Boban Marjanovic

Clippers Notes: Jordan, Boban, Teodosic

Of all this season’s trade candidates who didn’t end up being dealt, DeAndre Jordan may have been the most frequent subject of trade rumors. However, after sticking with the Clippers through last month’s deadline, Jordan doesn’t seem eager to leave Los Angeles this summer. Although he’ll have the opportunity to become a free agent in July, Jordan tells Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports that his preference is to stay where he is.

“I’m here and that’s what I’m focused on,” Jordan said. “I’m excited. Like I told somebody the other day, I hope I can play another 10 years here. That’s what I’m focused on now.”

Jordan, who spoke about the “great times” he has had over the course of his 10 years with the Clippers, is probably unlikely to exercise his player option for 2018/19, according to Lee. However, even if he opts out, the veteran center could ink a new deal with the Clips. Whether such a deal is in the cards remains to be seen.

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • Center Boban Marjanovic was an afterthought in this season’s Blake Griffin blockbuster, with the analysis of that deal mostly focusing on the other pieces the Clippers received — Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and a first-round pick. However, Marjanovic has been proving his value to the Clippers as of late, writes Elliott Teaford of The Daily Breeze. Boban has one more year left on his deal after this season and will earn $7MM in 2018/19.
  • Clippers point guard Milos Teodosic says he has no regrets about leaving Europe to come to the NBA, as he tells Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. “So far, I really enjoy [playing in the NBA],” Teodosic said. “I’m happy to be here and I really enjoy playing with the best players in the world and against the best players in the world.”
  • Earlier today, we opened up a discussion on the Western Conference playoff race, which features the ninth-seeded Clippers looking to work their way into the top eight.

Clippers Trade Blake Griffin To Pistons

11:46pm: The trade is now official, according to a press release issued by the Pistons.Blake Griffin vertical

“We are serious about winning, and this is a major move to improve our team,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement.Blake Griffin is one of the NBA’s elite players, and when you get an opportunity to add that kind of talent, you take it. … He is a great fit for our team and will bring a combination of toughness and athleticism that will elevate our team and excite our fans.”

5:20pm: The Clippers have agreed to trade star power forward Blake Griffin to the Pistons in a multi-player deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Detroit will ship forward Tobias Harris, shooting guard Avery Bradley, center Boban Marjanovic, a first-round pick and a second-round draft pick to the Clippers, Wojnarowski adds, citing league sources.

Forward Brice Johnson and center Willie Reed are also heading to Detroit, Wojnarowski adds in another tweet.

Detroit’s 2018 first-round pick is protected if it’s a top-four selection, according to Wojnarowski; It has the same protection for the next two drafts, then goes unprotected in 2021. The second-round pick in the trade will come in the 2019 draft (Twitter link).

The Pistons, long rumored to be active on the trade market, have been trying to shake up their team while nosediving down the Eastern Conference standings. They have lost eight in a row and now sit in the ninth spot in the East. Wojnarowski had reported just hours ago that Detroit was shopping Bradley and his expiring contract.

Griffin re-signed with the Clippers on a five-year max deal over the summer, so the Pistons are taking on an enormous salary commitment in order to pair him with current franchise player Andre Drummond. Griffin is making $29.5MM this season and he’ll be due another $141.6MM over the next four years, though the final year of the contract includes a player option.

The longtime Clipper will also receive a $860K trade bonus spread over the next four seasons, salary-cap expert Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. The Griffin trade bonus is not voided because his current salary is slightly below the max, Marks adds.

The Clippers are in the playoff hunt at 25-24, so dealing Griffin certainly signals a change in the franchise’s long-term direction. It’s possible that this will be the first of multiple moves for the Clippers, since players like DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams have also been considered potential trade candidates.

Aside from Drummond, who is making approximately $23.8MM this season, Harris and Reggie Jackson are Detroit’s highest-paid players at $16MM this season. Bradley is making $8.8MM and Marjanovic is pulling in $7MM this season. Johnson is earning approximately $1.3MM and Reed has a $1MM contract this season.

