Los Angeles Clippers

Cavaliers, Clippers Interested In Garnett As Coach

A week after announcing his retirement, Kevin Garnett already has a job offer, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue confirmed today that he has asked Garnett to be part of his coaching staff in Cleveland. “I talked to him about it,” Lue said after practice. “I know his wife is pushing for it a lot. Brandi is pushing for it, trying to get him to come and coach. He says he’s not ready yet. He goes back — ‘I might do it’ — but he’s back and forth. We’ll see. But I’d definitely make a spot for him if he wanted to come back and coach.”

Lue, who called Garnett one of his best friends, was an assistant in Boston when Garnett played there. The Cavaliers coach said he wanted to see Garnett play another season in Minnesota, but would like to team up with him now that the retirement decision has been made.

Cleveland’s coaching staff is already filled, with Larry Drew being promoted to associate head coach this week and Jim Boylan, Mike Longabardi, James Posey and Damon Jones re-signing as assistants. Any coaching job Garnett might take would have to be in an unofficial capacity.

And the Cavaliers may not be his only choice, as the Clippers tweeted a photo this afternoon of Garnett joining them for practice. L.A. coach Doc Rivers, who also has close ties with Garnett from their days with the Celtics, said he would have been glad to have Garnett as a player this season and may be interested in adding him in a coaching capacity. “I’m going to offer him something,” Rivers said. “I don’t want to say too much right now. I just know he’d be a great asset to any team.” 

Nuggets Notes: Arthur, Chandler, Murray

Darrell Arthur received offers from three teams in free agency, but took less to stay with the Nuggets, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. The eighth-year forward said he was contacted by the Wizards, Clippers and Spurs, but decided to accept a three-year, $23MM offer to remain in Denver. Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he appreciates Arthur’s loyalty. “Free agency came around, he told his agents, ‘Listen, get it done with Denver. I don’t even want to talk to anyone else,'” Malone said. “He left millions of dollars on the table because he believes in what we’re doing. That makes you feel really good because Darrell Arthur is about all the right things.”

There’s more tonight out of Denver:

  • After a difficult year away from the game, Wilson Chandler is happy to be back in camp, Dempsey writes in a separate piece. Chandler is finally healthy enough to play after missing all of last season while recovering from hip surgery. The 6’8″ swingman is expected to improve Denver’s perimeter defense and help fill the rebounding void left when Joffrey Lauvergne was traded to Oklahoma City. “He’s a guy that when you look at it, checks more boxes than anybody else with everything he brings to the table,” Malone said. Chandler has three seasons and $36MM left on the extension he signed last summer.
  • The Nuggets are working on versatility with first-round pick Jamal Murray, Dempsey writes in another story. The 6’4″ rookie was a natural shooting guard at Kentucky last season, but Malone wants him to be able to handle either backcourt position. “We’re going to have him play on the ball and off the ball, he’s got to learn all the spots on the floor,” the coach said. “That’s what a good point guard should do anyway. We’ve often talked about the allure of Jamal is that he is a versatile player. He’s going to be fine. He’s a smart kid. He cares. And we have plenty of coaches to help him, if he has any questions in terms of the offense.”

Los Angeles Notes: Lakers, Clippers, World Peace

Back in 2014, top Lakers executive Jim Buss vowed in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that if the franchise didn’t return to Western Conference contention within three or four years, he would resign. However, as Bill Oram of The Orange County Register observes, comments made by Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak this week suggest a less aggressive timeline. While Kupchak said the team needs to improve on last year’s win total (17) by more than just “a game or two,” he stopped short of setting any specific goals related to win totals or playoff contention, and it sounds as if he’s in no rush to hurry along the rebuild. Whether Buss will continue to stick the contention timeline he established publicly two years ago remains to be seen.

Let’s round up a few more notes from out of Los Angeles…

  • As he did a year ago, Metta World Peace will have to “earn his way” onto the Lakers‘ 15-man regular-season roster, Kupchak confirmed on Tuesday (Twitter links via Serena Winters of LakersNation.com). According to Kupchak, the veteran forward knows there’s a possibility he may not remain with the team when the regular season gets underway.
  • As usual, the Clippers will head into the season without a standout player at the small forward position, prompting Doc Rivers to suggest that the competition for the starting spot is “wide open.” Dan Woike of The Orange County Register has the details and the quotes.
  • In a separate piece for The Register, Woike notes that the Clippers significantly bolstered their basketball operations staff this year, having been “understaffed” in the past, per Rivers.
  • The Clippers‘ title window remains open for now, but with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and J.J. Redick eligible to reach the open market in 2017, Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times examines how much time the team will have before that window closes.

Paul Pierce Explains Decision To Play One More Year

  • Noting that the Clippers‘ elimination last season “left a bad taste” in his mouth, Paul Pierce explained why he decided to return to the team for one more year, and Rowan Kavner of Clippers.com has the details and quotes.

