While president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank and owner Steve Ballmer will ultimately make personnel decisions for the Clippers this summer, consultant Jerry West – who will represent the franchise at Tuesday’s draft lottery – figures to have a “significant say,” writes Marc Stein of The New York Times.
“I don’t just want to be a figurehead,” West said of his role with the Clippers. “You want to be a part of the decision-making process. I don’t have the final decision here, but I do have a voice.”
Within his look at West’s role in Los Angeles, Stein notes that the veteran executive helped convince the Clippers to go through with the Blake Griffin trade, even if it made the team look bad after having just extended Griffin seven months earlier. West, who felt his influence was fading in Golden State, elected to ink a two-year contract with L.A. last summer, and may ultimately stay with the franchise longer than that.
“If he still wants to do it, we can go beyond that,” said Clippers owner Ballmer. “Now that I know him better, I can’t see him retiring.”
Here’s more from Stein:
- Within his weekly newsletter for The Times, Stein writes that “word is” the Raptors quietly explored the possibility of trading DeMar DeRozan during the 2017 offseason. That doesn’t mean that the Raps want to move DeRozan or that they’ll explore trade options for him again this summer. However, Stein fully expects Toronto to do its due diligence on the trade market — not just with DeRozan, but with everyone on the roster.
- There’s a general belief that the Milwaukee head coaching job is the one Mike Budenholzer wants most, but that’s not a lock, according to Stein, who suggests that the former Hawks coach will have multiple meetings with both the Bucks and Raptors. Stein writes that Budenholzer “could well have preferences that outsiders aren’t privy to” after those meetings. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has said that the Raptors opened talks with Budenholzer over the weekend and continued those conversations on Monday, while Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca tweeted today that Toronto has already met with Budenholzer.
- Speaking of the Raptors‘ head coaching job, Stein also reported on Monday that Toronto is interviewing assistants Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian for that position today.