A report last week indicated that Clippers teammates Montrezl Harrell and Paul George got into a heated verbal exchange during Game 2 against Denver, and Shams Charania of The Athletic suggests that wasn’t necessarily an isolated incident. According to Charania, multiple teammates had “verbal spats” with George during the playoffs, citing a perceived lack of accountability from him.
As Charania details, George preached after the Clippers’ elimination that everyone must remain committed and return next season ready to make another run at the championship. However, sources tell The Athletic that George’s comments were met with “some eye rolls and bewilderment,” since there was a sense that the star forward hadn’t backed up his words with actions during an inconsistent postseason. Additionally, a number of the Clips’ key rotation players are up for free agency, meaning the club likely won’t be able to simply run it back with the same group next season.
Here’s more on the Clippers:
- Charania reiterates that rival teams expect the Clippers to explore the trade market in the hopes of acquiring a backcourt play-maker. We passed along word last week that L.A. is expected to target a play-making point guard.
- While Montrezl Harrell and the Clippers have mutual interest in a new deal, the Sixth Man of the Year will have multiple suitors in free agency, according to Charania, who adds that JaMychal Green will also draw interest if he turns down his $5MM player option. Green received multiple offers last summer before choosing the Clippers and some of those same teams may pursue him again if he’s available, says Charania.
- Few NBA teams that have blown 3-1 leads in the postseason have bounced back and made deeper playoff runs the following season, Andrew Greif points out for The Los Angeles Times. While the Clippers can use the 2017 Warriors – who won a title after blowing a 3-1 lead in 2016 – as an inspiration, that team added Kevin Durant after its ’16 collapse.