McGruder, 27, was claimed by the Clippers after being waived by Miami earlier in the month. Because he was released after March 1, NBA rules prohibit him from playing in the postseason — causing him to participate in practice and watch games from the sidelines.
“They welcomed me like no other,” McGruder said of the Clippers. “They made me feel welcome, and it’s been a great experience just getting to meet the guys and see how everything works around here. It’s basically like a recruiting visit.”
Los Angeles respected the grit and determination McGruder has played with in his short professional career, believing in his ability and bringing him on board.
“You play against people, they leave an impression,” teammate Patrick Beverley said of McGruder. “The impression he left on us is he plays extremely hard.”
The Clippers can extend a qualifying offer to McGruder by June 29 and allow him to enter restricted free agency, though it’s unclear where their plans stand ahead of the offseason.
There’s more out of the Pacific Division today:
- Sam Vecenie of The Athletic examines the Suns’ offseason and potential draft options, noting that several sources around the NBA believe Phoenix may prefer to end up with Ja Morant rather than Zion Williamson. Suns general manager James Jones, according to Vecenie, is enamored with Morant’s playing abilities — coupled with the fact that his team needs a point guard.
- Warriors coach Steve Kerr agrees with Andre Iguodala that he could play beyond his current contract, which is set to expire at the end of next season, as relayed by Mark Medina of The Mercury News. “I think he can play beyond this contract, if he really wants,” Kerr said. “He may not want to be. He may just want to go to the golf course and call it a career. But he can keep playing if he wants.” Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, has averaged 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists in a career-low 23.2 minutes per game this season.
- The playoffs could be a prime chance for Draymond Green to raise his value ahead of potential contract extension talks with the Warriors this summer, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. When asked if he could use the playoffs as an opportunity to boost his value entering any potential negotiations, Green said, “Not at all. No, I can’t negotiate any contract right now, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to stress myself out trying to negotiate it in my head. It makes no sense. It’s a waste of time and energy.”