Clippers Rumors

Northwest Notes: Conley, George, Blazers, Nuggets

Timberwolves point guard Mike Conley will earn $9,975,962 in 2024/25 followed by $10,774,038 in ’25/26 as part of his new two-year extension, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). It’s a straight two-year contract with no options, and Conley can’t be traded for six months due to the 8% raise in year two of the extension, Marks adds.

Appearing on NBA Countdown, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said (Twitter video link) Conley initially wasn’t thrilled that Utah sent him to Minnesota at last year’s deadline, having instead hoped to land with the Lakers or Clippers. However, he and his family now love the area and he was enthusiastic about staying with the Wolves.

In a story for, Kevin Pelton writes that Conley’s extension looks like a win for the Wolves on the court and off, even though they’re almost certain to be a second apron team in 2024/25. Pelton says the No. 1 seed in the West is well worth spending money on. Minnesota has only paid the tax once in franchise history, but Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez are set to become majority stakeholders next season.

Pelton also examines Minnesota’s free agents this summer and ways in which the team could trim payroll, which seems unlikely barring an unforeseen development.

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • Jazz guard Keyonte George, the 16th pick of last year’s draft, spent the summer watching all 82 of Utah’s games from 2022/23 to prepare for his rookie campaign, he tells Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. “I watched as much film as I could just so I knew what my role was going to be coming in,” George said. “I knew Mike (Conley) was gone, so I just had to go into a new situation, trying to be a lead guard, and I was trying to speed up the process. My main goal was to be effective as soon as possible so I wanted to put myself in a position to be knowledgeable and not think about what I was doing in a new system and just play.” Known as more of scorer coming out of Baylor, George knew facilitating would be key to NBA minutes. He says he continues to study other players to gain an edge. “As the year has gone on, I’ve felt way more comfortable and my shot is starting to fall,” George added. “Definitely the game is slowing down for me. I’ve been watching games around the league and seeing how other guards get to their spots and just trying to figure out my spots and my shot selection.”
  • The Trail Blazers have reached a five-year “bridge agreement” with the city of Portland that will keep the team in the Moda Center through at least 2030, with the current lease expiring in 2025, per Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. The Blazers own the arena but the city leases the land. President of business operations Dewayne Hankins said the move will keep the team in Portland and owner Jody Allen has instructed the Blazers to get a long-term deal done with the city.
  • The Nuggets are 25-8 with all five starters active but just 12-11 when at least one player from the group is unavailable. With that in mind, head coach Michael Malone says he’s more focused on repeating as NBA champions instead of angling for the West’s top seed, as Bennett Durando of The Denver Post writes. “For me, (the top seed) is not a top one or two priority, to be very honest,” Malone said. “We talked about that with our team today. The good thing is Minnesota is No. 1. We play them three more times. We’re three games out (of first place). So we have avenues to become the No. 1 team. It’s definitely attainable. But I don’t want to win that battle and lose the bigger war. … I think having home court in the first round is very, very important. I think having a healthy team going into the postseason is very important. And if we happen to be the No. 1 seed, that’s just a cherry on top. But we’re not gonna put all our cards in just to attain that and to risk being healthy for a very deep playoff run.”

Rivers Was Consulted Before Harden Trade

  • Former Sixers coach Doc Rivers was consulted by the Clippers before they acquired James Harden from Philadelphia, he told Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points. Rivers has since taken over the Bucks’ head coaching job. “I was the one, obviously, they consulted,” Rivers said. “They made calls and I was one of the guys who said it would be a great deal for them because I thought he fit them better than he would fit the Sixers team. I think he’s a perfect fit there. It’s a league. We talk. They just talked, asked questions, and I was on board early.”
  • Speaking of Harden, Mark Medina of describes how the Clippers guard has made changes to his game to fit in with his current teammates. That includes his mindset on the offensive end. “My job for this team is to touch the paint and get the shot, make the shot and make the game a lot easier for teammates,” Harden said. “Whether I have my step-back going or getting to the paint, I’m going to make a play for a teammate.”

And-Ones: Barton, All-Star Game, Buyout Market, More

Will Barton, who reportedly reached an agreement with CSKA Moscow last month, will return stateside without having played for the Russian club, per an announcement from CSKA (Twitter link). Barton’s contract was terminated via an early exit clause.

