketball operations Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford. “Clearly you would love to build what they have,” Rivers said. “It means that you’re going to do it for a time. We have a long way to go, but that would be nice.”
  • The presence of Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson on the roster shouldn’t preclude the Lakers from selecting a point guard or power forward in this year’s draft, opines Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required). Ford recalls the Blazers passing on the chance to take Chris Paul and Deron Williams because the team thought it had a long-term piece in Sebastian Telfair. Ford believes the Lakers’ best option is to take the top player available rather than drafting for need, due to the lack of talent on the roster.
  • The Warriors are hoping David Lee will be ready for the second round of the playoffs, writes Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group. Lee, who missed the entire first-round series against the Pelicans with a strained back, knows the Warriors will need all the front-line help they can get if they’re matched up with the rugged Grizzlies. “It’s a team that plays big and that we’re going to need every big on the roster ready to go, myself included,” he said.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Pacific Notes: Knight, Blue, Hudson

April 23 at 4:45pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Suns could face a situation with Brandon Knight that is similar to the one the team endured with Eric Bledsoe last summer in regards to re-signing the player, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. The Suns and Bledsoe remained at an impasse for the bulk of last summer while the two sides haggled over the amount of the contract, and Bledsoe didn’t put pen to paper on his deal until the end of September. When Knight was in discussions with the Bucks regarding an extension last offseason, the player was requesting a deal in the range of $12MM per season, while Milwaukee held fast at $9MM per year, Deveney notes.

Knight only made 11 appearances for the Suns after being acquired at the trade deadline from Milwaukee thanks to a foot injury he suffered. The guard is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, provided Phoenix tenders him a qualifying offer of $4,790,680. If the two sides are unable to reach an agreement on a new deal this summer, Knight could simply ink the qualifying offer and play out the 2015/16 season. He would then hit free agency in the summer of 2016 when the salary cap is expected to increase significantly, Deveney adds.

Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Lester Hudson‘s $1,015,421 salary for 2015/16 with the Clippers is non-guaranteed, but if the guard is still on the roster on July 15th his salary becomes fully guaranteed, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter link).
  • The Lakers paid Vander Blue a total of $14,408 for the three days he spent with the team after being inked to a pact that covered the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign, Pincus tweets. Blue can become a restricted free agent this summer if Los Angeles tenders him a qualifying offer worth $1,147,276.
  • Jerel McNeal‘s minimum salary arrangement with the Suns for 2015/16 will become fully guaranteed if he is still on Phoenix’s roster past July 21st, Pincus adds (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: Cousins, Johnson, Green

April 21 at 1:50pm CDT By Chuck Myron

DeAndre Jordan changed the first game of the Spurs series in a positive way for the Clippers, as Dan Woike of the Orange County Register chronicles, and his continued presence will be key in Game 2. Of course, whether Jordan is a presence for the Clips beyond this season isn’t known, since he’ll be a free agent, but it’d be tough for L.A. to let him go, since the team already has some $58MM on the books for next season and is without much cap flexibility to replace him. Here’s more from around the Pacific Division:

  • Vivek Ranadive foresees an active offseason for the Kings but can’t envision a DeMarcus Cousins trade, and the Kings owner seemed annoyed Monday that Cousins’ name has been in trade rumors of late, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee relays (Twitter links). “I don’t know why that stuff is out there,” Ranadive said.
  • Wesley Johnson suggests the constantly changing roles throughout his NBA career have led to his inconsistency, while coach Byron Scott believes part of the problem is “between the ears,” observes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. In any case, the Lakers are on the fence about re-signing Johnson, who’s started 121 games for them the last two seasons, even though he’d like to come back, as Medina details.
  • Draymond Green is proving his value once more for the Warriors in their first-round series against the Pelicans, as SB Nation’s Tom Ziller examines. The Warriors have indicated they plan to match any offer for the soon-to-be restricted free agent.

