Clippers Rumors

Norman Powell Eager To Settle Down With Clippers

Clippers swingman Norman Powell isn’t worried about blending his talents with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, as he told Law Murray of The Athletic.

Powell projects as a sixth man in Los Angeles, backing up Leonard, George, and Nicolas Batum to varying degrees.

“This what I’ve been doing my whole career,” Powell said. “I know what the team needs. I’ve played with Kawhi before and playing against PG my whole career it seems like. … I think my game is really used to being in different roles, getting different looks. So, I’m not really worried about that. My focus is to stay healthy … I feel like the game is going to work itself out with all the time I put in.

Powell was acquired by the Clippers from Portland at the trade deadline but fractured a bone in his left foot three games after the deal. He returned for two regular season appearances in April and also saw action in the play-in tournament.

Powell, who played in the Drew League in Los Angeles over the weekend, says he still has to do extra work to ensure he’ll be 100% when the season tips off in the fall.

“I feel good,” Powell said. “Still going through the rehab process, but I feel good to be able to go full tilt. I have my insoles to help that bone in my foot. Everything is good. No issues, no problems. Hopefully, we can keep it that way so that I can feel healthy going into the season.”

Powell was also traded the previous season to Portland by Toronto at the March 2021 deadline. He’s entering the second year of a five-year, $90MM contract he signed with the Trail Blazers and hopes to settle in with one franchise.

“Really looking forward to having a full season under my belt with one team,” Powell said. “Last two seasons have been up and down, being traded twice and trying to figure all of that out. So, I’m looking forward to being on this team for a full season and being really adjusted with the guys, and to build my foundation out here in L.A.”

25 Of NBA’s 30 Teams Have Made At Least One Offseason Trade

Since the 2022 NBA offseason began, 26 trades have been made, as our tracker shows. A total of 25 teams have been involved in those 26 deals, with 15 clubs (half the league) completing multiple trades.

The Raptors, Heat, Bulls, Pelicans, and Clippers are the only teams that have not been part of at least one trade since their seasons ended this spring. While most of those clubs were pretty active in free agency, it has been an especially quiet offseason in New Orleans, where the Pelicans also haven’t made a single free agent signing.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Timberwolves have been the NBA’s most active team on the trade market this summer, with new president of basketball operations Tim Connelly putting his stamp on the franchise in his first few months on the job. After making four draft-night deals in June, Minnesota finalized the offseason’s biggest trade by acquiring Rudy Gobert from the Jazz just over a month ago.

The Hawks and Knicks, with four deals apiece, have been the next most active teams on the trade market. A pair of Atlanta’s moves were minor, but the other two – acquiring Dejounte Murray and sending Kevin Huerter to Sacramento – will have a major impact on the team going forward. As for New York, most of Leon Rose‘s deals involved shuffling around draft picks and clearing cap room for the team’s free agent signings of Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein.

Here are a few more details on this summer’s 26 trades:

  • The Pacers, Pistons, Nuggets, Grizzlies, and Kings have each made three trades. The other teams to make multiple deals are the Hornets, Thunder, Jazz, Trail Blazers, Mavericks, Rockets, and Spurs, with two apiece.
  • That leaves the Sixers, Nets, Celtics, Cavaliers, Bucks, Magic, Wizards, Lakers, Warriors, and Suns as the clubs that have each completed just one trade.
  • All 26 of this offseason’s trades have consisted of just two teams, with no three- or four-team deals made so far. A draft-night agreement involving the Hornets, Knicks, and Pistons was originally reported as a three-team trade, but was ultimately completed as two separate deals.
  • Not a single player has been signed-and-traded so far during the 2022 offseason. That’s pretty surprising, since 27 free agents changed teams via sign-and-trade in the three years from 2019-21 and only four teams used cap room this offseason — sign-and-trades are typically more common in years when most clubs are operating over the cap.
  • Eight first round picks from the 2022 draft were traded this summer, and four of those were dealt twice: Jalen Duren (Charlotte to New York to Detroit); Walker Kessler (Memphis to Minnesota to Utah); Wendell Moore (Dallas to Houston to Minnesota); and TyTy Washington (Memphis to Minnesota to Houston).
  • Another dozen second round 2022 picks changed hands this offseason, including one that was on the move twice (No. 46 pick Ismael Kamagate from Detroit to Portland to Denver).
  • A total of 15 future round picks (2023 and beyond) were included in trades this summer, including a pair that changed hands twice. Six of those first round picks were unprotected, while nine included protections.
  • Another 19 future second round picks (2023 and beyond) were also traded, with two of those 19 dealt twice. All but one of those traded second rounders was unprotected.

NBA Teams With Open Two-Way Contract Slots

A total of 18 NBA teams currently have both of their two-way contract slots filled, as our tracker shows.

That doesn’t mean those players will be locked into those slots for the rest of the 2022/23 season, or even until opening night, since two-way deals are low-cost contracts that don’t count against the salary cap, making them easy to replace. But it means those spots are unavailable for the time being.

