Robert Covington prioritized a chance to win a title over maximizing his salary when he agreed to a two-year, $24MM extension with the Clippers in May, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Covington might have been able to earn more on the open market, but he feels wanted in L.A. and likes the talent that’s surrounding him.
“I talked with my agent and he kind of picked my brain on everything on what I wanted to do and I basically told him that at this point in my career I want to win,” Covington explained. “I’ve had a big contract, but I wanted to be in a position where I can win and I can really contribute to a contending team. We’ve seen what we had here and everybody, even the team talked about, ‘We want you back, want you back,’ players, everybody talked about next year. Just the consistency and the commitment that even after my last day there everybody still was preaching me coming back and I took that into account. Everyone expressed how much they wanted me to come back.”
The expected return of Kawhi Leonard, who missed all of last season due to injury, and the addition of free agent guard John Wall give the Clippers possibly the most talent in the Western Conference. Their depth also makes it difficult to identify who will get consistent playing time, but Covington believes that will work itself out.
“I know what they brought me here for,” he said. “They brought me here to knock down shots, defend, make the game easy, disrupt as much as I can, that’s why they brought me back.”
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- The Suns‘ media day will be an important event to watch in the wake of the Robert Sarver suspension, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. General manager James Jones, head coach Monty Williams and all the players can set the tone for how much the incident will impact the season by how they respond on September 26. Chris Paul has already criticized Sarver’s actions on social media.
- James Ham of The Kings Beat examines the Kings‘ options at small forward heading into training camp. Harrison Barnes will likely see most of the minutes, though his expiring contract makes him a trade candidate. Ham doesn’t expect newcomers Kent Bazemore, KZ Okpala and Chima Moneke to all make the roster.
- The Lakers are engaged in ongoing trade talks with the Jazz, but the teams don’t appear to be close to a deal, per Tony Jones of The Athletic. L.A. has expressed interest in acquiring Bojan Bogdanovic.