Both teams are hard-capped and near the luxury-tax line, as Marks notes in a tweet, so it was crucial that each team sent and received about the same amount of money.

The Clippers will get cap relief in the long run as the contracts of Harris and Marjanovic expire after the 2018/19 season. Once this deal is finalized, Danilo Gallinari‘s contract will represent the only guaranteed money on L.A.’s cap beyond 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pistons Notes: Drummond, 10-Day Contracts, Marjanovic

Sidelined Pistons big man Andre Drummond doesn’t need to be medically cleared to return to the court following a bruised rib injury, it’s simply a matter of where his pain tolerance sits, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes.

The Pistons play the Sixers tomorrow – the potential third installment of Drummond’s personal series against Joel Embiid – but there’s no guarantee that Drummond will be a part of it.

It’s is a pain-tolerance thing. Everybody has had them,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said after a Thursday practice that Drummond missed. “It’s hard to breathe and hard to move. Whenever he’s comfortable enough to go, he’ll go. It’s a painful injury, no question.”

In the first four years of his career, Drummond only missed three games total.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Friday marks the first day that NBA teams are permitted to sign players to 10-day contracts and it’s “possible” that the short-staffed Pistons will look to bring in temporary relief, Keith Langlois of the team’s official site tweets.
  • He may be the most efficient scorer in NBA history but Boban Marjanovic isn’t a practical option for Stan Van Gundy on a nightly basis when Andre Drummond is healthy. Chris Herring of Five Thirty Eight broke down how the reserve’s game stacks up historically and what’s preventing him from seeing more time on the court when the starter ahead of him is in the lineup.

Pistons Notes: Marjanovic, Backcourt, Kennard

Long one of the NBA’s most intriguing reserve big men, Boban Marjanovic will be utilized differently this season than he was during his first under Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy. Keith Langlois of the team’s official website spoke with the Van Gundy about his 7’4″ backup.

The questions are going to be how [Marjanovic’s stellar play at the end of 2016/17] holds up over time and how many minutes he can take on a nightly basis,” Van Gundy said. “Those we don’t know, but we do know that he’s got unbelievable size and skill and that’s a pretty good combination.”

With Aron Baynes now a member of the Celtics, Marjanovic figures be the primary backup to Andre Drummond, splitting duties perhaps with Jon Leuer when more mobility is required.

There’s more out of Detroit:

  • Point guard Reggie Jackson made a point of travelling to meet Avery Bradley as soon as possible, Ansar Khan of MLive writes. Jackson said he wants the new-look backcourt to hold each other accountable this season.
  • Rookie Luke Kennard will need to outplay Langston Galloway and Reggie Bullock for a prominent place in the Pistons’ rotation but in his defense he has already assuaged some concerns about his mobility that Stan Van Gundy had prior to the summer league, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes in a mailbag.
  • Big man Andre Drummond has shouldered the blame for Detroit’s lousy 2016/17 campaign, Michael Lee of The Vertical writes. “It starts with me,” Drummond said. “I didn’t come out playing the way I was supposed to. I needed to take it upon myself to be a leader this summer, to really take care of myself, take care of my body to make sure my team got better.

Central Notes: Marjanovic, Payne, George

Expect Pistons big man Boban Marjanovic to get more of an opportunity to shine next season. Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes that fans can expect current backup center Aron Baynes to explore free agency by turning down his player option, leaving Marjonvic as the next man up behind Andre Drummond.

In limited action Marjanovic showed flashes of excellence, no surprise considering he did just that with the Spurs in 2015/16. Per 36, his 23.5 points and 16.0 rebounds make him a particularly compelling option for a Pistons team that often has to bench Drummond on account of his poor free-throw shooting.

Unfortunately, as the Pistons struggled and eventually failed to sneak into the postseason, Marjanovic was rarely used in 2016/17.

