Los Angeles Clippers

Community Shootaround: Clippers’ Trio

The Clippers will enter the offseason earlier than expected after losing the final game in their series against the Blazers on Friday night. The team lost Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to injury during Game 4 of the series and Los Angeles was unable to win another game without two of its stars on the floor.

The arrival of the offseason carries questions for the Clippers. The front office has to figure out if Paul, Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can be the foundation of a championship team and they were hoping to get another postseason to gather more data. Instead, the franchise got three games of postseason play, two of which it won, to evaluate its core and that brings us to tonight’s question. Should the Clippers break up the Paul-Griffin-Jordan trio?

Let us know what you would do if you were sitting in Doc Rivers‘ chair. Which player(s) should be moved? Would you give this core another year and if so, what minor changes would you make? Take to the comments section to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say!

Clippers Notes: Pierce, Paul, Griffin

Paul Pierce said after the Clippers’ playoff exit Friday night that he didn’t want to make an emotional decision about his future and was 50-50 on whether he would return next season,  tweets Dan Woike of the Orange County Register. Pierce, 38,  is under contract for $3.5MM next year with a partially guaranteed salary the following year, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders points out (on Twitter).

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • The idea that the Clippers need to break up Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin is exaggerated and the team instead needs to make wiser decisions on free agents and improve in player development, Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com argues in an Insider piece. There’s no way the Clippers would receive the same value in return if they were deal one of them, Andrew Han adds in the same piece.
  • If the Clippers must trade one, however, that player should be Paul because the star point guard will be 31 at the start of next season, Han writes.
  • It may be time to shake things up, considering Paul and Griffin have played together for five seasons and have yet to win a title, opines Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Bresnahan suggests it may be worthwhile for the Clippers to make a deal with the Knicks and acquire Carmelo Anthony.

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin Out For Remainder Of Playoffs

  • The Clippers‘ playoff hopes took a major blow today with the team announcing that point guard Chris Paul and power forward Blake Griffin would likely miss the remainder of the postseason. Paul underwent surgery on his right hand this morning and will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks after fracturing his hand during Monday night’s game, while Griffin is dealing with a left quad injury and is done for the year.
  • Clippers small forward Paul Pierce is adjusting to limited minutes during the postseason but understands his true value as a veteran is to provide leadership, writes Dan Woike of The Orange County Register.

Chris Paul Likely Done For The Playoffs

The Clippers suffered a devastating blow and the playoffs took another unexpected turn Monday when Chris Paul broke his right hand in Game 4 against the Trail Blazers, a Portland win that evened the first-round series. Paul is “most likely” out for the rest of the postseason, a source told ESPN’s J.A. Adande (ESPN Now link). A team source said much the same to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). It’s possible a better prognosis will emerge after further tests, and the team will know more today, Adande and Woike report, but the Clippers are in rough shape. Blake Griffin is just “50-50” for the next game because of a sore left quadriceps tendon, coach Doc Rivers said, according to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com (Twitter link). It all adds up to a potential boost for the Warriors, who’ve lost Stephen Curry for at least two weeks with a sprained knee and will play either the Clippers or the Blazers in the next round, provided they dispatch the Rockets.

Donald Sterling Appeals Dismissal of Lawsuit

  • Former Clippers team owner Donald Sterling is appealing the dismissal of his $600MM antitrust lawsuit against the NBA and his wife, Shelly Sterling, as Nathan Fenno of The Los Angeles Times. U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin had ruled against Sterling, noting that he was “skeptical Sterling suffered any injury at all, let alone an antitrust injury” by the sale of the team for $2 billion to Steve Ballmer, Fenno adds, also noting that the judge called other parts of the lawsuit implausible.

Kings To Interview Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro

8:05pm: The Kings’ first three interviews for their vacant coaching position will be with Jackson, Del Negro and former Wolves interim coach Sam Mitchell, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter).

TUESDAY, 2:50pm: The Kings are scheduled to interview Vinny Del Negro next week, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports, confirming a tweet from Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee that indicated as much. They’d like to interview Kevin McHale, but he hasn’t decided whether he’ll meet with the team, league sources told Wojnarowski, who earlier reported the team plans to interview Mike Woodson. The team is expected to meet with a handful of candidates for initial interviews before moving on to the next stage of its search, Wojnarowski hears.

Del Negro’s name emerged among several in the mix for the Kings job when Wojnarowski reported his candidacy last week. Sacramento reportedly contacted Del Negro for its vacancy in December 2014, shortly after firing Michael Malone, but since then, the Kings have had two head coaches, and Vlade Divac succeeded Pete D’Alessandro as the front office chief.

Sacramento has reached out to Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks, Ettore Messina, Luke Walton and David Blatt in addition to Del Negro and Woodson, according to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link), though Thibodeau and Brooks appear to be long shots, at best. Jeff Hornacek, Mark Jackson, Patrick Ewing, Nate McMillan and Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga are others in whom the team reportedly has interest as it seeks a replacement for the fired George Karl.