Paul Pierce Will Retire After 2016/17 Season

Paul Pierce will return to the Clippers for the 2016/17 season, but he’ll call it a career at season’s end, he announced today in a story for The Players’ Tribune. “This is it, my final season,” Pierce writes at the start his piece. “It’s time to move on from the game of basketball.”Paul Pierce vertical

“Just like any difficult decision, I think you’ve got to be at peace with yourself,” Pierce writes. “I’m at peace with retiring, but I’ve got one more ride left. One more season. One more opportunity. With the Clippers, in the city where I grew up, I feel like I have that opportunity on a great team. We’re hungry. We want to win a championship.”

Pierce, who turns 39 next month, entered the NBA back in 1998 as the 10th overall pick. After spending 15 seasons in Boston, which included a championship and 10 All-Star appearances, Pierce has bounced around between a few teams in recent years, playing for the Nets, Wizards, and Clippers. For his career, he has averaged an even 20.0 PPG to go along with 5.7 RPG, 3.6 APG, and 1.3 SPG in 1,318 regular-season contests. He has also appeared in 163 postseason contests, averaging 19.4 PPG in those games.

There had been some uncertainty this summer as to whether Pierce would even return for the 2016/17 campaign. The decision was described as a 50-50 one earlier in the offseason, though multiple reports in recent months indicated that the veteran forward was leaning toward playing. Pierce’s deal with the Clippers calls for a guaranteed salary worth $3,527,920 this season. He’s also under contract for the 2017/18 league year, but his salary is only partially guaranteed for about $1.1MM.

With Pierce returning to the mix for the upcoming season, the Clippers have 15 players on guaranteed contracts on their cap, meaning it will be an uphill battle for camp invitees like Dorell Wright and Xavier Munford to earn a spot on the team’s regular-season roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Clippers Were Interested In Signing Garnett

The Clippers were interested in signing Kevin Garnett prior to him announcing his retirement from the game after 21 seasons, L.A. coach/executive Doc Rivers told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullen. KG and the Wolves have reportedly agreed to a buyout arrangement that will allow the future Hall-of-Famer to retire while still collecting most of the $8MM salary he was due to earn in 2016/17.

Rivers, who previously had declared Garnett his favorite player to coach, told MacMullen that he spoke with the player about his intentions. “He doesn’t want to play,” Rivers said. “I’m sure he won’t play again. I think he realized, ‘Why am I doing this?’ I would have absolutely been interested in bringing him here. You always find a place for a guy like that, whose voice in the locker room is so strong, so clear, so impactful.

He’s such a great teacher in practice. He should start a course in leadership. The NBA should designate who the best player is on each team and then they could bring Kevin in and he could teach them how to be the best player and the best leader. Better yet, they could bring him and Tim Duncan in and they could teach it together and show people how it can be done in two completely opposite ways.”

Minnesota’s firing of interim coach Sam Mitchell and GM Milt Newton at the completion of the 2015/16 campaign played a major part in Garnett’s decision to walk away from the game, MacMullen relays. Garnett was visibly upset when he received the news of the duo’s ouster and his strained relationship with Wolves owner Glen Taylor further deteriorated as a result, league sources told MacMullen.

Taylor acknowledged this week that he hadn’t spoken with Garnett for months and Rivers noted that Garnett’s departure from Minnesota was not what he had envisioned, and his ownership opportunity has all but vanished, MacMullen writes. “It wasn’t a great ending,” Rivers said. “I’m not going to say too much about it, but once Flip passed away it threw a wrench into everything.”

Rivers did add that Garnett feels “really great” and that he was working out as recently as a couple of weeks ago, the scribe relays. His knee issues, Rivers believes, could be handled with the proper regimen of rest and treatment. “The sad thing is he could play another year if he wanted to,” Rivers told MacMullen. “Maybe that’s why he’s retired but not retired. He loves the young guys on that Minnesota team. They’re great listeners and he loved working with them. It’s too bad it’s ending like this for him.

Garnett does intend to stay in the game in some capacity, Rivers confirmed to MacMullen, and said he’s already thinking up ways to add him to the organization. Garnett does own a home in nearby Malibu, California. “I’m going to offer him something,” Rivers said. “I don’t want to say too much right now. I just know he’d be a great asset to any team.”

Clippers Sign Xavier Munford

SEPTEMBER 22: The Clippers have signed Munford to a non-guaranteed $874,636 summer contract, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.

SEPTEMBER 21: The Clippers have begun adding extra bodies to their training camp roster, reaching an agreement on a deal with free agent guard Xavier Munford, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter).

Munford, 22, 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 still had five openings on their 20-man offseason roster entering the day, but it’s not clear whether there will be any regular-season spots open, since the club’s 15 players all have guaranteed salaries. Munford will likely face an uphill battle to make the team, and could end up back in the D-League to start the 2016/17 campaign.

