Los Angeles Clippers

Clippers Exploring Inglewood As New Arena Site

The Clippers appear to be in the preliminary stages of moving into an arena of their own. According to a report from Nathan Fenno and Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times, representatives of Clippers and Los Angeles Rams ownership have had discussions about the Clippers re-locating to Inglewood. The Clippers would join the Rams and Los Angeles Chargers in the “sports and entertainment district” being targeted for a 2019 release date.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer “hasn’t hidden his desire for an arena of his own,” Fenno and Farmer write, as the Clippers currently share the Staples Center with the Lakers and Los Angeles Kings of the NHL. The Clippers’ lease at Staples Center runs through 2024.

These aren’t the first rumblings we’ve heard about a change of scenery for the Clippers. According to a July 2016 report from Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN, the Clippers had started to explore the possibility of a move, perhaps to Los Angeles’ west side — at the time, Arnovitz said the club had identified six potential locations in southern California, suggesting that the franchise didn’t love being the Staples Center’s “third tenant.”

Although representatives for Ballmer and Rams owner Stan Kroenke have reportedly had multiple discussions, Fenno and Farmer give no indications that those talks have moved beyond the exploratory stages. Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. was unaware of discussions regarding a new arena, and it remains to be seen whether Ballmer would own- rather than lease- the arena land. What’s more, the Times’ report cites the potential conflict of competing head-to-head with the Lakers in selling suites, club seats, and other products.

An anonymous source explained the motives of the prospective move to the L.A. Times:

“It’s too soon to say it would be L.A. Live lite, but if an arena were to bring 200 nights a year, that’s a tremendous amount of foot traffic that would benefit all the ancillary properties.”

Trade Rumors: C. Lee, Clippers, Pacers, Jazz, Kings

Earlier today, we heard that the Clippers recently showed interest in Courtney Lee, and according to Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, the Clips and Knicks continue to talk. New York has been seeking draft picks in discussions on Lee and other players, and the Clippers don’t have any immediate first-rounders to offer, as Begley notes. So if the Knicks want to send Lee to Los Angeles, they may have to settle for a player or get a third team involved.

Here are more of the latest trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers have been talking to teams about possible trades that would allow them to clear roster spots, tweets ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. As Windhorst notes, teams suspect that might be related to their talks with the Celtics regarding Paul George. Of course, Indiana may also just be doing due diligence as well in case Boston ups its offer — the Pacers wouldn’t want to be stuck having to waive useful players to make a deal work.
  • The Jazz don’t appear likely at this point to make a deal, says Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (via Twitter). TNT’s David Aldridge notes (via Twitter) that Utah could still make a move for Deron Williams, but if Williams isn’t dealt, the veteran point guard won’t ask for a buyout from the Mavericks.
  • The Kings continue to mull their options, but don’t appear to be moving forward with talks for players like Darren Collison and Arron Afflalo for now, according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post (Twitter link), who adds that Sacramento’s asking prices may be too high. If those prices come down, things could change.
  • The Wizards continue to work the phones, but aren’t overly optimistic about getting another deal done by the deadline, tweets Bontemps.
  • The market for Iman Shumpert appears to be cooling as the deadline approaches, per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net (Twitter link). Amico says that teams are asking for a draft pick from the Cavaliers, and Cleveland doesn’t have many picks left.

Knicks Rumors: Lee, O’Quinn, Jennings, Rubio

Courtney Lee has been cited this week as a possible trade candidate, and according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com, the Clippers recently displayed interest in the Knicks shooting guard. However, one team that was in touch with the Knicks didn’t get the impression that Lee will be going anywhere, says Begley.

Here are a few more notes out of New York:

  • Another team that has spoken to the Knicks said New York is seeking a first-round pick and has talked about packaging Kyle O’Quinn and Brandon Jennings together in a trade, Begley reports.
  • Although the Knicks are shopping O’Quinn, it’s unclear if they’ll be able to get equal value for him, leagues sources tell Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link). On Wednesday, we heard that New York has been seeking a first-round pick for O’Quinn, so if the team believes that constitutes “equal value,” it makes sense that it may not happen.
  • A report earlier today indicated that Ricky Rubio remains a “significant” trade target for the Knicks. However, Sam Amick of USA Today reports (via Twitter) that the Timberwolves continue to shop Rubio to teams besides the Knicks. Jake Fischer of SI.com adds (via Twitter) that Minnesota is willing to part with Shabazz Muhammad to help accommodate a Rubio trade.

Latest On Sixers, Bulls, Okafor, Mirotic

With the trade deadline several hours away, rumors continue to swirl around the Bulls and Sixers on a potential Jahlil Okafor deal. ESPN’s Marc Stein reports this morning (via Twitter) that Chicago is the Sixers’ preferred destination for Okafor if they end up moving him.

[RELATED: Bulls continue to pursue Jahlil Okafor]

Still, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), the Bulls haven’t yet been inclined to include a first-round pick along with the sort of player the Sixers is seeking in an offer for Okafor. Based on Johnson’s tweet and what we know about the 76ers’ asking price, it sounds like Philadelphia would want a young player – perhaps someone like Denzel Valentine – along with a first-round pick for Okafor, while Chicago is reluctant to include two assets of that caliber.

As Johnson notes in his tweet and writes in his latest piece for The Chicago Tribune, the Bulls have made Nikola Mirotic available in talks with the Sixers. However, Philadelphia doesn’t appear to have all that much interest in the veteran forward, who has been offered to the Clippers as well, per Johnson.

Meanwhile, although he may not be connected to the talks with the Bulls, Sergio Rodriguez could be available today, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Facebook Live link). Charania suggested last night that Rodriguez has fallen out of favor in Philadelphia, making him somewhat expendable at the deadline for the Sixers.

And-Ones: Young, Heat, Mirotic

The Lakers are looking to trade Nick Young with an eye on acquiring a second-round pick, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets. Young is making slightly over $5.44MM this season and his contract contains a player option worth nearly $5.67MM for the 2017/18 campaign. He’s had a solid year so far in Los Angeles, averaging 13.8 points per game while shooting 41.3% from behind the arc, a figure which is the highest of his career.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Heat are shopping Wayne Ellington and Josh McRoberts, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical (Twitter link). Mannix notes that the team would like to get out of the veterans’ contracts. After this season, Ellington has only one year at $6.27MM (non-guaranteed) remaining on his contract, while McRoberts has a player option worth slightly over $6MM remaining on his deal.
  • Earlier today, we learned that the Bulls have attempted to send Nikola Mirotic to the Sixers in a Jahlil Okafor deal. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes that the team has also floated Mirotic in talks with the Clippers.
  • David Stockton, who recently played in New Zealand’s National Basketball League, will return to the D-League and play for the Reno Bighorns, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back (Twitter link).

Western Notes: Mavs, Kings, Wolves, Jazz

We’re less than 17 hours away from the trade deadline. While we wait to see what unfolds, check out some notes and rumors out of the Western Conference:

  • Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut are rumored to be on the move and the Mavericks held both of them out of practice today, Earl K. Sneed of Fox Sports relays via Twitter“With the trade deadline tomorrow, you can read a lot into that,” coach Rick Carlisle said.
  • If the Mavericks make a deal involving Williams or Bogut, it’s likely to occur right before Thursday’s deadline, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. The team is looking for picks in the upcoming draft in exchange for their veterans.
  • The Kings are likely to move someone in their backcourt, Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee tweets. Voisin hears that the Pacers have interest in acquiring Arron Afflalo.
  • The Jazz have had conversations with other teams regarding a Derrick Favors trade, but a source told Spencer Checketts of 1280 KZNS (Twitter link) that the team doesn’t view any offer as “even close” to being fair.
  • Wolves executive/coach Tom Thibodeau said the team is still looking at trade possibilities, but as of right now, he doesn’t see any deal that makes sense for the franchise, Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press writes. “If there’s something that makes sense that can make you better, then you take a look at it. If not, I’m happy with the team we have. I like the guys we have. I like the approach we have,” Thibodeau said.
  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Chris Paul has been medically cleared to return to the court and he may play as early as Thursday, Andrew Han of ESPN.com relays.