Experience appears to be a key for Divac as he looks at candidates, and Del Negro fits that bill. The 49-year-old is 210-184 in five seasons as an NBA head coach, split between the Bulls and the Clippers.

Kings To Interview Mike Woodson

The Kings plan to interview Clippers assistant Mike Woodson for their head coaching job, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The Clippers have granted permission for the interview to take place, Wojnarowski hears.

Sacramento reportedly has interest in several candidates, and the team is seeking an experienced replacement for the fired George Karl, as GM Vlade Divac indicated. The sense within the organization is that the team is willing to test the market for DeMarcus Cousins, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee wrote, but regardless of whether Cousins is around, whomever the Kings hire will face a daunting task. The franchise hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006.

Woodson ended an eight-year playoff drought for the Hawks in 2008, his win total improving in each of his six seasons as coach of Atlanta. He later coached the Knicks, guiding them to 54 wins in 2012/13, the team’s last playoff season. Still, the 58-year-old is just 315-365 in the regular season and 18-28 in the playoffs as an NBA head coach. The Magic interviewed Woodson last year before hiring Scott Skiles, and while another report suggested Woodson also interviewed with the Nuggets for the job that ultimately went to Michael Malone, that’s not entirely clear.

David Blatt, Vinny Del Negro, Jeff Hornacek, Celtics assistant Jay LarranagaKevin McHale, Mark Jackson, Patrick Ewing and Nate McMillan are others in whom the Kings reportedly have interest. They’re also apparently fond of Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks but understand they’re not likely to end up in Sacramento.

Conversation With Doc Fueled Crawford

Jamal Crawford Named Sixth Man Of Year

9:02am: The league has formally announced Crawford as the winner, via press release. The voting results are below. For a ballot-by-ballot breakdown, click here.

7:59am: Jamal Crawford has won the Sixth Man of the Year award for a record third time, league sources told Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The league is set to officially announce the news as soon as today, Haynes hears. Kevin McHale, Ricky Pierce and Detlef Schrempf are the only other players to win the award for the league’s top reserve more than once, each of them having garnered the honor two times. Crawford will add this year’s Sixth Man trophy to the ones he took home in 2010 and 2014.

The accolade is the culmination of a turnaround season for Crawford, who was the subject of trade rumors this past summer and took to Twitter to say that he wished he was a free agent. The combo guard arrived at Clippers training camp saying he was prepared to sacrifice minutes to accommodate the team’s offseason additions, most notably Lance Stephenson. However, Stephenson didn’t pan out in Los Angeles, and the Clippers traded him and a protected first-round pick for forward Jeff Green at the February deadline. Crawford’s 26.9 minutes per game this season exceeded last year’s 26.6.

Crawford nonetheless put up just 14.2 points per contest, his lowest average since the 2011/12 season, and the 16th-year veteran’s 2.3 assists per night tied his career low. Still, he was an appealing option for award voters amid a field of candidates that lacked an obvious selection.

The honor is a boost for the 36-year-old as he heads into free agency come July. The KnicksHeat and Cavs were reportedly interested in trading for him last summer, and he figures to have no shortage of teams in pursuit of him on the open market this year.

Here are the results of the voting:

  1. Jamal Crawford (Clippers)
  2. Andre Iguodala (Warriors)
  3. Enes Kanter (Thunder)
  4. Will Barton (Nuggets)
  5. Evan Turner (Celtics)
  6. Ryan Anderson (Pelicans)
  7. Jeremy Lin (Hornets)
  8. Ed Davis (Trail Blazers)
  9. Dennis Schröder (Hawks)
  10. Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers)
  11. Shaun Livingston (Warriors)
  12. J.J. Barea (Mavericks)
  13. Boris Diaw (Spurs)
  14. Zach LaVine (Timberwolves)
  15. Darren Collison (Kings)
  16. Allen Crabbe (Trail Blazers)
  17. Jrue Holiday (Pelicans)
  18. Patrick Patterson (Raptors)
  19. Mirza Teletovic (Suns)

Is Crawford a deserving winner? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Clippers Glad To Have Griffin For Playoffs

  • The Clippers are happy to have Blake Griffin back for the playoffs, even if he isn’t fully healthy, writes Peter Socotch of CSNNW. Griffin recently returned to the court after being out since Christmas with a partially torn quad tendon. “He’s had not only five games, but he’s had some practice time,” coach Doc Rivers said. “Obviously, it’s not the exact way you would have wanted it, but we’ll take what we can get. We got him back, and that’s better than not getting him back. So I’ll take that.”

Get the hottest NBA news and rumors before anyone else! Follow us on Twitter to stay updated: