Los Angeles Clippers Rumors
June 19 at 11:32am CST By Luke Adams
According to ESPN.com's Chad Ford, there's very little consensus on this year's draft class beyond the top six prospects -- Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, Alex Len, Anthony Bennett, and Otto Porter. It seems likely those six players will be selected in some order to start the draft, which means the Kings, picking 7th overall, could be the draft's first real wild card. As we look forward to see what the new regime in Sacramento decides to do with that pick, let's round up a few items out of the Pacific Division....
- While some fans and onlookers may be surprised to see the Clippers pull away from trade talks with the Celtics, Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com explains why it makes some sense for Los Angeles. As Arnovitz writes, there's no real rush for the Clippers, since they could theoretically still work out a deal for Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers after July 1st. Arnovitz also thinks the Clippers are right to be protective of their first-round picks, since those selections are more valuable under the new CBA.
- For years, the Suns have employed general managers who didn't get to hire a head coach of their choosing, or coaches who weren't hired by the current GM. But having hired Ryan McDonough and Jeff Hornacek this offseason, there's a feeling of synergy and energy in Phoenix, as president Lon Babby tells Bob Young of the Arizona Republic. "It’s palpable," Babby said. "You can feel it through the whole
organization. We always envisioned it working this way, and we have a
chance now to make it work."
- Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times explains in detail why the Lakers are extremely unlikely to acquire a player via sign-and-trade this summer.
- Although his lengthy run as the Kings' head of basketball operations came to an end this year, Geoff Petrie is happy to see the franchise stay in Sacramento, writes Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. "That's where my heart was in the whole thing," Petrie said. "In spite of
being grateful to the Maloofs and working for them all those years, I
had really strong feelings that the team needed to stay here. My hat's
off to those people." Petrie also spoke to Jones about sticking around the team helping with draft preparation over the last several weeks, even as his contract is set to expire on June 30th.
June 18 at 3:28pm CST By Luke Adams
3:28pm: Rivers is scheduled to be in Boston on Wednesday, and plans to sit down with Ainge, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter).
12:41pm: With trade talks between the Clippers and Celtics dead in the water, it doesn't appear Doc Rivers will be coaching in Los Angeles next season. What remains to be seen is whether he'll be coaching in Boston. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Rivers is unsure about returning to the Celtics as the team's head coach.
As Wojnarowski reported earlier today, when talks between the Clippers and Celtics ended, GM Danny Ainge called Rivers to inform him he still wanted to see Doc return to Boston and coach the remaining three years on his contract. While Ainge and Rivers are close, it's hard to envision Rivers back on the sidlines for the Celtics next season, considering how far along things got with the Clippers. As one source tied to Celtics ownership and Rivers told Wojnarowski: "You don't just move on from this and act like nothing happened."
Rivers' contract with the Celtics includes a non-compete clause that would prevent him from coaching another NBA team over the next three years, unless Boston received satisfactory compensation. If Rivers were to part ways with the C's, he would likely have plenty of options available to him as a broadcaster.
Resolution on the situation is expected within the next several days, according to Wojnarowski. As the Yahoo! scribe notes, until the Clippers hire a new head coach, it's possible trade talks could be re-opened, but for now it appears the two sides are going their separate ways.
June 18 at 2:33pm CST By Luke Adams
2:33pm: According to tweets from Ramona Shelburne and Arash Markazi of ESPN.com, financial concerns weren't the reason the Clippers pulled out of the deal. The team was prepared to give Rivers a big contract, but didn't want to give up two first-round picks in the move (Twitter links).
11:46am: According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Ainge has called Rivers to inform him that talks are over and that he still wants Rivers back as the Celtics' coach.
11:41am: Sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link) that the Clippers got "cold feet" over the financial commitment necessary to complete the deal. Even if Terry and Lee weren't involved, the Clips would have been paying Jordan's trade kicker and committing a $6-7MM annual salary to Rivers.
11:31am: The Clippers don't appear to be posturing when they say talks are over, according to Turner, who tweets that the deal is "dead, dead, dead." Amick and Dan Woike of the Orange County Register are also hearing the same thing (Twitter links). Celtics GM Danny Ainge confirms to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) that negotiations are over from Boston's perspective as well.
11:01am: After days of negotiating, the Clippers appear to have called off a potential deal with the Celtics that would have sent Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers to L.A., according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). Turner hears from a Clippers executive that the Celtics were asking for too much in the proposed swap.