This is a fault of ours that we really didn’t build anything around him, either offensively or defensively,” Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy said last month. “We have to do some defensive things to help him and we’ve got to get him the ball even more offensively, but he was our third center, so we didn’t build enough around him. Certainly we will, going forward.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls are still very high on Cameron Payne, Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago writes, despite the fact that the guard wasn’t featured as heavily as some thought he would be following the deal in which they acquired him.
  • While they may be exploring their trade options, the Bulls mean no disrespect to starting swingman Jimmy Butler, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes. “Don’t misunderstand: We think the world of him. You can’t say enough good things about how this young man has made himself the player that he is,” team executive vice president John Paxson said.
  • A panel of NBA.com columnists discussed what they would do with Paul George this offseason and how big of a priority retaining him would be if they stepped into the role of incoming Pacers president Kevin Pritchard.
  • The Bucks worked out a handful of NCAA seniors today, with the full list of players available at the team’s official website. Milwaukee will pick No. 17 in this year’s draft.

Central Notes: D-Will, Teague, Pacers, Pistons

After LeBron James called for the Cavaliers to add a playmaker back in January, the team didn’t make a major move for the next several weeks, as the trade deadline came and went without that so-called “playmaker” joining the team. The Cavs lucked out in the buyout market though, landing veteran point guard Deron Williams after he was cut by the Mavericks, and according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Williams is getting increasingly comfortable in Cleveland and is looking like that playmaker the club sought.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com conveys a similar sentiment in his latest piece, noting that Williams is receiving praise from the players whose assessment of the Cavaliers roster matters most: LeBron. “Every day he’s getting more and more comfortable with what we want to do,” James said of the veteran point guard. “We needed him. We’re happy we got him.”

As LeBron, D-Will, and the Cavs look ahead to the second round of the playoffs, let’s round up a few more notes from around the Central division…

  • Within a piece examining the Pacers‘ upcoming offseason decisions, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders cites league sources who believe that free-agent-to-be Jeff Teague could be in line for a contract worth $15-17MM annually, or even more than that if other top point guards quickly re-sign with their own teams.
  • With the Pacers facing an uncertain future, Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star argues that team president Larry Bird deserves some criticism for a handful of questionable decisions and roster moves.
  • Following a disappointing season for the Pistons, Rod Beard of The Detroit News makes five suggestions for ways the team could potentially improve this summer.
  • Boban Marjanovic didn’t play much for the Pistons in the first season of his three-year deal with the team, but his audition will give Stan Van Gundy plenty to consider as the club weighs how to use Marjanovic going forward, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Boban could become a more crucial piece of Detroit’s rotation in 2017/18 if Aron Baynes departs in free agency.

Central Notes: George, Udrih, The Palace

If Paul George doesn’t get named to an All-NBA team, he “probably” won’t remain with the Pacers, Steven Ruiz of USA Today writes. Ruiz makes the bold claim while describing how the new collective bargaining agreement ties max contract compensation to personal accolades determined by the media.

Should George be named to an All-NBA team, he’ll be eligible to earn about $70MM more with the Pacers than he would with any other franchise. Such is the case with the new designated player exception. With or without the designated player exception, George will be eligible to sign for a longer term with Indiana than with any other squad.

George got off to a slow start with the Pacers this season but has spent much of the past two months demonstrating why he had previously been heralded as a franchise cornerstone. On the season he’s posted 23.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game but in March he ramped those averages up to 25.3 points and 6.9 rebounds.