Western Notes: Clippers, Williams, Thunder

April 20 at 10:01pm CDT By Arthur Hill

Whether the Clippers win or lose their first-round series against the Spurs, don’t expect major changes this summer, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. He notes that the team’s stars, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, both have trade kickers in their contracts that would impede any deal. Paul is signed for two more seasons at $44MM total, with a player option for a third. The trade kicker would inflate his salary by 10%. Griffin is under contract for two more years totaling nearly $40MM, also with an option for a third. He has a 15% trade kicker. Deveney says the team has little choice about keeping free agent center DeAndre Jordan, which could involve a five-year commitment topping $100MM, even though the Clippers would be over the luxury tax for the third straight year and would incur a repeater tax if they paid the tax again the next year.

There’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Pelicans coach Monty Williams said he was joking with comments about the noise at Oracle Arena, according to Tom Haberstroh of ESPN. In a press conference before tonight’s playoff game, Williams downplayed comments he made earlier in the day that he wasn’t sure the arena’s decibel level was “legal.” Because Williams is a member of the NBA’s competition committee, his statement could be construed as more than just an idle threat. “It was more of a compliment more than anything,” Williams explained. The NFL’s Atlanta Falcons were punished in February for using artificial noise in their stadium.
  • The Thunder’s trade for Enes Kanter solved one problem but created another, writes Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City finally got the post-up scoring threat it needed, but weakened its defense in the process. Kanter came to OKC from the Jazz in a three-team deal at the deadline. Tramel estimates that, even with Kanter’s defensive shortcomings, it will cost the Thunder $12MM to $15MM a year to keep him when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer.

Western Notes: Gasol, Brooks, Paul

April 19 at 8:14pm CDT By Will Joseph

In using LeBron James‘ decision to bolt from the Heat and join the Cavaliers after the Spurs beat Miami in last year’s NBA Finals as an example, Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal opines that how the Grizzlies fare in the playoffs will impact Marc Gasol‘s free agency decision. Gasol was not at all forthcoming when asked if the playoffs could have an impact on his future. The big man has spent his entire seven-year career with the Grizzlies. “I don’t know,” Gasol said. “Honestly, I haven’t put in my mind what’s going to weigh what, and I really don’t know. I honestly can’t tell you because I haven’t had time to even think about it. So, I don’t know.” 

PreviouslyGasol cast doubt on the idea that an early postseason exit for the Grizzlies would dissuade him from re-signing. Earlier this week owner Robert Pera expressed a similar view that the playoffs would not have much bearing on Gasol’s decision.

There’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Blazers are decimated by injury, they are facing the Grizzlies — a team that has beat them in all four contests this season — and have several question marks heading into the summer. All of that presents this time period as the biggest challenge since GM Neil Olshey was hired in June 2012, John Canzano of the Oregonian opines. This summer, the team’s top player, LaMarcus Aldridgewill become an unrestricted free agent. Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez will also become unrestricted free agents.
  • Embattled Thunder coach Scott Brooks, whom the team is reportedly evaluating prior to making a decision on his future, has received three significant votes of confidence, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman writes. Serge Ibaka has joined Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in supporting Brooks, who has guided the team since the 2008/09 season. “Why are you going to fire him?” Ibaka is quoted in a piece by Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype. “What has he done? Injuries were not his fault. Why would he go? He has not done anything. He’s not responsible for the injuries. He did his best with the team he had. Would [another] coach do better with a team with so many injuries? What could he possibly do about it? The team is with him. You can’t blame him for what has happened.”
  • Chris Paul has never led a team beyond the second round of the playoffs and although the star point guard has never received much backlash for his lack of postseason success, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders opines that if Paul fails to get far this postseason, his name won’t be associated with the transformation of the Clippers.

Jazz, Joe Ingles Mutually Interested In New Deal

April 14 at 4:42pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

There is mutual interest between Joe Ingles and the Jazz in the player returning to Utah next season, Gordon Monson of The Salt Lake Tribune writes. The 27-year-old can become a restricted free agent this summer if Utah extends him a qualifying offer worth $1,045,059. This would allow the Jazz to match any offer sheets the forward was to receive this offseason. Ingles is ineligible to ink an extension since his current deal was for a single season, and extensions are only for contracts that cover four or more years. The Jazz hold Ingles’ Non-Bird rights, which means they will only be able to offer the forward 20% above the minimum unless they utilize cap space or another exception.

