Los Angeles Clippers Rumors

And-Ones: Moon, Griffin, Jazz, Kerr

October 16 at 10:46pm CDT By Chris Crouse

Former NBA player and Harlem Globetrotter Jamario Moon returns to the D-League this season and is confident in his ability to play in the NBA again, writes Gino Pilato of D-League Digest“I’m at the point now where I want to show people that I can still play the game, even at 34 years old. I’m a freak of nature, and I’m a better player now. I’ve always kept myself in good physical condition, but I hit the weights harder than I ever have before this last summer. I’m ready.” Moon said.

Here’s more from around the Association:

  • Shooters might be valued more now by NBA teams than ever, argues Bruce Ely of The Oregonian. Ely identifies those who can connect from beyond the three-point line as the most valued player assets and notes that more than 86% of those who played in the league attempted at least one three-pointer last season.
  • Blake Griffin chronicles his time playing for Donald Sterling and shares his thoughts on playing for new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer in a piece for The Players’ Tribune. Griffin applauds the new owner’s management style, “Ballmer wants to win no matter the cost. Donald Sterling didn’t care if we won — at least if it meant he had to spend money.”
  • Jazz players and coaches believe the team’s chemistry has improved, writes Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News. Guard Trey Burke sees the teams chemistry as a foundation. We’ve got a lot of guys on this team who are easy to get along with and hold each other accountable, so we’ll just continue to build from here,’’ said Burke.
  • New Warriors coach Steve Kerr badly wanted to draft Stephen Curry when he was the GM of the Suns back in 2009, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. Cooper adds that the Suns had internal conversations about trading Amar’e Stoudemire for the point guard but without Stoudemire showing a strong likelihood of re-signing with the Warriors, Golden State was not going to pull the trigger on the trade.

Western Notes: Clippers, Barron, Iguodala

October 15 at 7:54pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Clippers are fortunate to have three solid veterans who are willing to come off of the bench, Melissa Rohlin of The Los Angeles Times writes. Discussing Spencer Hawes, Matt Barnes, and Jamal Crawford, coach Doc Rivers said, “There are two groups. One is the old veterans like Matt. They want to come off the bench. That’s when they’ve figured it out — it saves them, it makes them fresher, they’re smarter, they can actually watch the game and evaluate the game. And then there’s that extraordinary group of guys who clearly could be starters and actually still prefer coming off the bench…. Jamal could start anywhere, he could start here, but he prefers coming off the bench.

Here’s more from out west:

  • The Warriors depth has been an issue since the team decided to sign Andre Iguodala and let Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry leave as free agents, Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders writes. Golden State is exploring the idea of using Iguodala as their sixth man this season, notes Koutroupis.
  • One element of the Spurs‘ success over the years has been roster continuity, and the franchise places first overall in that department in Joe Freeman of the Oregonian‘s rankings. Finishing in second place was the Trail Blazers, which is a by-product of GM Neil Olshey‘s commitment to development from within the organization and to create year-to-year cohesion and consistency, notes Freeman. This plan will be tested next summer thanks to a number of players reaching free agency, Freeman opines.
  • With the Suns waiving Joe Jackson, Casey Prather and Jamil Wilson yesterday, Earl Barron remains the lone player in camp with a non-guaranteed contract, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic tweets. Coro notes that Barron has performed well enough in camp to be considered for the team’s final regular season roster spot.

DeAndre Liggins Signs To Play In Russia

October 15 at 8:44am CDT By Chuck Myron

WEDNESDAY, 8:44am: The deal is official, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).

TUESDAY, 9:53am: DeAndre Liggins has agreed to a one-year deal with Krasny Oktyabr of Russia, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter links). The contract will be without an NBA escape clause, Pick adds. The three-year NBA veteran reportedly had a deal last month to join the Clippers for camp, but a later dispatch threw cold water on that idea, and the Clippers wound up leaving him off their camp roster.

The Henry Thomas client signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Heat last season, but he only appeared in one game for one minute with Miami. Liggins spent most of 2013/14 in the D-League, which named him its Defensive Player of the Year. The swingman averaged 13.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in 38.1 minutes per contest with 35.4% three-point shooting in 61 games split between the affiliates of the Heat and the Thunder.

