JaMychal Green

California Notes: Clippers Offseason, Fox, Dwight, McNair

After blowing a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals, the star-studded Clippers face an uncertain offseason, Danny Leroux of The Athletic writes. Leroux unpacks the potential fates of three Clipper big men worth tracking during Los Angeles’s offseason.

The team can re-sign unrestricted free agent forward Marcus Morris at a 20% annual raise using his Non-Bird Rights. However, Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell, also an unrestricted free agent, may command more money than Los Angeles is comfortable paying him after a lackluster postseason performance, while JaMychal Green will most likely opt out of his $5MM player option for the 2020/21 season in search of a more lucrative payday. In Leroux’s view, the Clippers may look elsewhere for centers than small-ball options like Green and Harrell.

There are more notes from the NBA’s California teams:

  • Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox is eligible for a maximum extension of his rookie contract this offseason. Jason Jones of The Athletic assesses the pros and cons of such a deal being completed sooner rather than later, one of the big decisions facing new Sacramento general manager Monte McNair.
  • 34-year-old Lakers reserve center Dwight Howard has emerged as a legitimate antagonist against All-Star Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during the two teams’ Western Conference Finals series, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic. Howard was able to use his strength and length to impede Jokic’s passing ability in a Game 2 win. “As soon as I step onto the court, I’m gonna let him know that I’m there,” Howard said after the first game of the series, also a Lakers win.
  • During his introductory team press conference today, new Kings GM Monte McNair asserted that head coach Luke Walton will remain on the sidelines for the 2020/21 season, Jason Jones of The Athletic tweets.

Clippers Rumors: George, Harrell, Green, More

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.

Clippers Notes: Game 7 Loss, Next Steps, Kawhi, George

The Clippers blew double-digit leads in each of their last three games against Denver, losing the series and missing out on a date with the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. Having failed to advance after taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the series, the team was left searching for answers on Tuesday night.

As Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN details, head coach Doc Rivers accepted blame for the club’s shortcomings and suggested that conditioning issues played a part in the Clippers’ inability to put Denver away. However, Lou Williams and reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard pointed to chemistry issues as they looked to explain the club’s disappointing postseason run.

“I think a lot of the issues that we ran into, talent bailed us out. Chemistry it didn’t,” Williams said. “In this series, it failed us.”

“We just couldn’t make shots,” Leonard said. “That’s when it comes to the team chemistry, knowing what we should run to get the ball in spots or just if someone’s getting doubled or they’re packing the paint, try to make other guys make shots, and we gotta know what exact spots we need to be. And you know, just gotta carry over and get smarter as a team. Get smarter. Basketball IQ got to get better.”

Perhaps the most eyebrow-raising comment of the night came from Paul George, whom the Clippers acquired last summer in a deal that cost the team Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, five first-round picks, and two first-round pick swaps.

I think internally, we always felt this was not a championship-or-bust year for us,” George said, per Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

Here’s more on the Clippers:

  • The Clippers are now very much on the clock, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who points out that Leonard and George can opt for free agency in 2021. Rival executives don’t expect the Clips to make major changes, but they could make a trade to bring in more talent if they’re willing to take on some long-term money, writes Windhorst.
  • One rival executive suggested to Windhorst that the Clippers are essentially pot-committed to their win-now approach, meaning it doesn’t make sense for them to back off now by significantly shaking up the roster. “You’ve heard of the saying, ‘In for a dime, in for a dollar’?” the exec said. “Well, they’re in for 95 cents, in for a dollar.”
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer and ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) also explored what’s next for the Clippers. As Marks points out, one of the first orders of business for the team will be figuring out which of its major free agents – Montrezl Harrell, Marcus Morris, and JaMychal Green – can and should be re-signed. Harrell and Morris are unrestricted free agents, while Green has a $5MM player option that he may turn down.
  • Marks also notes that the Clips could offer a George a contract extension worth up to $128.9MM over three years, if they so choose. George would be 32 years old before that extension begins in 2022 though, so it’s not clear how aggressive L.A. will be on that front.