Ingles arrived in Utah back in October after being released by the Clippers and claimed off of waivers. Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey was very complimentary of the Australian, telling Monson, “He’s exceeded our expectations as a teammate and a competitor. He’s an NBA player. He’s proved that this year. Hopefully, his experience has been good enough that he’ll consider us when the time comes.

The appreciation isn’t one-sided, with Ingles proclaiming himself a fan of the organization. “Being here has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in basketball,” said Ingles. “It’s been great. The guys are unselfish and fun and I’ve had a great time. I love Utah and I’d like to come back. I feel like I’ve found the enjoyment of playing the game again here. Last year, at Maccabi Tel Aviv, was good. This has taken it to another level. I’d love to …

In 78 appearances for the Jazz this season, including 31 as a starter, Ingles is averaging 5.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 21.2 minutes per night. His slash line is .422/.362/.750.

Pacific Notes: Cousins, Boozer, Hawes

April 14 at 10:59am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Kings have a budding superstar in DeMarcus Cousins, but coach George Karl admits that no one on Sacramento’s roster would be off-limits for the right trade, as Bill Herenda of CSNBayArea.com relays. Obviously, the Kings aren’t looking to trade their best player, but Karl’s comments jibe with what a person familiar with the coach’s thinking told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck in February about Sacramento’s willingness to make deals.

“I’ve had some great players and I’ve never had one player that I have said is untradeable,” Karl said, as Herenda notes. “You always got to be ready for the possibility of a great trade that could come your way. I know I respect him [Cousins] a tremendous amount … I think our give and take and our communication has been almost on a daily basis … until we can really get to a special place together, I think we’ve got to continue to communicate, what he wants and what I want.”

With the offseason beginning in two days for Sacramento, there’s more on the Kings amid the latest from the Pacific Division:

  • Aaron Bruski of NBCSports.com has begun hearing more speculation about Cousins trades among sources, but Bruski cautions that there’s nothing concrete or in the works (Twitter links).
  • Carlos Boozer moved to the bench about a month into the regular season and he hasn’t been the sort of contributor the Lakers imagined when they claimed him off amnesty waivers this summer, writes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Coach Byron Scott is nonetheless pleased with the way he “hasn’t rocked the boat” since his benching, Medina notes, adding that it nonetheless seems unlikely that the power forward, a free agent this summer, will return.
  • Spencer Hawes admits he isn’t having the sort of season he envisioned when he joined the Clippers on a four-year deal for the full value of the mid-level exception this past summer, observes Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times“It’s been bad,” he said of his performance. “There’s no other way to put it. You just can’t let it defeat you when you go through the low stretches.”

DeMarre Carroll Interested In Knicks

April 14 at 8:56am CDT By Chuck Myron

Soon-to-be free agent forward DeMarre Carroll acknowledged interest in the Knicks and hinted that he wouldn’t mind signing with the Lakers or Clippers, either, in a response to a question about whether he would give a great deal of consideration to the Knicks, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post. The sixth-year veteran who turns 29 in July has blossomed while on a two-year, $5MM contract with the Hawks that expires at season’s end.

“Most definitely,” Carroll said. “When guys talk about playing in certain places — they talk about Madison Square Garden and Staples Center. Those two places. New York has a lot to offer but at the end of the season, I’ll let my agent do that. We’ll keep our options and hopefully it will work out for the best.’’

Knicks coach Derek Fisher likes Carroll, and his defense in particular, a source tells Berman. Carroll is a proficient rebounder, grabbing 5.4 per game this season, but his defense is a minus, according to both ESPN’s Real Plus/Minus and Basketball-Reference’s Box Plus/Minus. Those metrics show him as a better offensive player, and he’s transformed his attack in Atlanta, shooting nearly six times as many three-pointers the past two seasons as the rest of his NBA career put together. He’s made 39.6% of his shots from behind the arc this year and is averaging a career-high 12.7 points per game.

