Stein’s Latest: Clippers, Warriors, Westbrook

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer believes his franchise can win an NBA championship before their co-tenants in Los Angeles and will look to add star talent this offseason. Marc Stein of the New York Times puts the “over/under” for superstars signed by the Clips this summer at one, as he writes in the mailbag section of his latest newsletter.

Stein adds that Kawhi Leonard is still the most likely superstar to join Ballmer’s team this summer. Los Angeles has a desirable situation for any star, and with their collection of draft picks and players on team-friendly deals, the Clippers could feasibly sign someone like Leonard and swing a deal that gives him a top running mate.

Stein has more in his latest newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

  • One Western Conference scout told Stein that this year’s version of Steve Kerr‘s Warriors may not be as sharp as the teams in the past. “I just question the Warriors’ ability to continually focus,” the scout said. “It seems like nowadays they need to be punched in the mouth before they’re Golden State. They’re not just coming out on a mission and overwhelming teams. Maybe I will regret saying this, but I just don’t trust them like I used to.”
  • The Warriors‘ familiarity with the Rockets may give them an advantage in a potential playoff rematch, another scout tells Stein. “Stylistically Houston is a very different team,” the scout said. “It takes most teams two games just to try to figure out how they want to deal with Harden. Golden State will already know. And with Ron Adams running the defense, they do a great job of changing it up and not letting Harden get a great rhythm.”
  • The Thunder inked Russell Westbrook to a five-year, $200MM+ extension back in 2017. While the move will face some scrutiny as Westbrook ages, Stein reminds readers that the alternative to the extension was risking the former MVP walking out the door as Kevin Durant previously did.
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22 thoughts on “Stein’s Latest: Clippers, Warriors, Westbrook

  1. kenleyfornia2

    Clippers best chance at a title was 2015 when they were up 3-1 in the 2nd round

  2. greg1

    The Paul/Jordan/Griffin Clips never really had a chance at a title, hence why they were broken up. Be interesting to see if they get Leonard or someone else this summer. Some pretty good pieces there, and the playoff push definitely makes them more attractive to star players. I see them as much more likely to land someone than the Lakers are.

  3. Jkolti

    You cant put the over/under at 1, that would be impossible to bet. Gotta go 0.5 or 1.5

    • x%sure

      It’s possible I think, but overly profitable for the house. Gotta give bettors a chance.

  4. madmanTX

    That’s so stupid: the Warriors have the advantage because they played Houston before. Yeah we’ll, the Rockets have the advantage: same reason. Makes as much sense.

    • They don’t have an advantage at all by playing them. They lost to them and didn’t figure out how to beat them. I don’t understand your logic. They lost.

  5. Z-A

    Wonder if the Thunder would try and reset. Trade Westbrook, trade PG13. Trade Adams. They’ll find a trade partner it’s just a matter of what they could get. PG13 take your pick of Lakers assets, Boston, Knicks. Someone is going to lose out on AD, or they all might. But where do the Thunder go from here they literally can’t improve the roster. They only have 16-18M really in expiring contracts. What will that get them and is it better than Roberson and 2Pat.

    • afsooner02

      They’ll never trade Russ unless he asks to be traded. He’s the face of the franchise and the anti-durant. He stayed with okc when durant played coy and dumped okc on July 4th without telling them. Russ will stay in okc unless he wants out. No way the team dumps him.

      • Z-A

        They super maxed him, most players are not going to turn that down. Pay someone 40M a year they’ll stay regardless of how bad the outlook is. AD and Kawhi may end up being the exceptions. Both getting bad advice imo.

        • afsooner02

          Doesn’t matter what his pay check is….my point is still valid. You don’t think we offered KD the same?

          • Z-A

            No, b/c it’s a rule that was made b/c of KD. KD left, the CBA created the Supermax to entice players to stay on their current squads. So KD was never offered the Supermax since it came into existence a year after he left.

  6. Yep it is

    Chris Paul got hurt last year and the Rockets should of won. That won’t be the case this year. The Rockets in 6.

    • rsalas70

      Yep it is…remember, Iggy was out for the Dubs too. Series should have ended sooner.

      • Are you seriously comparing Iggy to CP3???
        CP3 = superstar
        Iggy = role player from bench at best

        • Z-A

          Yea I mean, Iggy is a D and sometimes 3 guy. He had a great finals. Outside of that he has always just been a role player, a good one but just a role player.

          • Chris Paul and his Infamous Hammy. Could be tomorrow, could be next week but you can count on it. No Way Around It. Sad to say but true. I feel for him cuz he wants to be out there. But book it.

    • claude raymond

      Yep. 1, iguodala is an extremely valuable sixth man. He has been huge vs the clippers. They give awards for sixth man. And they aren’t the same without him. He’s not just a “bench” or “role” player. The clippers aren’t the same without Paul. Each is just as valuable. Only 5 can play at a time.

      2, had curry and Durant not missed a lot of time last year with injuries (30 games for curry) then Houston would have not had a better record than gsw and therefore would not have had homecourt advantage v gsw in playoffs.

      I do agree with you that the series goes 6 games. Maybe 5. Gsw has homecourt this year

  7. x%sure

    I like the anonymous scout’s quote on GSW. Well they would be plenty motivated if CLE trades for Walker last year, goes up 2-0 in the 2018 finals and wins the title. That would make this year a redemption campaign for GSW and they sweep everyone like they (and CLE) used to.
    From the dept. of Coulda woulda shoulda.

      • claude raymond

        Point being that same stuff said during the season about the patriots. In the past, many great teams have waited until the playoffs to shift gears

  8. Uncle Sugar

    I think alot of pundits are gonna be surprised this FA coming season……
    Jerry West is a smart Basketball mind…..and he’s Not buying into all the Hype about where FA’s are likely to go as the Media is saying…..
    I’m with West….. there’s No telling where these players end up……
    Kawhi just may end up in a Lakers Uniform……
    Stay Tuned!

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