Pacific Notes: Kawhi, J. Green, Lakers, Suns, Warriors

Star forward Kawhi Leonard didn’t travel to Walt Disney World this week with the rest of the Clippers this week, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. According to Haynes, Leonard was given permission by the club to tend to a family matter. Haynes wrote on Wednesday that the reigning Finals MVP was expected to arrive in Orlando within “a few days.”

Leonard isn’t the only Clippers player who will be late in arriving to the NBA’s campus. Sources tell Andrew Greif and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) that forward JaMychal Green is tending to a family matter of his own and isn’t in Orlando yet. Green is expected to arrive on Sunday, per The L.A. Times.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic digs into the question of whether J.R. Smith or Dion Waiters will help the Lakers more this summer in Orlando.
  • Not all of the Suns players are at the NBA’s campus yet, but Monty Williams declined on Thursday to identify the players arriving at a later date, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Phoenix’s head coach did say it was good to get back on a practice court. “It’s not weird when we get into the gym,” Williams said of the unusual circumstances. “It’s just when we leave the gym and you have to put your mask on and the coaches have had their mask on the whole practice. So you can imagine the huffing and puffing that goes on with us older coaches.”
  • Appearing this week on David Aldridge’s “Hoops, Adjacent” podcast at The Athletic, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr discussed a bevy of topics. Among them: His desire to conduct offseason team activities and the Warriors’ plan for Stephen Curry to make sure they’re “not wearing him out” going forward.

Clippers Notes: Free Agency, Dunn, Lue, Hiatus

The Clippers have a realistic opportunity to bring back their 11-man rotation next season, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Many of the decisions will come down to whether the organization wants to make a financial commitment to its current players or explore other options.

L.A. has Bird rights on Montrezl Harrell and can offer him a longer and more valuable contract than anyone else. The Clippers have Non-Bird rights on Marcus Morris, who was acquired from the Knicks last month, and can offer a new deal starting at $18MM per season. JaMychal Green has a $5MM player option, and the team might decide to use part of its mid-level exception to re-sign Reggie Jackson.

Buha adds that the loss of revenue from the shortened season could work in the Clippers’ favor by depressing a free agent market that’s already limited by the small number of teams with cap space. Harrell and Morris may not get the offers they would have under normal circumstances, while Green could decide to stick with his guaranteed money.

There’s more Clippers news to pass along:

  • There may be something to the rumors that Doc Rivers would like to add Bulls guard Kris Dunn as a defensive specialist next season, Buha states in the same piece. Dunn will be a restricted free agent if Chicago makes a $4.6MM qualifying offer, and he could be a nice backcourt partner for Lou Williams coming off the bench. The downsides are Dunn’s poor 3-point shooting — 25.9% this year — and his season-ending knee injury.
  • Speculation regarding Tyronn Lue as the next head coach of the Nets has died down while the league has been on hiatus, but Buha understands why Brooklyn would be interested. During his time in Cleveland, Lue proved he could win a title and he developed a strong relationship with Kyrie Irving. Buha identifies two other members of Rivers’ staff, Rex Kalamian and Sam Cassell, who might get head coaching offers soon.
  • The Clippers may benefit as much as anyone from having several weeks off, Buha suggests in a separate column. They are among the league’s oldest teams and injuries have been a concern, particularly for Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley. New additions Morris and Jackson will also get more time to learn Rivers’ system.

Clippers Notes: Arena, Patterson, Williams, Depth

Despite a loss last night to the Suns, the 2019/20 season is off to a good start for the Clippers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear the same can be said about the team’s effort to build a new arena, writes Jason Henry of the Orange County Register.