Berman figures the Mark Bartelstein client will command a starting salary around $5MM, but Grantland’s Zach Lowe would be surprised if he doesn’t see more than that (Twitter link). Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal speculates that Carroll’s in line for $6MM salaries (Twitter link). In any case, it would seem he’s due a significant raise on the more than $2.442MM he’s making this season. The Hawks only have Carroll’s Early Bird rights, so unless they use cap space, they’d be limited to a starting salary of a figure that will likely come in just shy of $6MM when the league’s average salary is computed during the July Moratorium. Still, Atlanta, just like the Knicks and Lakers, is in line to open a significant amount of cap room this summer, depending in large measure on what happens with Carroll and Paul Millsap. The Clippers are unlikely to have the sort of cap flexibility it would take to land Carroll.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders wrote more than a month ago that it appeared the Hawks were looking for an upgrade at small forward, where Carroll plays. Still, it would be tough to envision the Hawks not having at least some interest in re-signing a player who has found his niche within their system. The team on Monday awarded Carroll the Jason Collier Memorial Trophy for his work as a community ambassador, as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, so clearly the club is high on his character.

Pacific Notes: Karl, Barnes, Lakers

April 13 at 2:58pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Magic Johnson casts a shadow over the Lakers organization even though he’s no longer a part of it in any way, having sold his minority ownership share, as Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding examines. Johnson doesn’t have a relationship with any of the members of the Buss family who control the franchise aside from Jeanie, the team’s Board of Governors representative, with whom he remains close, according to Ding. The Busses have always insisted that the team isn’t for sale, but Johnson would be a prime candidate to front a bid for the Lakers if they ever became available, Ding writes. There’s more on the Lakers amid our look around the Pacific Division:

  • George Karl admits he has a great degree of fondness for his former players on the Nuggets, observes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck heard in February that Karl would love for the Kings to acquire Ty Lawson or any of the players he coached on the 2012/13 Nuggets, his last NBA team, but it’s uncertain how much influence, if any, Karl has under new basketball operations chief Vlade Divac.
  • Defense, leadership and career-best 36.7% three-point shooting this year are the hallmarks of what’s been perhaps Matt Barnes‘ best NBA season, as Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times details. The timing is fortuitous for the Clippers small forward, whose salary of almost $3.543MM for next season is only guaranteed for $1MM.
  • Baxter Holmes of ESPNLosAngeles.com examines the conundrum the Lakers face as Rajon Rondo looms as a likely free agent target while incumbent point guard Jordan Clarkson exceeds expectations.

Western Notes: Hudson, Anderson, Kanter

April 12 at 2:31pm CDT By Chris Crouse

The Clippers’ decision to re-sign Lester Hudson came down to what the guard brought on the defense end, writes Rowan Kavner of NBA.com. “I liked his toughness,” President of Basketball Operations and coach Doc Rivers said. “I like his defense. He has a chance to be a really good defensive player in our program.” Rivers also said that Hudson and Nate Robinson were both options for the roster spot and he added that he didn’t believe Robinson was 100% healthy.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Spurs have recalled forward Kyle Anderson from their D-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, according to the team’s website. To date, Anderson has appeared in 31 games for San Antonio, averaging 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
  • Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders wonders if the Thunder should re-sign Enes Kanter. Blancarte cites Kanter’s defensive struggles as reason Oklahoma City should hesitate to offer the center a lucrative contract.
  • DeAndre Jordan has had an impressive season and the center believes coach Doc Rivers was an integral part of his success, as he tells Jim Rome of CBS Sports Radio. “So much respect, so much respect,” Jordan said of Rivers. “He’s helped me out so much, he really believes in each and every one of us 150 % and when you have a guy like that who believes in you and really thinks you can get it done and knows you can get it done, your confidence is so high you will run through a brick wall for a guy like that.” Last month, Will Joseph of Hoops Rumors examined the market for Jordan, who will become a free agent at the end of the season.