Earlier today, we heard that while the Celtics would have liked to include Jason Terry's or Courtney Lee's contract in the deal, Boston was willing to hang on to those players if the Clippers gave up two first-round picks. However, according to Turner (via Twitter), the Clippers were unwilling to part with multiple first-rounders in addition to DeAndre Jordan. Los Angeles will move forward with its head coaching search, as owner Donald Sterling prepares to meet with Byron Scott today and Brian Shaw tomorrow, says Turner (via Twitter).
I'm a little surprised that a second first-round pick would be the sticking point for the Clippers, considering how many other concessions the Celtics appear to have made, including agreeing not to include Eric Bledsoe in the deal. The Clippers figured to be a perennial contender in the West for the next several years if they locked up Chris Paul to go along with a roster that would also include Blake Griffin, Garnett, and whatever other assets the team acquired this summer, so those future picks would likely have landed late in the first round.
It would seem to be in the best interests of both teams to get something done -- for the Clippers, it virtually guarantees Paul would re-sign with the team in July, while for the Celtics it would mean starting their rebuilding process in earnest. Both sides wanted closure one way or the other early this week, so it's possible that talks are indeed dead, as Sam Amick of USA Today is also hearing (Twitter link). But as Amick notes, until the Clippers officially hire a head coach besides Rivers, it's hard to believe both teams would truly walk away from this deal.
June 18 at 2:30pm CST By Luke Adams
As we look forward to what could be the final game of the 2012/13 season tonight, let's check in on a few odds and ends from around the NBA....
- Hawks GM Danny Ferry was noncommittal when asked by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution if the team planned to extend qualifying offers to Jeff Teague and Ivan Johnson. I'd be pretty surprised if Teague didn't receive a qualifying offer, considering he's unlikely to accept the one-year offer and it could always be rescinded if Atlanta needed to clear cap space.
- In addition to Dario Saric, Norvel Pelle, and the 14 international prospects we identified in yesterday's post, Viktor Gaddefors and Joshua Simmons also withdrew from the 2013 draft, the NBA announced today.
- Warriors head coach Mark Jackson tells Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link) that he and the team haven't had any recent talks about a contract extension, and he's fine with that.
- Although the Mavericks were recently named as a potential suitor for Monta Ellis, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com thinks the veteran guard is "far from a perfect fit" for the Mavs.
- The Bulls could go in a number of different directions on draft night, but the most likely outcome will see the club drafting a big man, says Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com.
- They may not have reached a trade agreement with the Celtics, but the Clippers still figure to be very active this offseason, writes Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
June 18 at 8:28am CST By Luke Adams
Even with Game Six of the NBA Finals less than 12 hours away, the hottest topic around the Association remains the trade talks between the Clippers and Celtics involving Kevin Garnett, DeAndre Jordan, and Doc Rivers. We rounded up a ton of reports on the story yesterday, but by the end of the night, the two sides had yet to reach an agreement. As the two sides continue to negotiate, we'll round up the latest rumors on the proposed deal below, with any additional updates coming throughout the day:
- As we noted last night, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the deal may get done without the Clippers giving up Eric Bledsoe or taking on Jason Terry's or Courtney Lee's contracts. In that scenario, Boston would be seeking Jordan and two first-round picks. Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported that the Clips were unwilling to acquire both Terry and Lee, but still may take on one of the two -- however, according to Wojnarowski, L.A. has refused to take on additional salary "in any combination."
- In the event an agreement is reached, the Clippers would have to pay about $3.5MM for Jordan's 15% trade kicker and would also be prepared to offer Rivers a five-year contract worth about $35MM, writes Wojnarowski. So the move would represent a significant financial commitment for the franchise even without Terry or Lee involved.
- While there's still optimism that a deal will get done, the Clippers are preparing a contingency plan for their head coaching opening, having owner Donald Sterling meet with Byron Scott on Tuesday and Brian Shaw on Wednesday, according to Shelburne and Stein. As for Rivers, he remains "torn" on whether he'd return to the Celtics should this deal fall apart, says Wojnarowski.
- Although various outlets are reporting slightly different details on the talks, all of the latest reports, including those from ESPN.com, Yahoo!, and Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, agree that Bledsoe is off the table and won't be part of the deal if it gets done.
June 17 at 10:31pm CST By Luke Adams
The trade talks between the Celtics and Clippers aren't quite dead yet, but they also didn't move forward at all yesterday, as we detailed in a pair of posts rounding up Sunday's updates. Though the two sides have reached a stalemate for now, they continue to engage in talks and hope remains of finding an agreement, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). We'll keep tabs on today's new items right here, with any further updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- The price to complete the deal may come down to the Clippers' willingness to include a second first-round pick, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. After pushing for the Clippers to take back long-term contracts, the C's relented and have shown willingness to complete the deal for DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks. The Clippers are willing to give the Celtics Jordan and one draft pick, but are resisting a second future pick. Boston has also dropped their pursuit of Eric Bledsoe, which could help speed things along.
