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Los Angeles Clippers

2016/17 NBA Over/Unders: Pacific Division

The 2016/17 NBA regular season gets underway just a couple days from now, which means it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign. With the help of the lines from offshore betting site, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division, and having you weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic. Having looked at the Atlantic, Northwest, Central, Southwest, and Southeast divisions so far, we’re moving on to the Pacific today…

Golden State Warriors

(App users, click here for Warriors poll)

Los Angeles Clippers

(App users, click here for Clippers poll)

Sacramento Kings

(App users, click here for Kings poll)

Phoenix Suns

(App users, click here for Suns poll)

Los Angeles Lakers

(App users, click here for Lakers poll)

Previous voting results:


  • Boston Celtics (52.5 wins): Under (54.59%)
  • Toronto Raptors (50.5 wins): Over (54.63%)
  • New York Knicks (38.5 wins): Over (71.41%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (23.5 wins): Under (54.62%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (20.5 wins): Under (60.74%)


  • Utah Jazz (49 wins): Under (68.72%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (45.5 wins): Over (69.92%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (43.5 wins): Over (65.71%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (40.5 wins): Over (50.11%)
  • Denver Nuggets (37 wins): Under (68.81%)


  • Cleveland Cavaliers (56.5 wins): Over (66.5%)
  • Detroit Pistons (44.5 wins): Over (55.03%)
  • Indiana Pacers (44.5 wins): Over (73.06%)
  • Chicago Bulls (38.5 wins): Over (61.9%)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (34.5 wins): Over (67.48%)


  • San Antonio Spurs (58.5 wins): Under (57.4%)
  • Houston Rockets (44 wins): Over (52.76%)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (42.5 wins): Over (59.69%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (38.5 wins): Over (69.71%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (37 wins): Under (70.9%)


  • Atlanta Hawks (43.5 wins): Over (59.84%)
  • Charlotte Hornets (42.5 wins): Under (62.22%)
  • Washington Wizards (42.5 wins): Over (51.6%)
  • Orlando Magic (37.5 wins): Over (54.42%)
  • Miami Heat (34.5 wins): Under (61.45%) Clippers A Fit For Mario Chalmers?

  • Several scribes – including David Aldridge, Scott Howard-Cooper, Fran Blinebury, and others – gave their two cents on the best fit for point guard Mario Chalmers, with the Cavaliers getting the most votes. The Clippers and Kings were also mentioned as potential suitors that would make sense for Chalmers, who is still recovering from an Achilles injury.
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders provides some housekeeping details on a few offseason trades, reporting that the Clippers paid the Magic $230K in their C.J. Wilcox trade, the Jazz paid the Sixers $1.6MM in their Tibor Pleiss deal, and the Cavaliers paid the Sixers $1.8MM in their Sasha Kaun swap (all Twitter links).

Paul's Thumb Sprain No Cause For Concern

The Clippers aren’t worried about a sprained left thumb that Chris Paul suffered Saturday in practice, according to Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. The All-Star point guard stood on the sidelines as the team practiced today, but his availability for the season opener isn’t in doubt. Paul has been listed as “day-to-day,” and coach Doc Rivers explained that he sat out practice as a precaution. “He’ll play in definitely one of the two [remaining preseason games], and that tells you it’s not that serious,” Rivers said.

Pierce Doesn't Like Durant's Decision To Join Warriors

  • Paul Pierce isn’t a fan of Kevin Durant‘s decision to join the Warriors, as he discussed on a Sirius XM Radio interview that was relayed by The Clippers forward believes Durant should have stayed with the Thunder, rather than join the franchise that vanquished his former team in the Western Conference playoffs. “I understand when you have great players on losing teams who are tired of losing, struggling in the playoffs every year,” Pierce said. “You’re the lone star. I’ve been in that position. I could have left Boston years ago, but I stuck it out. I just feel like when you’re that close, as a competitor, you don’t go join the team that just put you out.”

Griffin: Free Agency “Nothing I Really Think About”

As the first installment of our 2017 free agent power rankings shows, Blake Griffin figures to be one of the biggest names available next summer, trailing only a pair of probable Warriors free agents – Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry – in terms of star power and value. However, Griffin didn’t exactly jump at the chance to discuss his potential free agency, telling SiriusXM NBA Radio that it’s “nothing I even really think about” (SoundCloud link).