Per Henry, the Clippers efforts to fast track a new home in Inglewood have stalled because the California Air Resources Board does not believe the project meets the necessary environmental standards, according to a letter written by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Newsom considers the new arena an important economic benefit for the L.A. community, urging the Clippers and CARB to continue working toward a resolution, but the Governor will not intervene in the decision-making process by CARB, an independent body tasked with determining whether the Clippers can adequately prevent a net increase in greenhouse gases and other emissions.

“I support holding project sponsors to California’s high standards for environmental benefit and mitigation, and I hope you collectively can find a path forward,” Newsom wrote in his letter.

The Clippers want to start construction in 2021 and have the arena game-ready three years later, when their lease at Staples Center expires. It appears to remain unknown at this time how much of a barrier this issue will become to that timeline.

There’s more news from the Clippers this afternoon:

  • Andrew Grief of the Los Angeles Times writes how the role of Patrick Patterson will be a bit different this season than it ever has been before for the 30-year-old power forward. Through three games, he is averaging six three-point attempts per game, nearly three times his career average, as he embraces his new role as a spot-up shooter.
  • The Clippers are looking for Lou Williams to help form a “Big 3” with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George once George returns from injury, per Mark Medina of USA Today. Williams, who is ready for the challenge, said he really wants to win a championship before he hangs it up. “I don’t know how many cracks I’m going to have at winning a championship. I feel like we really have a good group. I don’t want that opportunity to go to waste because our mentality is not sharp. I’m just doing my part to make sure everybody is on the same page and the competitive level is there. We don’t take days off and we compete.”
  • Matt John of Basketball Insiders explores how the Clippers are more than just Leonard and George, pointing out that players like Williams, Montrezl Harrell, and JaMychal Green had already played extended minutes together before this season.

L.A. Notes: Leonard, Green, Lakers’ Coaches, Kuzma

The Lakers felt betrayed by Kawhi Leonard in the free agent process, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his latest podcast (hat tip to Michael Kaskey-Blomain of CBS Sports). Some members of the team’s front office believe Leonard “played” them as he negotiated a deal with the Clippers. Leonard didn’t announce his intentions until July 6, causing the Lakers to miss out on other free agents while they were waiting.

The Raptors weren’t happy with the way things worked out either, Windhorst adds, saying that Leonard asked for “the sun, the moon, the stars” before deciding to leave.

“I kind of think they were all still in the game, and they all felt like they were still in the game,” Windhorst said. “If Toronto did not still feel like they were in the game, they would not have sent the plane for him, they would not have done the big presentation. If the Lakers didn’t think that they were still in the game, they would not have delayed the Anthony Davis trade like they did to wait and see if they could get him.” 

There’s more today from Los Angeles:

  • Leonard not only convinced Paul George to ask for a trade to the Clippers, he helped recruit other players and convinced JaMychal Green to stay, Shams Charania states in an insiders roundtable for The Athletic. Green turned down more lucrative offers to accept a two-year, $10MM pact with L.A.
  • The Lakers are rounding out the staff for new coach Frank VogelMike Penberthy, who played for the team in 2000 and 2001, will be hired as a shooting coach, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Penberthy served the same role last season on Alvin Gentry’s staff with the Pelicans. Also set to be hired is Quinton Crawford, who worked with Vogel in Orlando and spent last year with the Hornets, relays Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
  • Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma is in the market for a new agent, according to Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. Kuzma is leaving Mark Bartelstein and Zach Kurtin of Priority Sports and Entertainment in hopes of finding new representatives to promote his business interests. He hasn’t started meeting with new agents yet.

JaMychal Green Signs Two-Year Deal With Clippers

JULY 18: The deal is official, per a release from the team.

JULY 8: The Clippers are finalizing an agreement with free agent forward JaMychal Green that will bring him back on a two-year, $10MM contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania (via Twitter), Green turned down more lucrative offers from other teams to return to Los Angeles to pursue a championship with the team.

Green’s new deal – which sounds like it’ll fit into the Clippers’ room exception – has a second-year player option, according to Charania. The structure of the contract will give the 29-year-old a de facto no-trade clause for the 2019/20 league year, so the team would need his approval to move him.