An 11-year NBA veteran who appeared in 56 games last season for Washington and Toronto, Barton could be a candidate to return to the league down the stretch. However, Alessando Maggi of Sportando hears from sources that the wing’s departure from CSKA Moscow was related to failed medical tests. If that’s accurate, any NBA teams with interest in Barton will be sure to do its due diligence on his health situation.

CSKA Moscow indicated in its announcement that it remains on the lookout for a player who can help out at shooting guard and small forward.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Ten basketball writers for The Athletic shared their thoughts on how the NBA could improve its All-Star Game. Some of their ideas? Combining All-Star weekend and the in-season tournament final four into one event; turning the All-Star game into a two-on-two or three-on-three tournament; or simply naming All-Stars and not playing the game.
  • In an Insider-only article for ESPN, Bobby Marks and Kevin Pelton take a closer look at what sort of impact the NBA’s rule tweaks have had on the buyout market and consider which player will be the most impactful buyout-market addition this season. Of the veterans who have already found new homes, Pelton views Lakers guard Spencer Dinwiddie as the player capable of making the greatest impact.
  • Joe Vardon, Sam Amick, and David Aldridge of The Athletic polled several players at All-Star weekend on a variety of topics, including the best player and team in the NBA, whether the league has become too offense-heavy, and what rule changes they’d implement if they had Adam Silver‘s job for a day. The Celtics earned the most votes (five) for the NBA’s best team, with the Clippers (four) coming in second.

Danilo Gallinari Signs With Bucks

FEBRUARY 18: Gallinari’s deal with the Bucks is official, according to’s transaction log.

FEBRUARY 15: Free agent forward Danilo Gallinari is signing with the Bucks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter).

Gallinari chose Milwaukee over several other suitors because of the opportunity to play in coach Doc Rivers‘ frontline rotation, Wojnarowski adds. The veteran played for Rivers during his time with the Clippers in 2017-19.

Gallinari, who didn’t play at all last season due to a torn ACL, will be wearing his third different Eastern Conference uniform this season. The 35-year-old appeared in 26 games with the Wizards before he was traded last month to Detroit

Gallinari saw action in six games with the Pistons, who waived him after the trade deadline due to a roster crunch. In those combined 32 games, he has averaged 7.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 14.8 minutes per night, with a shooting line of .451/.355/.850. Gallinari was on an expiring $6,802,950 contract before the Pistons waived him.

Milwaukee is an apron team but is allowed to sign Gallinari since his prior salary was $6.8M– below the $12.4MM non-tax mid-level exception. He’ll get the prorated veteran’s minimum and there is no set-off from his remaining salary owed by the Pistons, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

The Bucks had a roster spot available after trading little-used backup center Robin Lopez last week to the Kings, who later waived him.

The Bulls were one of the other teams eyeing Gallinari, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. The Suns also reportedly showed interest in Gallinari, a career 38.2% 3-point shooter, as did the Clippers, according to Bucks guard Patrick Beverley, and the Cavaliers, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

James Harden Eased Playmaking Burden on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

  • Clippers coach Tyronn Lue believes the early-season trade for James Harden relaxed the burden on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, enabling both stars to stay healthier, according to Janis Carr of The Orange County Register.“(Having Harden) makes it a lot easier on Kawhi and PG not to have to handle and make every play for themselves and for our team,” Lue said. “So, James has been great, just keeps everybody happy … takes a lot of grind off of PG and Kawhi.”

Tyronn Lue Fined $35K For Comments About Officiating

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue has been fined $35K for public criticism of the officiating and questioning the integrity of game officials, the NBA announced today in a press release (Twitter link).

Lue’s comments occurred after the Clippers’ 130-125 victory over the Warriors in Golden State on Wednesday. Cameras captured him outside L.A.’s locker room greeting his players by shouting, “Where the refs at now? Cheating. That’s all they be doing” (Twitter video link).

Lue had been ejected from the game early in the fourth quarter when he received a pair of technical fouls less than a minute apart for arguing foul calls. The Clippers trailed by a score of 103-94 at the time of his ejection, but came back for the victory.

A handful of NBA head coaches – including Mike Brown, Taylor Jenkins, Ime Udoka, and Darko Rajakovic – have been fined this season for criticizing the officiating after games.