The 26-year-old spent his first two pro seasons with Oklahoma City and Orlando after the Magic made him the 53rd overall pick in 2011. Liggins will join NBA veterans Marcus Cousin and D.J. Kennedy on the Krasny Oktyabr roster.

And-Ones: Durant, Mullens, Varejao

October 12 at 10:28am CDT By Eddie Scarito

Thunder star Kevin Durant has a fracture in his right foot, the team announced in a press release. The injury typically requires surgery and Durant is expected to miss a minimum of six to eight weeks before he can resume basketball activities. No procedure has been scheduled as of yet, and the team and Durant’s representatives are still weighing all treatment options. “We are in the process of collaboratively evaluating the most appropriate next steps with Kevin, his representatives, and Thunder medical personnel,” GM Sam Presti said in a statement. “Until a course of action is determined, we are unable to provide a timeline specific to Kevin’s case.” The “Slim Reaper” joins Bradley Beal, Rajon Rondo, and Nick Young, who also sustained injuries that will cause them to miss the beginning of the regular season.

Here’s more from around the league:

  •  Shanxi Zhongyu of the Chinese Basketball Association is considering waiving former NBA player Byron Mullens, Sports Sohu is reporting (translation by Enea Trapani of Sportando). Mullens appeared in 45 games split between the Sixers and Clippers last season, averaging 4.6 PPG and 2.2 RPG.
  • With the new NBA TV deal already creating rumblings from the NBPA, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel believes the best course of action from the league would be to raise the minimum salary level. Winderman’s logic is that since more players than ever are signing for the minimum, obtaining a majority players vote in the next CBA would be much easier, regardless of what other restrictions the league would impose, such as a hard cap or non-guaranteed deals.
  • Last season, the Lakers had expressed interest in an Anderson Varejao for Pau Gasol trade with the Cavs, Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com notes (Twitter link). After Varejao’s strong preseason showing in Brazil yesterday against the Heat, where he scored 14 points on 70% shooting, McMenamin opines that you can see why Los Angeles tried to acquire the veteran big man.
  • While Coach John Calipari says the Kentucky combine may become an annual event, not everyone is on board with the idea of it, writes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Kansas head coach Bill Self is among the skeptics. “That would certainly not be anything we would do,” Self explains. “That doesn’t mean its wrong. It just means it wouldn’t be for us.”

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

L.A. Notes: Salary Cap, Scott, Young, Rivers

October 6 at 7:04pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Few teams have a greater opportunity to benefit from the NBA’s latest television deal than the Lakers, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times explains. The new TV agreement means the cap will likely rise significantly in the summer of 2016, when Los Angeles will only have $4.3MM in guaranteed salary. Of course, that number will increase over the course of the next two years, but with several big name free agents slated to enter free agency at that time, the Lakers will have a great shot to capitalize on the higher salary cap. Here’s more from Los Angeles:

Chuck Myron and Zach Links contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Pierce, Lockout, ‘Melo, Johnson

October 6 at 4:16pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Paul Pierce originally thought he’d wind up re-signing with the Nets, but he tells TNT’s David Aldridge that Brooklyn never made an offer, as Aldridge writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. Pierce said the Clippers looked like Plan B, but the Nets wouldn’t accommodate a sign-and-trade once Doc Rivers used the team’s mid-level exception on Spencer Hawes instead.

“You know what, I didn’t know what to expect,” Pierce said. “Brooklyn’s been, or New Jersey, Brooklyn, they’re a franchise that’s going in a different direction, I think. They said they wanted to cut costs; they felt like they weren’t going to be a contender. Right now, they’re kind of in the middle right now. And I really didn’t want to be in the middle. I didn’t know if they wanted to do a sign-and-trade. I had to make my own destiny. I couldn’t put it in the faith of somebody else. And that’s when I was like, I’m coming here [to the Wizards].”

The reference to New Jersey seems like a subtle twist of the knife on Pierce’s part, given the desire of Nets brass to establish the Brooklyn monicker, as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News points out. Here’s more from around the Atlantic.