That leaves 12 teams with at least one two-way slot available. Those teams are as follows:

  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Houston Rockets
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Washington Wizards

The Hawks, Hornets, Mavericks, Rockets, Clippers, the Trail Blazers, and Wizards have fairly straightforward two-way situations at the moment — they’ve each filled one slot and have one open, with no reports indicating that any of those teams has reached an agreement on a two-way deal with a free agent or draftee.

The Nets and Bulls also have one two-way spot filled and one open, but each of them has a two-way qualifying offer out to a restricted free agent — David Duke for Brooklyn and Malcolm Hill for Chicago. If those players simply accept their QOs, neither the Nets nor the Bulls will have a two-way opening.

The Spurs also have one two-way player signed and one spot open, though a Shams Charania report last month indicated that undrafted rookie Jordan Hall will sign a two-way contract with San Antonio. If and when that happens, the Spurs will join the list of teams with both of their two-way slots occupied.

The Pacers and Pelicans are currently the only two teams that don’t have a single player on a two-way contract. A Charania report way back in June suggested that Dereon Seabron would sign a two-way deal with New Orleans, but it hasn’t officially happened yet.

The best candidate for a two-way contract with Indiana, meanwhile, could be 48th overall pick Kendall Brown, who is one of a handful of 2022 draftees still unsigned. Even if Seabron and Brown sign two-way pacts, the Pacers and Pelicans would still each have one slot available.

Reggie Jackson Considered Retirement In Detroit

  • Echoing comments he made in March, Clippers guard Reggie Jackson told youths at Paul George‘s basketball camp that he considering retirement during his time with the Pistons, per Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points (video link). “It really started making me question myself (late in his Detroit tenure),” Jackson said. “… Don’t let anybody ever do this to you in life, take the fun out of the things that you love to do. I really was gonna retire. My lifeline, my brother here saved me.”

And-Ones: McCormack, Luxury Tax, OKC Blue, Harrison

David McCormack has signed with Besiktas in Turkey, according to a team press release. McCormack was reportedly signing an Exhibit 10 contract with the Timberwolves but apparently chose to begin his pro career in Europe.

The undrafted big man out of Kansas was a prominent member of the Jayhawks’ national championship team. He spent all four of his college seasons at Kansas, starting 96 of 132 total games. In 2021/22, he averaged 10.6 PPG and 7.0 RPG in 40 contests (21.9 MPG).

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • A total of 10 teams are currently projected to collectively spend $650MM in luxury tax payments next season, according to Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. That would an NBA record for tax penalties. The Warriors, Nets, Clippers, Bucks, Lakers, Sixers, Celtics, Suns, Nuggets and Mavericks all project as taxpayer teams for the time being.
  • The G League’s Oklahoma City Blue will continue to play the Thunder’s Paycom Center next season, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman reports. The Blue also played there last season, having been the only G League team to host their games in an NBA arena. They often had to play late morning or early afternoon games with the Thunder playing there on the same night.
  • Former NBA swingman Andrew Harrison has signed with Yukatel Merkezefendi Belediyesi in Turkey, as JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors relays (Twitter link). Harrison has suited up with the Grizzlies, Cavaliers and Pelicans during his NBA career. In his last NBA season, he played a combined 16 games with Cleveland and New Orleans in 2018/19.

Ballmer Wants To Be Top Team In L.A.; George To Play In Drew League

  • In a tour of the Inuit Dome construction site, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer tells Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN that he wants to have the premier team in Los Angeles (Twitter link). “You said this is a Laker town. No, Laker-Clipper,” Ballmer said to Youngmisuk. “And someday I want to be able to say Clipper-Laker.” Of the new arena, Ballmer said, “I think it’s another statement that says, ‘Hey look, we’re nobody’s little brother. We’re a real team.’”
  • Clippers forward Paul George will be the latest NBA star to make an appearance at the Drew League, tweets Law Murray of The Athletic. The pro-am league in Los Angeles has attracted numerous NBA players this summer, including LeBron James, DeMar DeRozan, Trae Young and John Collins. This will be George’s first Drew League appearance since 2014.

Clippers Waive Jay Scrubb

The Clippers have waived shooting guard Jay Scrubb, the team officially announced today. Scrubb will become an unrestricted free agent on Friday if he goes unclaimed on waivers.

The 55th overall pick in the 2020 draft, Scrubb spent his first two professional seasons in Los Angeles with the Clippers, appearing in a total of 22 NBA games during that time. His 2021/22 season came to an early end when he went under the knife in February, undergoing surgery to repair the plantar plate in his right foot.

Although he didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Clippers when his two-way deal expired in June, Scrubb was re-signed to an Exhibit 10 contract. However, he spent less than three weeks back under contract with the team before being waived today.

If Scrubb doesn’t find a new home between now and the start of the season, he’ll be eligible to become an affiliate player for the Ontario Clippers, L.A.’s G League team. If he spends at least 60 days on Ontario’s roster, he’d receive a bonus of $50K.

The Clippers now have 17 players under contract.