Unlike those other coaches, Lue didn’t air his complaints to reporters during a postgame media session, but given that he was caught on camera, the league felt it couldn’t turn a blind eye to his “cheating” comment.

Buyout Market Rumors: Fournier, Wright, Bertans, Young, Gallinari

After spending the better part of the last two seasons on the bench in New York, Evan Fournier was traded from the Knicks to the Pistons as a salary-matching piece in the deadline-day deal that sent Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks out of Detroit. Given that Fournier isn’t owed any guaranteed money beyond this season and the Pistons have the NBA’s worst record, he has been viewed as a buyout candidate.

However, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Pistons have indicated that they plan to hang onto Fournier, so barring an unexpected development, he won’t reach the buyout market in the coming days or weeks.

Fournier, who appeared in just three games for the Knicks prior to last week’s trade, has logged over 25 minutes per night in his first two games as a Piston, averaging 11.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals.

Here are a few more notes and rumors on the buyout market from Scotto:

  • After averaging about 15 minutes per contest in his first 29 appearances in Washington this season, Delon Wright hasn’t played more than seven minutes in any of the four games since the trade deadline. A number of playoff contenders, including the Suns, are keeping on eye on the situation to see if the Wizards guard – who is on an expiring contact – will be bought out, Scotto writes.
  • Veteran sharpshooter Davis Bertans has played double-digit minutes off the bench in each of his first three games with the Hornets and appears unlikely to be let go in the immediate future, per Scotto. Bertans’ $16MM salary for 2024/25 is partially guaranteed for $5.25MM next season, which is one reason why Charlotte may wait until the summer to make any move involving him.
  • Thaddeus Young is expected to complete his deal with the Suns after the All-Star break next week, says Scotto, adding that the veteran forward also drew interest from the Sixers, Pelicans, and Celtics before agreeing to sign in Phoenix.
  • Although the Suns had interest in Danilo Gallinari, they were out of the mix for the forward after agreeing to sign Young, Scotto notes. Since the Cavaliers couldn’t guarantee Gallinari the kind of role he sought and the Bulls aren’t a legitimate title contender, Gallinari’s decision ultimately came down to the Clippers and Bucks. He chose Milwaukee after debating the two options for a few days, according to Scotto.

Clippers Notes: Leonard, Gallinari, Tucker, Hyland

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard missed his fifth game of the season on Wednesday vs. Golden State due to a left adductor strain, but head coach Tyronn Lue said the injury isn’t significant, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN.

I don’t think it’s that serious,” Lue said before Wednesday’s game. “He played through it last game (on Monday), was experiencing some soreness in the hip, so when the game got out of reach we didn’t bring him back in the fourth quarter to be smart about it.”

Leonard was named to his sixth All-Star team in 2023/24, but his status for this weekend’s exhibition game is to be determined. The 32-year-old is expected to travel to Indianapolis either way, a source told ESPN.

Here’s more on the Clippers, who are currently 36-17, the No. 3 seed in the West:

  • Bucks guard Patrick Beverley sent out a tweet through his podcast’s account saying veteran forward Danilo Gallinari will either sign with the Clippers or the Bucks. While he couldn’t corroborate Milwaukee’s interest, Law Murray of The Athletic confirms (Twitter link) the Clippers are open to a reunion with Gallinari, who spent two seasons with the Clips from 2017-19. However, as Murray observes, the Clippers currently have a full roster, and there isn’t an obvious candidate to be released. The 35-year-old became an unrestricted free agent after he was waived by Detroit last week. The Suns are reportedly among the teams interested in Gallinari’s services.
  • Forward P.J. Tucker claims that not playing leading up to the trade deadline was a “collaborative decision” with the Clippers, according to Shams Charania and Law Murray of The Athletic. Tucker hasn’t played in a game since November 27. “It was agreed upon that I would sit,” Tucker told The Athletic over the weekend. “I didn’t just sit, it was agreed upon. Until they moved me, I would sit. They didn’t do it. But (I) try to be professional, as professional as possible. But at the same time, if I don’t advocate for myself, who is? You know? But it is what it is, man.” Tucker was fined $75K on Thursday for publicly expressing a desire to be traded.
  • Tucker also told The Athletic it’s unrealistic to expect him to be productive in the postseason after not playing for so long in the regular season. “Becoming teammates, you’re building bonds,” Tucker said. “You have to take time when you have something built. Can’t just throw somebody out there, ‘Go play now.’ You know what I’m saying? It don’t work like that. So I don’t know where it goes from here. I don’t know. I know what they think is going to happen. But I don’t think it happens like that. Just throw somebody in the playoffs in the second round. ‘Alright, now go do what you do.’ Don’t work like that.”
  • Speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning about sending home Tucker and Bones Hyland, Lue suggested that Hyland may have submitted his own trade request prior to last week’s deadline after receiving scant playing time the past few months. The third-year guard has struggled in his limited garbage-time minutes, Charania and Murray note. “You want to have competitors on your team,” Lue said. “They want to play. So when you try to get traded, it doesn’t work out, and you want to go to a place (where you can) play, it doesn’t mean they’re not happy here. They are. But they want to play, they want to compete.” Tucker holds a $11.54MM player option for 2024/25, while Hyland is owed a guaranteed $4.16MM in the final season of his rookie scale contract.