There’s no shortage of competent competition with which the Pacers star will be in contention for the award but it’s certainly plausible he gets named to an All-NBA team for the fourth time in five season. Expect him to be held in contrast with players like Draymond Green, Gordon Hayward and Jimmy Butler with the two forward positions on the Third Team up for grabs.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The recovery time for Pistons guard Beno Udrih‘s knee injury is six to eight weeks, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. Udrih will be a free agent this summer.
  • As of today, C.J. Miles 2017/18 deal with the Pacers becomes guaranteed at $4.7MM, tweets The Vertical’s Bobby Marks. The veteran guard also holds a player option, however.
  • The silver lining of a disappointing Pistons season is that April has given the team a chance to get a good look at Boban Marjanovic and Henry Ellenson. According to Rod Beard of the Detroit News, head coach Stan Van Gundy has given them favorable reviews.
  • Michigan has said goodbye to two major facilities in two days and David Mayo of MLive considers what the finales of both the Palace of Auburn Hills and Joe Louis Arena mean to the region. The Pistons will join the NHL’s Red Wings in the Little Caesars Arena next season. With the Palace out of the picture, Madison Square Garden serves as the only NBA venue without a corporately sponsored name.

Central Notes: Pistons, Ellenson, Wade, Irving

Charlotte’s loss to the Celtics tonight officially extinguished the Pistons‘ faint playoff hopes, writes Aaron McMann of MLive. Detroit entered the night with the possibility of sneaking into the postseason through a multi-team tiebreaker, but both the Pistons and Hornets had to win all their remaining games for that to happen. Coach Stan Van Gundy has been realistic about the team’s fate for some time now, McMann notes, deciding two weeks ago to shut down point guard Reggie Jackson for the season and giving more time to the team’s younger players. Detroit faces several important decisions this offseason, with the most pressing one involving restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

There’s more news from Detroit and throughout the Central Division:

  • Pistons rookie big man Henry Ellenson posted a double-double Friday night with 15 points and 11 rebounds in his first start of the season, notes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Van Gundy recently said that Ellenson and Boban Marjanovic “can be real contributors next year,” especially with backup center Aron Baynes expected to sign elsewhere in free agency. Friday’s game was just the 16th with the Pistons for Ellenson, who has spent most of the year in the D-League. “He can put it on the floor. He made the one good baseline drive and dish to Boban. He’s got offensive skill,” Van Gundy said. “The guy’s a good player. He’s like a lot of our guys right now. He’s got to shoot the ball more consistently. But he’s a talented offensive guy.”
  • Dwyane Wade gave the Bulls a bit of good news in an otherwise horrible afternoon in Brooklyn, relays Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Chicago dropped a key game in its pursuit of a playoff spot, but Wade was able to get through the contest with no pain in his right elbow. It was his first game since fracturing the elbow March 15th. “Elbow felt cool,” Wade said. “Just my legs, trying to get my legs back. And my wind back. But my elbow felt great.”
  • The Cavaliers should shut down Kyrie Irving for the rest of the regular season after his latest knee flare-up, contends Marla Ridenour of The Akron Beacon Journal. The star point guard reported pain Thursday in his left knee, which was surgically repaired after a kneecap fracture in the 2015 NBA Finals. Irving sat out a game last month with tightness in the knee, and Ridenour argues that the Cavs shouldn’t risk his health in pursuit of the top seed in the East. “I’m doing everything possible to take care of my body, I’ve got a clear conscience with that,” Irving said. “But also understand that sometimes it’s gonna hurt. And I gotta be able to deal with it.”

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Wizards, Henson, McRoberts

Pistons center Boban Marjanovic and rookie power forward Henry Ellenson will get a long look during the last four games of the season, Aaron McMann of MLive.com reports. Marjanovic, who signed a three-year, $21MM contract as a free agent last summer, has played sparingly behind Andre Drummond and Aron Baynes. Marjanovic could have a bigger role next season if Baynes opts out of the final year of his contract. Ellenson, the team’s first-round selection last June, has spent most of the season with the team’s D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich.  “We will still play our main guys, but we’ll get Henry and Boban in there every night,” coach Stan Van Gundy told the team’s beat reporters.