Green, 29, has become one of the more underrated stretch fours in the NBA in recent years during his time in Memphis and Los Angeles. Over the last three seasons, he has averaged 9.5 PPG and 7.2 RPG with a .377 3PT% in 197 total contests (25.5 MPG).

In 24 games with the Clippers at the end of last season, Green knocked down 1.4 threes per game at a 41.3% rate — both marks would have been career highs.

With Green back in the fold, the Clippers – who are considered the 2020 title favorites by oddsmakers – could run out a versatile 10-man rotation that features Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Landry Shamet, and Rodney McGruder in the backcourt, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Maurice Harkless, and Green as forwards, and Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell at the five.

Youngsters Jerome Robinson and Mfiondu Kabengele are also in the picture, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Clippers add another veteran or two using the minimum salary exception.

With Green off the board, Kelly Oubre and Jabari Parker are the only two free agents from our top-50 list who have yet to agree to deals.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Notes: Ellis, Green, Speights

Representatives from nearly half of the league’s teams were in attendance for a workout that included former NBA stars Amar’e Stoudemire and Monta Ellis, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

The Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Knicks, Thunder, Bucks, Pistons, Kings, Nuggets, Blazers, Magic, Hawks, Wolves and Wizards were all in attendance. Haynes adds that 15 international teams from Europe and Asia also had representatives in Las Vegas for the workout.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Spurs, Nuggets, and Knicks were all interested in JaMychal Green before the forward re-signed with the Clippers, Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes. Those teams were offering him a more lucrative offer than the one he signed with Los Angeles. The Clippers put on a “full-court press” to retain Green, Buha adds, and the 29-year-old ended up inking a two-year deal worth slightly under $10MM.
  • Green has the ability to be a free agent next summer, having secured a player option as part of his deal with the Clippers. Buha (in the same piece) speculates that Green could have commanded a deal in the $10MM+ range this offseason and that the forward should have the opportunity for a similar contract next summer.
  • Mo Speights, who played in China last season, is working out for teams in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated tweets. Speights last played in the NBA for the Magic during the 2017/18 season.

Warriors Notes: Iguodala, Green, Durant

Andre Iguodala believes he can play past his current contract, which expires at the end of next season, but he’ll only do it if the price is right, relays Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Iguodala will be 36 years old when his $17.18MM deal is up next summer, and he has no doubts about his ability to remain in the league.

“Yeah I can easily,” he said. “But it’s going to cost you.” Iguodala refused to name a dollar amount, but added, “For whoever wants me to play, I ain’t playing to play. I’m playing to help my guys. It’s got to be worth my time. … Depending on what the salary cap is. What is the team, coach, ownership as well as the stakeholders?”

Coming off a non-invasive procedure on his left leg during the offseason, Iguodala played in 71 games, even though his minutes were limited to a career-low 23.2 per night. A vegan diet has helped to prolong his career, along with weight training, meditation, yoga and icing.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Draymond Green responded to a February request to improve his conditioning by losing 23 pounds, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Green already had a plan in place when GM Bob Myers approached him about the issue. “I knew I wasn’t in good shape,” Green said. “But I also know if anybody knows how to get in shape and get in shape quick, I know how. I’ve been doing it all my life.” He added that a toe injury and a sore knee contributed to his conditioning problems. He took motivation not only from the approaching postseason, but the knowledge that he is eligible for a contract extension this summer and the negative reaction from some Golden State fans after his early-season altercation with Kevin Durant.
  • Technical fouls called against Durant and the Clippers’ JaMychal Green during Game 3 of their series have been rescinded by the league, The Associated Press reports. The news is especially significant for Durant, who picked up two technicals in the series opener and faces an automatic one-game suspension if he reaches seven.
  • Facing a rare 12:30pm (Pacific Time) start tomorrow, the Warriors insist the L.A. nightlife won’t interfere with their preparations for the game, Medina writes in a separate story.