Clippers’ P.J. Tucker Fined $75K By NBA

Clippers forward P.J. Tucker has been fined $75K for publicly expressing a desire to be traded in comments to Andscape reporter Marc J. Spears last week, the NBA announced on Thursday (via Twitter).

“I want to be somewhere where I’m needed, wanted and can do it all,” Tucker told Spears. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I have my fingers crossed and I’m hoping to go somewhere else.”

Tucker also told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk last week that he was “actively trying to get traded.”

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, the maximum fine Tucker could have received was $150K.

The 38-year-old hasn’t seen action since November 27 after initially playing a rotation role for the Clippers. He averaged just 1.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game across 12 appearances off the bench for his new team, making 4-of-14 field goal attempts (28.6%). He was sent to L.A. from Philadelphia in the James Harden trade.

Tucker has been unhappy with his role for much of the season, with reports of his discontent first surfacing in December. In the days and weeks that followed, he repeatedly expressed frustration with his lack of playing time, and the Clippers reportedly made an effort to trade him at last Thursday’s deadline. However, he presumably had negative value on the trade market due to the $11.54MM player option on his contract for next season, and L.A. didn’t find a deal.

The Clippers sent home both Tucker and Bones Hyland — another player who hasn’t been getting minutes — ahead of Wednesday’s win over Golden State. Both players are expected to return to the team after the All-Star break.

Warriors To Explore Trades For Star Wing In Offseason?

Warriors sources confirm to Sam Amick, Anthony Slater and Jovan Buha of The Athletic that Golden State made an unsuccessful run at Lakers superstar LeBron James prior to last week’s trade deadline. However, there’s “zero indication” the Warriors came close to acquiring James, per The Athletic’s report.

Still, the fact that Golden State tried to pry James out of L.A. shows the Warriors are willing to take big swings to try and capitalize on Stephen Curry‘s still-excellent form, despite his advancing age (he turns 36 next month). And it opened the door to a possible pursuit again this summer, when James could hit unrestricted free agency if he declines his $51.4MM player option.

According to The Athletic, James won’t be the only marquee player the Warriors will explore going after, assuming they’re even available. Their “dream scenario” would be trading for Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, with Clippers wing Paul George and Suns forward Kevin Durant among the other star wings on their wish list.

Antetokounmpo has only ever played for Milwaukee and signed a long-term extension before the season began that has him under contract through at least 2027, with a player option for 2027/28. George holds a $48.8MM player option for ’24/25 and has openly said he hopes to sign an extension with the Clippers (he’d have to decline the PO to sign an extension). Durant, who won back-to-back titles with Golden State in 2017 and 2018, could hit free agency in 2026.

The emergence of Jonathan Kuminga — whom GM Mike Dunleavy Jr. called “virtually” untouchable after the deadline — has given the Warriors an internal pathway to a possible star running mate for Curry. He’ll be eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer. Depending on what route Golden State takes, Kuminga could also be an enticing headliner in a blockbuster trade, The Athletic’s authors note.

As Amick, Slater and Buha write, only one of the Warriors’ future first-round picks (2030) is tied up in a trade beyond this year’s draft, and the team will have some financial flexibility as well, with Klay Thompson on an expiring $43.2MM contract and Chris Paul on a pseudo-expiring deal (his $30MM salary for ’24/25 is non-guaranteed).