“[I] haven’t had the conversation with anybody,” Griffin said about his free agency. “That includes friends, family, agents, coaches, teammates. It’s not a conversation I have. I got a lot of basketball left to play this year. I got a full season and postseason, still got some preseason. So that’s on the back on my mind. I’ll deal with that one when the appropriate time comes, but right now isn’t the time.”

Technically, Griffin remains under contract with the Clippers through the 2017/18 season, but that final year of his contract is an early termination option, which functions similarly to a player option. The star forward could reach the open market in 2017 by exercising that option to terminate his contract a year early.

Even if he intends to re-sign with the Clippers, it makes a lot of sense for Griffin to opt out, since he could ensure he gets a raise for 2017/18 on a new deal. Currently, Griffin is slated to earn a salary of $21,373,952 for the ’17/18 season. If he opts out and signs a new contract next July, he’d be eligible for a starting salary in the neighborhood of $28.8MM, based on the NBA’s most recent cap projection.

While Griffin doesn’t seem eager to discuss his looming free agency, there are no indications yet that the Clippers are at risk of losing him. As head coach Doc Rivers noted when he addressed the issue over the summer, as long as L.A. plays well this season, there’s no reason the team shouldn’t enter next summer as the strong favorite for Griffin, and for teammate Chris Paul, who also has an early termination option for 2017/18.

“With Steve [Ballmer as team owner], I’m extremely confident that we can keep both,” Rivers said in July of Griffin and Paul. “You know, listen, winning is the key. The better we play on the floor, the better chance we have of not only keeping those guys but actually adding to our basketball team. That’s always the key factor in this. Quality of life is important, being comfortable, players getting along with the staff and each other. All that goes into it. But I think we’re in a good place there. I know both of them have said they want to play here. They want to play for us forever.”

Starting Small Forwards May Vary

Four positions are set for the Clippers, but the starting small forward could vary from game to game, writes Dan Woike of The Orange County RegisterLuc Mbah a Moute, Wesley Johnson, newcomer Alan Anderson and even shooting guard Austin Rivers may get starts at the position, although coach Doc Rivers would like to see someone step up and claim it. “You always want separation. That’s always nice,” Rivers said. “I don’t know who it will be. I’m hoping it will be someone, but I can’t predict the future. It’d be nice, but if not, it’ll be matchup-based.” It’s a familiar problem for the Clippers, who used Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce and Johnson at the position last season before giving the role to Mbah a Moute.

Only Seven TPEs Currently Available Around NBA

The NBA’s huge salary cap spike this summer impacted the free agent market most significantly and most obviously, with second- and third-tier free agents landing larger contracts than they ever otherwise would have. But the cap increase has also had some under-the-radar side effects, including having a significant impact on our list of traded player exceptions.

Traded player exceptions allow over-the-cap teams to acquire a player whose salary is equal than or less to the TPE amount, without sending out any salaries of their own in the deal. However, in order to create a trade exception in the first place, a team must be over the cap. All but three of the league’s 30 teams went under the cap this summer, meaning they renounced their previous TPEs and were unable to create new ones until they went back over the cap.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Traded Player Exception]

Now that the majority of the NBA teams have used up their cap room, we should see things normalize — there’s a good chance many clubs will create new TPEs with in-season deals, and perhaps they’ll be able to make use of those exceptions before or during next year’s draft, before contracts come off their books in July. For now though, there are only seven TPEs available around the NBA, and only one of those seven has a real chance to make an impact before the 2017 trade deadline.

As our list of outstanding TPEs shows, the Hornets, Clippers, and Bucks each hold a trade exception, but they range in value from $1.2MM to $1.75MM — it’s possible those teams will find a way to use their exceptions, but many of the players whose salaries would fit within those constraints are on minimum salaries, and the minimum salary exception allows over-the-cap teams to acquire those players in trades anyway.

The Cavaliers are the only other team with any TPEs on their books, and Cleveland holds four of them. Three of those exceptions will likely go unused — they’re worth $845K, $947K, and $1.33MM. However, the fourth TPE, created in last year’s Anderson Varejao deadline swap with the Blazers, could come in handy for the Cavs this season. It’s worth $9.64MM.