Clippers, Dorell Wright Agree To Deal

The Clippers have increased their training camp roster count to 17 players, according to Dan Woike of The Orange County Register, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is bringing in veteran forward Dorell Wright.

[RELATED: Clippers to sign Xavier Munford]

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. The Heat elected not to bring back the 6’9″ small forward after the postseason ended.

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.

The Clippers already appear to have their roster for the coming season fairly set, with 15 players on guaranteed salaries. However, the team will bring in a few more players to compete in camp. Wright is the second reported camp invitee for Los Angeles, along with Xavier Munford.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Matt Barnes Almost Joined Clippers This Summer

  • Matt Barnes, who inked a two-year deal with the Kings this summer, almost was a member of the Clippers instead, the forward told J.J. Redick on his podcast (h/t Dan Woike of The Orange County Register). Barnes noted that Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers told him “there’s a spot here for you” at the beginning of free agency, and the two were supposed to meet for dinner, Woike relays. “I was very excited to be coming back to L.A.,” Barnes said. But before the pair could meet, Los Angeles re-signed Wesley Johnson using their mid-level exception, Woike writes. Barnes then reached out to Rivers to see if he was still part of the Clippers’ plan, but Rivers said the Clippers had run out of money, as he told Redick.

Traded Second-Round Picks For 2017 NBA Draft

The 2017 NBA draft is still more than nine months away, but with the start of the regular season fast approaching, it’s worth taking stock of how this season’s results will affect next year’s draft. Depending on how certain teams perform during the 2016/17 campaign, other clubs will have the opportunity to pick up an extra selection or two.

Earlier this week, we looked at the first-round picks that could change hands during the 2017 draft. A few more first-rounders will likely be involved in trades prior to the trade deadline, or leading up to next year’s draft night, but there are already several picks that are ticketed for new teams, depending on where they land.

That’s even more true of the second round — more than half of the league’s second-round picks for 2017 have been involved in trades so far, and while some of those picks will ultimately remain with the sending teams due to protection conditions, many will move to the receiving teams.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the second-round picks that could (or will) change hands. For each selection, we make a note of which team is sending and receiving it, the protection or conditions on the pick, and what will happen if the protection language prevents the pick from being conveyed. For instance, the Heat will send their second-rounder to either the Hawks or Grizzlies, depending on where it lands. The team that doesn’t get a pick from Miami this year will get the Heat’s second-rounder in 2018.

Here are 2017’s traded second-round picks:

Atlanta Hawks

  • From: Brooklyn Nets
  • Protection: None

Atlanta Hawks

  • From: Miami Heat
  • Protection: 31-40
  • If not conveyed: Hawks will receive Heat’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Boston Celtics

  • From: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Protection: None

Boston Celtics

  • From: Los Angeles Clippers
  • Protection: None

Boston Celtics

  • From: Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Protection: None

Brooklyn Nets

  • From: Boston Celtics
  • Conditions: Nets will receive pick (protected 31-45) if Celtics swap first-rounders with Nets.
  • If not conveyed: Celtics’ obligation to Nets is extinguished.

Brooklyn Nets

  • From: Indiana Pacers
  • Protection: 45-60
  • If not conveyed: Nets will have opportunity to get Pacers’ second-rounder (protected 45-60) in 2018.

Denver Nuggets

  • From: Memphis Grizzlies
  • Protection: 31-35
  • If not conveyed: Nuggets will receive Grizzlies’ 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Denver Nuggets

  • From: Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Protection: 31-35
  • If not conveyed: Nuggets will receive Thunder’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Houston Rockets

  • From: Denver Nuggets
  • Protection: None

Houston Rockets

  • From: Portland Trail Blazers
  • Protection: None

Memphis Grizzlies

  • From: Miami Heat
  • Protection: 41-60
  • If not conveyed: Grizzlies will receive Heat’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

New Orleans Pelicans

  • From: Philadelphia 76ers
  • Protection: None

New York Knicks

  • From: Chicago Bulls
  • Protection: None

New York Knicks

  • From: Houston Rockets
  • Protection: None

Philadelphia 76ers

  • From: Two of Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Utah Jazz.
  • Conditions: Sixers will receive the most and least favorable of these four picks.

Utah Jazz

  • From: Two of Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Utah Jazz.
  • Conditions: Jazz will receive the second- and third-most favorable of these four picks, including their own.

The following teams technically acquired second-round draft picks via trade and could receive those selections in 2017. However, these picks are heavily protected and won’t be conveyed to the receiving team unless the sending team finishes with a top-five record in the NBA. If that doesn’t happen, the receiving team is out of luck. The details:

Minnesota Timberwolves

  • From: New Orleans Pelicans
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Pelicans’ obligation to Timberwolves is extinguished.

Orlando Magic

  • From: Sacramento Kings
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Kings’ obligation to Magic is extinguished.

San Antonio Spurs

  • From: Atlanta Hawks
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Hawks’ obligation to Spurs is extinguished.

RealGM’s database of future traded pick details was used in the creation of this post.

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