  • Nets union representative Deron Williams believes the league and the players are on a path toward a work stoppage in 2017, noting that preparing for one was the focus of a union meeting in July, as he told reporters, including Bondy, who writes in a separate piece.
  • Carmelo Anthony said today that he had no interest this summer in signing a two-year deal, as LeBron James and others did, to take advantage of the influx of TV revenues, notes Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics had hoped to find a way to keep Chris Johnson amid the flurry of transactions surrounding the Keith Bogans trade, notes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. The Sixers claimed him off waivers after the C’s let him go.

Western Notes: Mavs, Grizzlies, Aldridge, Barea

October 6 at 3:04pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Charlie Villanueva has impressed Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, who insists Villanueva’s lack of guaranteed money won’t prevent the team from keeping him for opening night, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com chronicles.

“It’s going to come down to who plays the best, who fills needs,” Carlisle said. “And we’ll go from there. Mark [Cuban]’s the kind of owner, he’s not going to let a few dollars get in the way of keeping the right team together.” 

Still, it’d cost the Mavs, who have 15 guaranteed contracts plus partial guarantees with Eric Griffin and Ivan Johnson, at least $991,482 in dead money to waive the players necessary for them to keep Villanueva, unless they can work out some sort of trade. While we wait to see just how much Cuban is willing to sacrifice, here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace told Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal that he wasn’t explicitly told not to perform his duties while former CEO Jason Levien was in charge of the team, as Tillery writes in a subscription-only piece. Wallace clarified that he made his own choice to remove himself from player personnel, Tillery notes. Wallace also made a run at openings with the Kings last year and Cavs earlier this year, according to Tillery.
  • The new TV deal won’t affect LaMarcus Aldridge‘s plan to sign a long-term deal with the Blazers this summer, a source tells The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman, pointing out that the maximum salary goes up as the salary cap does. Still, it’s worth noting that cap figures only affect the amount of a max contract for the first season of the deal, and since it appears unlikely the cap will rise dramatically until the summer of 2016, there’s still plenty of incentive for Aldridge to sign a short-term deal instead.
  • Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders didn’t seem merely to be trying to up J.J. Barea‘s trade value when he said the guard was one of the team’s best performers in camp again this year, writes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
  • The NBA’s national TV deal isn’t the only one due for a sharp increase, as some predictions have the Clippers local TV rights fees increasing to $80MM annually from the $20MM the team receives each year under the current arrangement, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. The existing deal is up after the 2015/16 season, Kennedy notes (on Twitter).

Trade Retrospective: Elton Brand To Clippers

October 5 at 8:56am CDT By Eddie Scarito

In the wake of the blockbuster deal that sent Kevin Love to the Cavaliers this summer, I’ve been taking a look back at some of the bigger trades that have occurred in the NBA over the last decade or so. It’s always a risk to trade away a star player, and getting equal value is a near impossibility in most cases.

It’s fascinating to see the league-wide ripples that big trades can cause, and sometimes the full effects and ramifications aren’t fully felt until years later when the draft picks are used, players either reach their potential or fall short, the won-loss records are final, and title banners have been hung, or franchises end up in the draft lottery.

So far I’ve looked back at Carmelo Anthony being dealt to the Knicks; Kevin Garnett to the Celtics; Dwight Howard to the Lakers; Stephon Marbury to the Knicks; Shaquille O’Neal to the Heat; Chris Paul to the Clippers; Deron Williams to the Nets; LaMarcus Aldridge to the Blazers; James Harden to the Rockets; and Vince Carter to the Nets. The next trade I’ll look at will take us back to the June 28th, 2001 deal that sent Elton Brand to the Clippers.

Let’s begin by running down the players involved:

The trade of Brand was an odd decision by the Bulls’ brass. Brand wasn’t unhappy in Chicago despite winning more games during his senior season at Duke (37) than he did during his two years in the Windy City (32). He wasn’t a locker room issue, and in fact he was quite the opposite, demonstrating remarkable poise and maturity for such a young player. Brand also gave the Bulls front office no indication that he would be difficult to re-sign when his rookie deal expired. Brand actually had quite a few ties to Chicago, and as long as the Bulls’ offer was fair it’s more than likely he would have put pen-to-paper and signed an extension.