- The two sides have decided to leave the office for the evening and will reconnect tomorrow morning, league sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
- Some sources insist to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (on Twitter) that the two sides are just posturing and a deal will eventually get done.
- Whether Rivers is L.A.-bound or not, Garnett would waive his no-trade clause to go to the Clippers if they have the right coach and Paul is there, a source tells Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (on Twitter).
- The Celtics are waiting to hear from the Clippers on a couple of options that would give Boston payroll flexibility in a Doc Rivers deal, sources tell Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). "The Celtics aren't winning a championship next year, so if they don't have to pay their coach $7MM, that's a home run," one source said (link). Sources also tell Berger (link) that Boston's motivation to do a deal goes beyond moving Kevin Garnett's contract and another multiyear deal, such as Jason Terry or Courtney Lee.
- A Clippers source says that they're not planning any press conferences right now, Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com tweets.
- While Paul Pierce isn't part of the deal being discussed by the two teams, there's an expectation around the league that he'd eventually get to the Clippers if this trade happened, says ESPN.com's Marc Stein (Twitterlinks). That would likely mean Pierce being bought out on or before June 30th by the Celtics or another team (if he's traded in a separate deal).
- A deal between the two sides is "close to being done very, very soon," a source tells Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
- If the Clippers were willing to take on either Courtney Lee or Jason Terry in the trade, the Celtics would be open to relenting on Bledsoe, tweets ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
- According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter), the Clippers have also talked about adding Caron Butler's $8MM expiring contract to the deal.
- Talks between the Clippers and Celtics have slowed down, according to
Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, who says the deal will come down to
how creative the two teams can get (Twitterlinks).
- A source insists to Bulpett that Danny Ainge would have no problem welcoming Doc Rivers back to Boston's bench -- it's just a matter of how uncomfortable it would be for Doc and the players (Twitter link).
- With both teams requiring some sense of clarity and closure, expect talks
to reach a conclusion one way or the other today or tomorrow, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- As the two sides search for a compromise, the Celtics have shown a
willingness to find another asset to supplant Eric Bledsoe in the deal, according to Wojnarowski.
- Wojnarowski reports that the Clippers are prepared to give Rivers a
five-year deal, and believe that acquiring Garnett and hiring Rivers
would ensure that Chris Paul re-signs with the team.
- The idea of bringing back Rivers next season has become less appealing to Boston, as one league executive tells Wojnarowski: "There's no putting the genie back in the bottle. You can't pretend this didn't happen and just go back to work."
- Resolution on the proposed deal is expected in the coming days, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, who says the Clippers aren't likely to relent and include Bledsoe. If Celtics GM Ainge decides that acquiring DeAndre Jordan and first two-round picks is fair compensation for losing Garnett and Rivers, the deal will get done, writes Amick.
- Amick also suggests that if Rivers were willing to give back some of his earnings as a way to "ease Ainge's pain," it could move negotiations along. I'd be surprised if it came to that though.
- Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald agrees with Amick's report, writing that it seems clear Boston won't get all the pieces (Bledsoe, Jordan, two first-round picks) that they want out of the deal. If neither side is willing to budge, the proposed trade would have to be changed or expanded to include other pieces, says Bulpett.
- Bledsoe is the linchpin holding up the deal, says Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe. As Amick writes in his piece, the Clippers want to keep Bledsoe out of the deal with the Celtics because it would allow them to try to use him as a trade chip in another move, whether it's for Arron Afflalo, Danny Granger, or even Dwight Howard.
- If the Celtics do part ways with Rivers, don't expect the team to pursue former assistant Tom Thibodeau, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Despite some "whispers" about the possibility, Cowley says the Celtics know the Bulls wouldn't grant them permission to speak to Thibodeau.
June 17 at 9:55pm CST By Zach Links
Earlier today, Bucks guard Monta Ellis informed the Bucks that he'll be exercising his early termination option this offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. The guard, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, has the Lakers on his wish list, but that seems pretty far fetched given their cap situation. Well, we can add another fiscal longshot to the bunch as Ellis likes the Grizzlies too, according to Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times (on Twitter). Ellis probably isn't a fit for the stats-driven Memphis front office either, as his 16.3 PER was good for 27th last season amongst point guards. Here's more from around the Association..
- Time is on the Clippers' side in their trade talks with the Celtics, a source tells Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (on Twitter). "[The] Clippers can be patient and [the] C's will be in position to get something rather than nothing," the source says.