Of course, given the rising NBA salary cap, more players than ever are earning more than $9.64MM, and wouldn’t fit into Cleveland’s trade exception. By our count, there are 105 NBA players – not including the Cavs’ own players – whose 2016/17 cap hit is too pricey for the Cavs to acquire them using that TPE. Still, while that number may sound high, it works out to just three or four players per squad, which leaves a long shopping list of potential targets for the Cavs, including everyone who is still on a rookie contract.

Will the Cavs end up using that Varejao TPE before it expires on February 18? That remains to be seen, and there are reasons why the team may let it go unused — bringing on additional salary is pricier than it appears on the surface for the Cavs, who will pay a premium as their cap number increases due to the luxury tax. But having that exception gives Cleveland options, and perhaps gives the team a leg up on its competition, since no other over-the-cap club has that sort of potential flexibility in trades.

What do you think? Will the Cavs make use of that trade exception? Which players whose salaries would fit into that TPE do you think Cleveland could target prior to 2017’s trade deadline?

Clippers To Waive Dorell Wright, Xavier Munford

The Clippers are poised to cut a pair of camp invitees, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that the team will waive Dorell Wright and Xavier Munford today. Both players have non-guaranteed salaries, so releasing them won’t affect the Clippers’ cap.

Wright, 30, spent most of last season in China before signing with the Heat in mid-April. He didn’t play any regular season games with Miami, but did appear in five playoff contests, averaging 3.2 points and 3.8 minutes per game. Prior to last season, Wright had appeared in 549 total NBA regular-season contests, spending time with the Heat, Warriors, Sixers, and Trail Blazers over the course of 11 years. In those seasons, he averaged 8.4 PPG and 3.8 RPG, and shot 36.5% on three-point attempts.

According to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link), Wright bypassed an opportunity to return to China for the 2016/17 season in the hopes of earning a roster spot with the Clippers, his hometown team. Now that he’s returning to the free agent market, perhaps the veteran forward will head back overseas.

As for Munford, the 22-year-old made his NBA debut in March with the Grizzlies, joining the injury-ravaged Memphis roster for the stretch run. In his 14 contests with the team, Munford averaged 5.7 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 1.6 APG, while connecting on 39.1% of his three-point attempts. Prior to getting called up by the Grizzlies, Munford scored an impressive 20.4 PPG to go along with 6.4 APG and a .412 3PT% for the 2015/16 Bakersfield Jam in the D-League.

The Clippers’ roster had featured 15 players on guaranteed salaries, with Wright and Munford representing the only non-guaranteed camp invitees, so the moves don’t come as a surprise. While Los Angeles could tweak its roster during the final couple weeks before the regular season begins, it appears the team will head into opening night with its current 15-man squad.

Felton: Clippers Don't Have Locker Room Problems

  • Free agent addition Raymond Felton said the rumors of discontent in the Clippers‘ locker room are untrue, relays Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. The 12-year veteran, who came over from the Mavericks in July, said stories of personality clashes involving Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are greatly exaggerated. “You hear a lot of negative stuff through the years about this team when you’re on other teams,” Felton said. “But being here, this team is actually closer than you think. That surprised me. To see that, and add the couple of things I feel like I can add personality-wise off the court, I think we’re going to be all right.”

Brice Johnson Out Indefinitely With Back Injury

Clippers rookie Brice Johnson has suffered a herniated disc in his lower back and will be out of action for an indefinite amount of time as a result, Jeff Goodman of reports. The goal is for the forward to avoid surgery, and Johnson will be miss at least four-to-six weeks, Goodman notes. The injury occurred during L.A.’s preseason contest against the Raptors.

The loss of Johnson isn’t a major blow to the Clippers, seeing as Blake Griffin, Brandon Bass, DeAndre Jordan, and Marreese Speights are all ahead of him on the team’s frontcourt depth chart. However, it will certainly set the No. 25 overall pick’s development back in his rookie campaign.

Johnson appeared in the team’s first two preseason games, averaging just 1.0 point and 1.0 rebound in 5.6 minutes per outing. The 22-year-old was extremely solid in summer league play in Las Vegas this offseason, notching 15.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 31.1 minutes. His shooting line was .500/.000/.850.

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