Brand averaged 20.1 PPG and 10 RPG during his two seasons in Chicago, excellent numbers for a player at any stage of his career, much less one still learning the game and the league. So why deal him then? That’s a question I’m sure some Bulls fans are still asking to this day. As I mentioned previously, Chicago was not even close to being a playoff team during Brand’s time and the Bulls’ front office decided to retool and to try to get more athletic. Brand was more than a solid player, but even before his injuries and the minutes-mileage on his odometer began to accumulate, no one would have mistaken Brand for Blake Griffin athletically.

So the Bulls front office became more enamored with the potential of Eddy Curry, whom they drafted No. 4 overall, and Chandler, who was selected with the No. 2 overall pick that Chicago obtained in this trade, than with the proven commodity that was Brand. So they pulled the trigger and shipped away their best player for two high-schoolers with high upsides, but no proven track record of performance at the collegiate level or beyond.

The deal didn’t revitalize the Bulls franchise as was hoped, and the franchise spent the next three seasons in the basement of the Eastern Conference and neither Chandler or Curry came close to equaling Brand’s production during their time in Chicago.

Here are Chicago’s records in the years after the deal:

  1. 2001/02: 21-61
  2. 2002/03: 30-52
  3. 2003/04: 23-59
  4. 2004/05: 47-35 (lost in the first round to the Wizards)

Some backsliding was to be expected from the Bulls in the wake of dealing away their most productive player for two big men who would require some time to develop their games as well as develop their bodies to handle the nightly poundings found in the NBA paint area. But looking back it’s easy to criticize this trade for Chicago, seeing as how Curry never reached his potential due to a multitude of factors, and it would be years before Chandler developed into the defender and leader who helped Dallas bring home an NBA title.

Though this trade was more about clearing a spot for Curry, Chandler was the main piece that Chicago acquired in the deal. It would be an understatement to say that Chandler didn’t come close to matching Brand’s production during his time with the Bulls as evidenced by his stats below:

  1. 2001/02: 6.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, and 1.3 BPG. His slash line was .497/.000/.604.
  2. 2002/03: 9.2 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.0 APG, and 1.4 BPG. His slash line was .531/.000/.608.
  3. 2003/04: 6.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 0.7 APG, and 1.2 BPG. His slash line was .424/.000/.669.
  4. 2004/05: 8.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 0.8 APG, and 1.8 BPG. His slash line was .494/.000/.673.
  5. 2005/06: 5.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, and 1.3 BPG. His slash line was .565/.000/.503.

Speaking of Curry, for the sake of comparison here are his numbers with the Bulls:

  1. 2001/02: 6.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, and 0.7 BPG. His slash line was .501/.000/.656.
  2. 2002/03: 10.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.5 APG, and 0.8 BPG. His slash line was .585/.000/.624.
  3. 2003/04: 14.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, and 1.1 BPG. His slash line was .496/1.000/.671.
  4. 2004/05: 16.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, and 0.9 BPG. His slash line was .538/.000/.720.

Comparing the stats of both of these players to Brand’s it’s striking to note that Brand equaled or exceeded the production of Curry/Chandler for every year that they were with the Bulls and he was in Los Angeles. Not a great trade-off, and the disparity is incredibly glaring when removing Curry from the equation since he wasn’t technically part of this deal and Chicago could have simply kept Brand and selected Curry anyway.

Chandler’s time in Chicago ended on July 5th, 2006 when he was dealt to the Pelicans for J.R. Smith and P.J. Brown. The Bulls made this deal in an effort to clear Chandler and the five years, and $54MM left on his contract so the team could sign free agent Ben Wallace away from the Pistons, which they accomplished.

Smith was flipped to the Nuggets just six days later for Howard Eisley and two 2007 second-rounders (Aaron Gray and JamesOn Curry). Curry never played one minute for the Bulls, while Gray spent two years with the team, averaging 3.7 PPG in 117 appearances. As for Wallace, he was still productive in his two seasons in Chicago, but wasn’t the same dominating defender that he was during his first stint in Motown.

As for Brian Skinner, he was traded less than a month after being acquired to the Raptors for Charles Oakley and a 2002 second-rounder (Jason Jennings). Oakley was no longer the player that he was with the Knicks or during his first stint in Chicago, and he lasted one season with the Bulls, averaging 3.8 PPG and 6.0 RPG that year.