In other developments around the Eastern Conference:

  • Power forward Jason Smith has proven to be a bargain pickup for the Wizards, according to J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com. Smith, who played for the Magic last season, signed a three-year, $15MM deal as a free agent last summer. He’s averaging 5.6 PPG but is shooting 49.2% from 3-point range and 53.1% overall despite getting dropped from the rotation on occasion, Michael continues. His screening has also been a valuable asset, Michael adds.
  • Bucks big man John Henson will lose $250K in bonus incentives because of his current thumb injury, Bobby Marks of The Vertical tweets.  Henson needed to play in 60 games to collect the bonus. Henson signed a four-year extension in October 2015 that kicked in at the start of this season. The contract is worth between $44MM and $48MM, depending upon if Henson reaches certain incentives.
  • Heat forward Josh McRoberts participated in his first contact practice on Tuesday since he was sidelined in late December with a stress fracture in his left foot, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Coach Erik Spoelstra is still uncertain if McRoberts will return this season, Jackson adds. McRoberts holds a $6MM option on his contract for next season.

Pistons Rumors: Drummond, Jackson, Johnson

The Pistons have “quietly explored” the trade market for Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, two of their roster’s centerpieces, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com reports in his latest piece, which is a deep dive into the situation in Detroit. According to Lowe, the Pistons came away disappointed with what teams might be willing to offer for Drummond or Jackson, reducing the likelihood of either player being moved in the next eight days.

Still, while a Drummond trade remains an “extreme long shot,” a deal involving Jackson isn’t entirely off the table. Lowe suggests the Timberwolves, Magic, and Pelicans are among the potential suitors for the veteran point guard, if Detroit is willing to settle for a modest return. Per Lowe, Jackson’s value has “cratered,” and a player like Ricky Rubio is one of the few solid starters the Pistons could get in any trade package. Lottery teams seeking a long-term solution at point guard are unwilling to move their first-round picks for Jackson, and Detroit isn’t ready to simply dump him for a collection of expiring contracts.

In his attempt to find a potential trade partner for a Jackson deal, Lowe identifies the Magic and Nuggets, pointing to players like Elfrid Payton and Emmanuel Mudiay as possible trade pieces. However, while Mudiay is believed to be available, Denver doesn’t appear to have interest in Jackson. Lowe notes that Orlando is an “intriguing” possibility, since GM Rob Hennigan was in Oklahoma City’s front office when the team drafted Jackson.

Here’s more from Lowe on Jackson, along with a few other intriguing Pistons-related tidbits:

  • The Pelicans have kicked the tires on Jackson, but never engaged in serious talks, league sources tell Lowe.
  • According to Lowe, several Pistons players criticized Jackson during a December players-only meeting for his apparent lack of effort on defense. Drummond tells Lowe that the criticism “wasn’t cool,” since Jackson was coming off an injury and wasn’t yet 100%. However, both Drummond and Stan Van Gundy acknowledge that the team has struggled to adjust to Jackson’s presence on the court this year after finding a groove early in the season with Ish Smith handling the point.
  • According to Lowe, a fear that top free agents won’t come to Detroit has pushed the Pistons to acquire solid players on good contracts when they become available. Those players aren’t always a fit with Drummond and Van Gundy, which has contributed to some of the team’s roster issues.
  • Multiple teams, including the Spurs, made an effort to nab Stanley Johnson in a trade after Van Gundy publicly called out the second-year forward earlier in the season. Although the Pistons rebuffed those efforts, the team has been frustrated by Devin Booker‘s development in comparison to Johnson’s, since the draft room was “almost deadlocked” between those two players in 2015, says Lowe.
  • The Pistons are unlikely to make a major move until closer to the draft, since they want to make the playoffs and are reluctant to do anything that will adversely impact their odds of earning a postseason spot, says Lowe. The ESPN analyst notes that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s pending restricted free agency will be an interesting case to follow this offseason, since the Pistons may have to shed a salary – perhaps Tobias Harris‘ or Boban Marjanovic‘s – if they need to match a max offer sheet for Caldwell-Pope.