Clippers owner Steve Ballmer stressed that the team’s sale pitch to DeAndre Jordan which included an endorsement deal with Lexus for $200K a year, and subsequently garnered the organization a $250K fine from the league, played no part in the center’s decision to spurn Dallas and return to Los Angeles, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. “Today, the NBA announced it has fined the team for violating NBA rules in our presentation to DeAndre Jordan on July 2nd,” Ballmer relayed in an internal team memo (hat tip to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register). “The League’s investigation concluded that the presentation of a potential third-party opportunity had no impact on DeAndre’s decision to re-sign, and having been a part of the process, I can attest to this fact. As we, and the basketball world, observed DJ ultimately chose to stay with the Clippers because he felt it was his best opportunity to win a championship, and because of his desire to remain part of the Clippers family.”
Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:
- The L.A. D-Fenders, the Lakers‘ D-League affiliate, filled out head coach Casey Owens‘ staff with Paul Woolpert, Brian Walsh, Jermaine Byrd, and Will Scott, who were all named as assistants, tweets Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News.
- The one-year, minimum salary training camp deals that Henry Sims, Deonte Burton, and Cory Jefferson inked with the Suns include no guaranteed salary, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders notes (via Twitter).
- Lakers 2015 first-rounder D’Angelo Russell believes that he and 2014 second round pick Jordan Clarkson can be an effective tandem playing together in the backcourt, as he told ESPN 710’s Mychal Thompson and Mike Trudell during a radio appearance. “I feel like we’re dangerous for our team,” Russell said of he and Clarkson. “We both rebound. We both can push the break, and we both can run the wing. So if he gets it and I’m running the wing, he can set up the offense or make the right decisions and vice versa with me. I feel like it’s dangerous, and we can play together easily. I think it will just take some time.“