So from the Bulls’ perspective, they dealt away a 20 PPG and 10 RPG player who was just beginning his career, for Chandler’s 6.9 PPG and 7.6 RPG averages during his Chicago years. Not a great return any way you look at it. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also note who else was available when Chandler was selected–Pau Gasol. With their own first-rounder, Chicago took Curry, but who else was on the board? Names such as Joe Johnson, Zach Randolph, Jason Richardson, Richard Jefferson, and Tony Parker. This deal looks a bit different if you plug in Gasol and/or Parker, but that’s speaking from the benefit of hindsight. I’d also argue that the team would have been much better served to have held onto Brand and used their own first round pick on one of those alternate names that I listed.

At the time of the trade the Clippers were mired in futility, having made just three playoff appearances, all first round exits, in the 16 years since the franchise relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles. It was a shrewd move on their part trading away a lottery pick for a proven young talent like Brand. With the NBA Draft being such a game of chance, it’s sometimes better to go with established talent instead of rolling the dice on a player developing into an NBA-level talent. It was even tougher on GMs prior to the minimum-age requirement, when franchises were risking millions of dollars on unproven high school players.

Brand certainly didn’t disappoint statistically after arriving in Los Angeles. In his first season with the team, Brand earned a selection to the All-Star team, becoming the first Clipper since Danny Manning (1994) to receive that honor. Here are his numbers with Los Angeles:

  1. 2001/02: 18.2 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, and 2.0 BPG. His slash line was .527/.000/.742.
  2. 2002/03: 18.5 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 2.5 BPG. His slash line was .502/.000/.685.
  3. 2003/04: 20.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 2.2 BPG. His slash line was .493/.000/.773.
  4. 2004/05: 20.0 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, and 2.1 BPG. His slash line was .503/.000/.752.
  5. 2005/06: 24.7 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 2.6 APG, and 2.5 BPG. His slash line was .527/.333/.775.
  6. 2006/07: 20.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 2.2 BPG. His slash line was .533/1.000/.761.
  7. 2007/08: 17.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, and 1.9 BPG. His slash line was .456/.000/.787.

Brand became a restricted free agent after the 2002/03 campaign and the Heat made a big push to land him, signing Brand to a six-year, $82MM offer sheet. Former owner Donald Sterling, notorious for being frugal with player salaries during this era, matched the offer and retained Brand’s services, which was quite out of character.

Unfortunately Brand’s production didn’t translate into the won-loss column. It wasn’t Brand’s fault thanks to the decided lack of talent around him. But the other factor was that Brand wasn’t a superstar type player that you could build a team around. His numbers were solid, as was his overall game, but even at his peak he was more the sort of player who should have been a second or third option, which didn’t help Los Angeles break out of its malaise as evidenced by the franchise’s records during Brand’s tenure:

  1. 2001/02: 39-43
  2. 2002/03: 27-55
  3. 2003/04: 28-54
  4. 2004/05: 37-45
  5. 2005/06: 47-35 (lost in the second round to the Suns)
  6. 2007/08: 40-42

All things must come to an end, and Brand’s ending in Los Angeles wasn’t as smooth as the player, organization, or Baron Davis would have hoped. Brand and Davis were close friends and both of their deals had player options for their final seasons, which both players decided to use to get out of their deals. Brand had stated publicly that he chose to opt out so he could re-sign for a lower salary that would aid the team in signing another impact player. That player was to be Davis, who inked a five-year, $65MM deal with the Clippers with the understanding that he’d be playing alongside Brand, not participating in a full rebuild. But instead, Brand spurned the Clippers to sign a five-year, $82MM contract with the Sixers, which was $7MM more than Los Angeles was able to offer him.

This was another deal that emphasizes the game of roulette teams play with the draft and flipping established players for the allure of potential. Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side and it’s a smarter play to stick with the sure thing over the unknown. Granted, I don’t believe Brand was a No. 1 option even during his prime, but he was absolutely a player who, when paired with a talented roster, could be a tremendous asset on the court and in the locker room.

The deal didn’t do much for the Clippers outside of putting a band-aid on the festering wounds of the Clippers faithful. In the NBA it takes much more than one dominant player to contend for a title; just ask Michael Jordan. Chicago’s incredible run during his playing days didn’t begin until he was paired with upper-echelon talent. Los Angeles didn’t harm itself with the trade as the team didn’t give up all that much to acquire Brand. Fiscally, the Clippers took a hit when they matched his offer sheet, rather than enjoying the rookie scale contract of Chandler or whomever they would have selected with their first-rounder in 2001.

