The Clippers acknowledge the decision to trade away Tobias Harris was difficult, but they believe it was necessary to build the perennial title contender they envision, writes Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times. Harris was sent to the Sixers last week in exchange for some assets — rookie guard Landry Shamet and a package of draft picks — that could be used to acquire another star, possibly Pelicans center Anthony Davis. They also hope to open enough cap space for two max offers in free agency with an eye on building the NBA’s next super team.
“I mean, it really stinks because you love the guy and what he means to the team,” president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said about losing Harris. “But what you have to do, you have to fast-forward and close your eyes and visualize. In order to build a sustainable championship contender, there are going to have to be some really hard and tough decisions to be made.”
Owner Steve Ballmer has instructed Frank and team consultant Jerry West to build for the future without sacrificing this season. The Clippers entered the All-Star break eighth in the West at 32-27 and remain confident they can make the playoffs without Harris.
There’s more news from Los Angeles:
- The Clippers were active at the trade deadline, but because they brought in so many players with expiring contracts, another roster shakeup is likely in the offseason, notes Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. Ivica Zubac, JaMychal Green, Garrett Temple and Wilson Chandler all have expiring contracts and may not return next season, depending how successful the organization is in free agency.
- Lakers president Magic Johnson believes the NBA has a different tampering standard for him than the rest of the league. In a video clip tweeted by Carolina Blitz, Johnson refuses to comment about the possibility of signing Kemba Walker this summer. “You know I can’t answer any questions about no players because every time I do it, I get fined, but anybody else do it, they don’t get fined, so I’m going to stay away from that,” Johnson said.
- In the wake of their failed attempt to land Davis, the Lakers have a leadership gap that has to be addressed by Johnson, GM Rob Pelinka, owner Jeanie Buss and LeBron James, writes Andy Kamenetzky of The Athletic.