Speaking to reporters on Wednesday for his annual postseason press conference, Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said the team will look to upgrade the roster this summer after a disappointing end to 2021/22, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Southern California News Group.
“We’re going to have to look at areas of improvement,” Frank said. “We want to make sure that we maximize our opportunities and be able to do something that’s never been done in the history of this organization.”
The Clippers failed to advance to the playoffs after losing both of their play-in tournament games, partly due to the season-long absence of Kawhi Leonard (ACL recovery) and Paul George‘s elbow injury (as well as his positive COVID-19 result the day of the second play-in loss). Frank said the team’s inability to win a championship with its star wings has shown “how fragile the difference between winning and losing is,” but he’ll use the playoff absence as “fuel for a great offseason,” per Swanson.
Frank said he’s encouraged by Leonard’s recovery progress, but declined to give any timetables for a potential return.
Here’s more from Frank’s press conference, courtesy of Swanson:
- L.A. holds the Bird rights to unrestricted free agent Robert Covington, who recently said he was intrigued by the idea of playing with Leonard and George. Frank said he was happy to hear that, because the team would like to bring him back. “RoCo was very, very good for us. I’m excited to hear that he likes it here. We look forward and we’d like to be able to keep him here.”
- Isaiah Hartenstein is also a free agent, but the Clips only holds his Non-Bird rights. The big man surpassed Frank’s expectations this season. “We actually recruited Isaiah … we put a lot of effort into it,” said Frank, who noted Hartenstein’s qualities, including his play-making, paint protection, floater and chemistry with the team. “Now, did we think he was going to be able to deliver at this high a level? No.”
- From a developmental perspective, the Frank said the season was a great success, according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. “From a process standpoint [it] went better than expected,” Frank said, calling the development of the team’s young players a “huge silver lining.”
- League sources tell Greif the team will look to add a point guard this summer, but Frank was coy when asked about the possibility. “The game now is played a little bit differently, there are some obviously elite point guards in the league, but a lot of teams are playing through their wings like we do,” Frank said. “So I look at it as do we have enough play initiators between Kawhi, PG, Norm [Norman Powell], Reggie [Jackson], Terance [Mann]? I don’t know; we’ll look at it. We’re not averse to it, but we’ll continue to evaluate and see if we have to address it.”
- Frank is hopeful that Jason Preston (foot surgery) and Jay Scrubb (turf toe surgery) will be ready for Summer League, Greif relays.
8 thoughts on “Clippers’ Lawrence Frank Talks Roster, Offseason, More”
Run it back Clips. I hope Hardenstein stays. I thought he was a good rotational piece and he improved throughout the season. Roco is coming back
They may very well run it back, but for all intents & purposes it is clear that this team with this roster will never win a championship, they are getting old real fast & don’t have a dominant big guy, add their injury prone stars… the result is not what they desire!
If they sign everyone back they have to top roster in the League with a healthy PG and Kawhi.
I suspect Reggie Jackson could be pulled away if they get that PG… 32yo, $11.2mil expiring.
I don’t see major changes here. Mann is certainly serviceable as a backup PG, but a vet like Goran Dragic could be a nice depth piece. I think the Clips will lose Hartenstein and attempt to reunite with Montrezl Harrell or ink someone similar to the mold of a Chris Boucher … Not plausible to keep both Batum and Covington. Batum has a player option and should exercise his free agency. RoCo will have plenty of competition for his services on the open market.
Sign and trade RoCo and Marcus Morris for Tobias Harris and their pick from (Springer/Joe/Reed/Bassey/2nd round pick)
Would love for the Sixers to bring RoCo back, he offers solid defence, 3 point shooting and can play at either forward spot. Morris coming to his home town would be really cool and I think he is exactly what we need at the 4. More physicality and alpha.
Lord Covington us not the same RoCo that we knew and loved. Hard pass, and I have been a big trade Tobias guy…but he has closed my mouth in the playoffs so far. Not sure I call him a salary dump candidate if he plays like he has been
You have Now made the Clippers payroll 180 mil + other exceptions/ rookies to be signed getting probably close to 190 , not happening
I mean you gotta keep the numbers in mind here, not saying Ballmer won’t do it but I don’t see owners clamoring to set all time payroll figures year to year