As for the Bulls, they would have been better served to have held onto Brand and used their first-round pick on a player who would have complemented their star. The only “benefit” they received from this deal was landing the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 draft thanks to the free fall this deal put the franchise into. The Bulls didn’t quite nail that pick though, using it to select Jay Williams, who only played one season before having his career derailed by a horrific motorcycle accident.

The lesson to take away here is that it’s often better to stick with the sure thing than gamble on striking gold in the draft. The Brand deal ended up being best described by a line from “Macbeth” — “It was full of sound and fury, but signified nothing.” Exeunt omnes.

Western Notes: Gee, Mills, Nedovic, Ballmer

October 3 at 10:30am CDT By Chuck Myron

The players union encourages agents to negotiate contract guarantee dates into non-guaranteed deals for their clients in part to help ward off what happened to Alonzo Gee this summer, writes Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Teams played hot potato with Gee’s contract, which was to remain non-guaranteed until the leaguewide guarantee date in January, and the Kings waived him late last month, in time for him to receive no more than another non-guaranteed pact for the minimum salary with the Nuggets. Gee’s agent Happy Walters didn’t represent the small forward when he signed the contract that teams passed around via trade this summer, and vows to Lowe that he’ll never let a player agree to a non-guaranteed deal without a guarantee date, though it’s unclear what guarantee dates, if any, are involved in Gee’s arrangement with Denver. While we wait to see how that dynamic plays out around the league, and whether Gee can crack the Nuggets opening-night roster, here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Hornets planned to pursue Patrick Mills last summer but backed off when he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff just as free agency was beginning, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Mills re-signed with the Spurs for three years and $11MM.
  • Agent Misko Raznatovic is skeptical that the Warriors are giving a fair shot to Nemanja Nedovic, the 30th overall pick in 2013, as Raznatovic tells Saša Ozmo of the Serbian website B92 (Ozmo provides an English translation on TwitLonger). I don’t know if he’s going to get a proper chance,” Raznatovic said. “They’re promising he will, but we’ll see, he’s had a lot of injuries. I hope everything is going to be all right.” A decision on Nedovic’s third-year team option is due by October 31st.
  • New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer insists he won’t micromanage coach/executive Doc Rivers as he runs the basketball operations for the team and doesn’t agree with the notion that $2 billion was too much to pay for the team, as Ballmer tells USA Today’s Sam Amick. Ballmer also says to Amick that he intends to own the team “until essentially I die.”

And-Ones: Jordan, CBA, Hornets, Bulls

October 2 at 8:14pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is entering the final year of his contract this season. Coach Doc Rivers was asked if there was any chance of Jordan inking an extension with the team prior to him hitting free agency, Rivers responded by saying, “He won’t ever accept an extension. Why would he?,” tweets Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. Jordan could only add on three years via an extension, but if he waits to hit free agency he could re-sign with L.A. for five years. The 26 year-old Jordan is set to earn $11,440,123 this season, and will most likely seek a salary in the range of $12MM-$15MM per season on his new deal, though that is just my speculation and not something that Jordan has stated publicly.

Here’s more from around the association:

  • In his weekly chat Larry Coon of Basketball Insiders opined that the NBPA would most likely opt out of the current CBA in 2017. Coon believes their reasoning for doing so would be that the players feel that they made concessions when the last CBA was inked back in 2011, but now that the league has become more profitable they will want a bigger slice of revenues. Coon also notes that the new national TV deals will be going into place by then, and the players will want to reap in some of that cash as well.
  • Earl Watson and Jason Fraser have joined the Spurs‘ D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros, as assistant coaches, the team announced today.
  • The Hornets depth in their backcourt rivals any team’s in the NBA, Scott Lauer of NBA.com opines. In the article, Lauer relays what each player brings to Charlotte and he believes that if the team gets solid production from the forward positions, it could turn out to be a very successful season for the team.
  • In his season preview for the Bulls, Adi Joseph of USA Today predicts big things for the franchise. Joseph has the Bulls improving their win total to 57 and snagging the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.