Clippers Sign Moussa Diabate To Two-Way Contract

The Clippers have officially signed second-round pick Moussa Diabate to his first NBA contract, the team announced today. As expected, it’s a one-year, two-way deal, tweets Law Murray of The Athletic.

The No. 43 overall pick in last month’s draft, Diabate spent his first and only college season at Michigan. The 6’11” big man averaged 9.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 0.9 BPG in 32 games (24.9 MPG) for the Wolverines. He was named to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman team.

Diabate, 20, had a solid showing in two Las Vegas Summer League appearances this month, averaging 9.5 PPG and 7.5 RPG on 70% shooting in 24.1 MPG. A right ankle sprain prematurely ended his Summer League experience, but there’s no reason to think that injury will still be an issue by the time training camps begin in September.

With the signing, the Clippers now have 18 players under contract. Of those 18 players, 14 are on guaranteed standard contracts, three have Exhibit 10 deals, and Diabate has a two-way pact.

Undrafted free agents Justin Bean, Lucas Williamson, and Michael Devoe have also reportedly agreed to Exhibit 10 contracts with the Clippers, so it’s possible there will be a training camp competition for that second two-way slot. Exhibit 10 deals can be converted to two-way contracts prior to the regular season as long as the player doesn’t have four or more years of NBA service.

John Wall Discusses Clippers, Leonard, George, Jackson

New Clippers addition John Wall sat down with Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (YouTube video link) to discuss his opportunity with what could be one of the deepest teams in the NBA next season, led by All-NBA swingmen Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Wall, a five-time All-Star with the Wizards before a series of lower body injuries limited his availability, agreed to sit out the entire 2021/22 season for the Rockets as Houston prioritized developing younger backcourt talent. After agreeing to a buyout, Wall signed a two-year, $13.2MM deal with the Clippers as an unrestricted free agent.

“I think they’re just a first-class organization, great teammates over here,” Wall said of joining L.A. this summer. “I just feel like they have a great culture… Also not having to be a Batman every night, having an opportunity to play with other players where I can take a backseat, and develop my game but also just help those guys as much as possible.”

Here are more highlights from their conversation:

  • Wall discussed how he’ll adapt his game as a secondary player in Los Angeles after being one of the top two offensive options, alongside shooting guard Bradley Beal, for the majority of his NBA career while with the Wizards. “I know I’m still a talented player,” Wall said. “I know all the things that I’ve worked on, especially being able to knock down catch-and-shoot shots because I probably won’t have the ball in my hands as much (as on past teams). But at the same time they still want me to be myself, be aggressive, be able to break down the defense for (Leonard and George). I think… sometimes in the fourth quarter a lot of teams (are) keyed in on Kawhi and Paul George. I think that’s an opportunity for me to excel.”
  • “Still can’t believe it,” Wall said of his chance to play with two All-NBA wings, alongside whom he anticipates leaning into his abilities as a facilitator. “I can’t wait till I have the opportunity to be on the floor with those guys. I’ve just always been a past-first point guard… But my best attribute is being able to pass the ball.”
  • When asked about his expected training camp competition with incumbent Clipper Reggie Jackson for dibs on the starting point guard role with Los Angeles next season, Wall was diplomatic. “I’m a competitor like he’s a competitor,” Wall began. “We’re two very talented players. He’s been great for this team the last couple of years… We’re just going to battle it out.” Jackson will be on the last season of a two-year, $22MM contract he signed to stick with the Clippers through 2023.

Celtics’ $17MM+ TPE To Expire If Not Used Monday

The Celtics‘ $17MM+ traded player exception from last summer’s Evan Fournier sign-and-trade will expire if it’s not used on Monday, as our tracker shows.

A trade exception allows a team to acquire a player – or multiple players – without sending out anyone for salary-matching purposes. Using their Fournier TPE, the Celtics could acquire any player earning up to $17,242,857 in 2022/23.

However, Boston’s team salary is already well over the luxury tax threshold and there had been a sense following this month’s Malcolm Brogdon trade that the Celtics might not use their big exception — besides pushing team salary further into tax territory, the Brogdon deal had helped the club address one of its most pressing needs (adding a play-making guard), reducing the likelihood of another major trade.

If the Fournier TPE expires today without being used, the Celtics will still have a handful of trade exceptions – including ones worth $6.9MM and $5.9MM – that won’t expire until January or February.

A Clippers trade exception worth $8.25MM from last summer’s Rajon Rondo deal will also expire today if it’s not used. Los Angeles has a second exception worth $9.72MM that won’t expire until the February trade deadline, so losing the Rondo TPE wouldn’t be a major blow. Like the Celtics, the Clippers are also far into tax territory and don’t have any obvious roster holes to fill.

The Trail Blazers used a $21MM trade exception to land Jerami Grant earlier this month, while the $18MM+ TPE the Pacers were able to create in the Brogdon deal was renounced when the team used its cap room to make a play for Deandre Ayton. Once the Celtics’ $17MM+ exception expires, no NBA team will have a TPE worth more than $10MM.