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 Register. Luc 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.
There’s more tonight out of the Pacific Division:
- Even as they were making history with 73 wins, the Warriors were dealing with Kevin Durant rumors all season, Andrew Bogut tells Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. Bogut believes the Warriors knew well before summer that they were likely to sign Durant, and he says he isn’t surprised that he was traded away. “Andre Iguodala and I knew it was one of us that was going to go, and it was me,” Bogut said. “That’s part of the business. I have no gripes about it. You get a Hall of Famer — he’s going to be a Hall of Famer — in K.D. If I’m the GM, I do the same deal. That’s just the reality of the business.”
- New coach Luke Walton helped lure Luol Deng to the Lakers, according to Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. Deng liked the impressive history of the franchise and the idea of living in Los Angeles, and of course the four-year, $72MM offer was a huge factor. But he says the transition to Walton, who took over the team after serving as Steve Kerr‘s lead assistant in Golden State, helped seal the decision. “He’s new to coaching, but he has a positive mindset,” Deng said. “The way he coaches, he really respects players and demands respect back.”
- At age 31, newly signed Anthony Tolliver wants to show the Kings he can be more than just a mentor, relays Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento gave the small forward a two-year, $16MM deal over the summer to leave Detroit, but he will have to compete for playing time with Omri Casspi and Matt Barnes. Tolliver doesn’t mind taking on a mentor’s role, but he want to be thought of as a player first. “Maybe in a few years, with a few more miles on my body, maybe I’ll be in that position to be a locker room guy,” Tolliver said. “But right now I feel I can still compete and help teams win games. That’s why I came here to get that chance. Looks good so far.”