- The Bucks announced that they will host a mini-camp for free agents this week. Damion James, Dominique Jones, and Salim Stoudamire will be among those with NBA experience in attendance.
- J. Michael of CSNWashington.com (on Twitter) isn't convinced that the Wizards have to target size after seeing the Heat and Spurs do well with small lineups.
- The Suns withdrew from contract talks to make Roy Rogers an assistant coach on Jeff Hornacek’s new staff, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
June 16 at 9:35pm CST By Zach Links
While the big talk in the NBA right now is whether Doc Rivers will wind up coaching for the Celtics or Clippers next season, there's always the possibility that he takes the 2013/14 season off. If that's the case, Rivers could go from behind the bench to back behind a microphone, a source tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. "You guys (media) have been around Doc long enough to know that's always been something he's talked about," the source said. "So it shouldn't come as a surprise. And frankly, now is probably as good a time as any for him to go that route." Here's more from around the Association..
- One team picking in the lottery promised Dario Saric that they would draft him this year if he guaranteed he'd play in the NBA next year, but he said no, tweets Chad Ford of ESPN.com. Earlier tonight we learned that the Croatian forward will formally withdraw from the draft tomorrow with an eye on the 2014 draft.
- Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld wonders what the next move for the Clippers will be. The Clippers want to be active on the open market, but it's difficult to project how they will fill out their roster with free agents until they’ve taken care of their own players, especially Chris Paul.
- This weekend's D-League tryouts are over, and Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside rounds up the intriguing prospects.
- Before tonight's game, Heat big man Chris Andersen was asked about his thoughts on George Karl's dismissal from the Nuggets. “It’s never a good feeling to get released or get fired, so I can imagine how he feels," the former Nugget said, tweets Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida.
June 16 at 7:17pm CST By Zach Links
Suddenly, the Clippers offseason has gone from a will he/won't he situation surrounding Chris Paul to much, much more. Will the core of the Celtics franchise pick up a one way ticket out west? Here's more on that and other notes out of L.A...
- The Celtics and Clippers haven't had any conversation today on a potential deal, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). We heard earlier today that the C's want Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and at least one future first-round pick in return for Garnett and Rivers. They're also insisting the Clippers take on the contract of either Jason Terry or Courtney Lee.
- Former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins is not expected to do a second interview for the Clippers' vacant job, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (via Twitter). It's a two-man race for the job between Hollins and Brian Shaw, independent of the Doc Rivers situation. Shaw, however, will do a second interview (link).
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links) spoke with a well-placed insider on the talks who cautions not to be surprised if there's no movement on the deal today. He added that until the Clippers hire a coach not named Doc Rivers, or until the Celtics make an official announcement that Doc is staying, this isn't over.
- While a deal makes sense for both sides, the roadblocks in place are substantial, writes Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.
June 16 at 12:59pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Magic appear to have heavy interest in acquiring Eric Bledsoe in return for Arron Afflalo, according to Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com, who delivers his latest mock draft. That jibes with the notion that the Clippers are holding out for an additional asset in the rumored trade proposal, which would also send Caron Butler to Orlando. Kotoch adds that Cavs executive Zydrunas Ilgauskas is pushing Cleveland to take Alex Len first overall. Here's more from around the NBA:
- The Nuggets plan for most of their interviews for a new GM to occur once the team hires a coach, reports Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post. Wednesday's scheduled meeting with Lionel Hollins will be the first formal interview the team will conduct for the coaching job, and it's unclear when any other candidates will be interviewed, Dempsey notes.
- Nuggets president Josh Kroenke tells Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post that he wouldn't have allowed a team other than the Raptors to have permission to speak with former GM Masai Ujiri. Kroenke admits he put himself in a difficult position because of his friendship with Ujiri, who had a soft spot for the Raptors organization for which he worked once before.
- The Rockets have paid the luxury tax just once in the 15 seasons its been in existence, but owner Leslie Alexander tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he'd be "thrilled to pay a tax if we have a championship-caliber team."
- Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News glances at the personnel decisions facing the Spurs this summer once the Finals are over.
- Tyson Chandler tells Marc Berman of the New York Post that he tried all season long to convince former teammate and new Nets head coach Jason Kidd not to end his playing career. Chandler doesn't believe Kidd's 10-game scoreless streak in the postseason influenced his decision.
- Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com checks in with free agent center Jerome Jordan, who'll be playing in summer leagues for both the Knicks and Pacers and will also take part in mini-camps with the Spurs and Mavericks.
- Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun figures the Raptors may carry only 13 players next season, given their proximity to tax territory (Twitter links).