Clippers Notes: Playoffs, Green, Temple, Arena

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer wants to see his team in the playoffs, even though it would mean surrendering this year’s first-round pick, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic. Sources tell Amick that Ballmer has made his wishes clear to the organization, although it was widely assumed that the Clippers were resigned to a second straight non-playoff season when they traded Tobias Harris to the Sixers earlier this month.

L.A.’s draft choice, which is owed to the Celtics, is lottery protected, which means the Clippers keep it if they don’t make the postseason, but lose it if they do. The pick has the same protection for next year, then becomes a 2022 second-rounder if the Clippers miss the playoffs in both seasons.

While it might be nice to hold onto the pick for an infusion of young talent or an asset to chase Anthony Davis, the Clippers believe a playoff appearance is more important and could be a valuable selling point when they chase free agents this summer.

“I think the race, alone, would be a learning tool. If we can make it and they get in, you can’t have a better teacher than the playoffs,” coach Doc Rivers told Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. “You can talk about the playoffs all you want, but it’s a different beast.”

There’s more Clippers news to pass along:

  • The Clippers have the 22nd-toughest schedule over the rest of the season, placing them between their closest competitors — the Lakers at ninth and the Kings at 25th — Amick adds in the same story. In addition to their other reasons for wanting to reach the postseason, the Clippers are very immersed in trying to best their cross-town rivals, especially when they might be competing with the Lakers for the same free agents.
  • JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple didn’t have to wait long after the trade deadline for their return to Memphis, Woike writes in a separate story. They faced the Grizzlies Friday, helping their new team pick up a key win in the playoff race. “It’s just a competitive thing,” Rivers explained. “Sometimes it’s free agency, sometimes it’s trades, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. You still want to beat your old team.”
  • Discussions with Inglewood officials about building a new arena began 10 months earlier than anyone previously admitted, according to Nathan Fenno of The Los Angeles Times, who reviewed more than 1,100 pages of emails and other documents that were made public. Ballmer wants his own facility for greater control of scheduling dates, but the project is locked up in a legal battle.
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15 thoughts on “Clippers Notes: Playoffs, Green, Temple, Arena

    • hiflew

      How is he crazy or delusional? They are currently in a virtual tie for the 6 seed. The whole point of playing is to win the championship, not to get better draft picks. You can only win the championship if you make the playoffs.

        • hiflew

          Boston still has the pick. They can still trade it in a package for AD whether it comes to them this year or next. I think it would be better to just go ahead and give them the 18th pick (or whatever) this year in a weak draft.

          • FromTheCheapSeats

            Right on. Outside of the top five, first round picks are an absolute crapshoot.

            Get it over with. There’s a lot to be said for making the postseason. Being a fringe playoff team isn’t as bad a spot as people make it to be.

            Tanking hasn’t worked out for anyone in the last 15 years. Philly may ultimately wind up with a championship, but they haven’t yet. And how many fans really want to suffer through three straight 60+ loss seasons?

            • hiflew

              Even IN the top 5, they are an absolute crapshoot. Usually 1 out of every top 5 is a complete bust and another 1-2 are disappointing at best. The entire draft is nothing but luck and opportunity.

              Kyle Kuzma is a good example of opportunity. He was drafted in the 20s. Usually the teams that pick there do not rely on rookies. He would have been shuttled back and forth to the G League and still might not have received a real chance to shine. But since the Lakers got him, he had to play and show he was worthy of being in the NBA.

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      How so?

      Steve Ballmer scares the crap out of the rest of the NBA. The dude has the potential to be the league’s version of George Steinbrenner; an owner that is completely immune to economics that affect the other teams.

      Mark Cuban is mega rich. Steve Ballmer’s net worth is nearly FOURTEEN TIMES Cuban’s. This guy is playing by a completely different set of rules. Luxury tax? Bwahaha!

  1. Guest617

    clippers owe lottery protected 1st rd pick to celts + traded leading scorer tobias harris = strategy mini rebuild. kawhi leonard and his new 12M san diego mansion will sign withe clips. you can’t ignore that

  2. tatumszn2018

    The media wants the Clips to tank to keep their pick which ranges from 12-14 should they miss the playoffs. Silly narrative.

    • x%sure

      Yes it is too late to get a top draft pick, so go for the playoffs. Make sure Kawhi knows he would be joining a contender.

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