Trade Rumors: Rose, Rubio, Okafor, Caldwell-Pope

The Timberwolves have reached out to the Knicks about a possible Derrick Rose deal, reports Marc Berman of The New York Post. Rose has fallen out of favor with Knicks president Phil Jackson, who is disappointed with the veteran guard’s effort on defense. Rose is entering free agency and sources tell Berman that New York would rather move him now than give him a long-term deal. He won MVP honors in Chicago in 2011 under Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau.

The proposed deal is believed to involve Ricky Rubio, whom Thibodeau has never believed in as his long-term point guard, according to Berman. Rubio still has two years and more than $29MM left on his contract and has been the subject of trade rumors since Minnesota drafted Kris Dunn last summer.

The Knicks contacted the Wolves about Rubio at last year’s deadline, Berman writes, and have been interested in him since he entered the league in 2009 because of the recommendations of their European scout, Kevin Wilson, who is based in Barcelona.

New York also reportedly likes Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica and inquired about his availability as part of the Rose discussions, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).

There’s more on the trade front as Thursday’s deadline inches closer:

  • The Rockets have asked about Wolves guard Shabazz Muhammad, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minneapolis. Wolfson doesn’t believe the teams are close to a deal.
  • The Pistons refused an offer from the Sixers involving Jahlil Okafor and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, tweets Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated. Philadelphia offered to bring a third team into the trade, but Detroit still wasn’t interested. The Pistons reportedly have hesitations about giving Caldwell-Pope a maximum salary after his contract expires at the end of the season. The Sixers have been calling around the league trying to make a deal for Okafor, with the Pacers and Bulls as the most frequently mentioned potential trade partners.
  • The Suns are looking for someone to take Brandon Knight‘s contract and might be a fallback option for an Okafor trade, according to Fischer (Twitter link). A former starter in Phoenix, Knight in is the midst of a disappointing season, averaging 11.0 points per game and shooting less than 40% from the field. He still has three seasons and nearly $43.9MM left on his current deal.
  • The Thunder and Clippers remain in pursuit of Nuggets swingman Wilson Chandler, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.

Woj’s Latest: Bogdanovic, KCP, Butler, Sixers

The Kings still had four days to go before the 2017 trade deadline when they agreed to send DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans, but the team rushed to finalize the trade so that owner Vivek Ranadive wouldn’t change his mind about wanting to move the star center, Adrian Wojnarowski says in a podcast for The Vertical.

Both Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks were somewhat critical of the Kings, pointing out that the team should have been able to find a way to move Matt Barnes in the process of trading Cousins, rather than releasing him and eating his $6.4MM+ guaranteed salary for 2017/18. Wojnarowski also said that multiple free agents in recent years have used the Kings for leverage or turned down more money from Sacramento sign elsewhere, suggesting that the club needs to make good decisions and improve its reputation going forward.

The Vertical’s team, including Wojnarowski, Marks, and Chris Mannix, tackled many more topics within that podcast and a live chat with fans on Facebook, so let’s dive in and round up some of the highlights…

  • The Wizards don’t want to trade a first-round pick for a rental player, but the team does have “significant interest” in Nets sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Wojnarowski also adds the Kings to the list of teams with real interest in Bogdanovic.
  • Although the Pistons “love” Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, they’re hesitant about giving him a maximum salary contract in the offseason, so they have been open to listening to inquiries on him to gauge his value, says Wojnarowski. While Stan Van Gundy did say last month that no one on the roster is untouchable, a KCP deal seems like a long shot.
  • If the Bulls are going to consider moving Jimmy Butler, they’ll need to blown away by an offer, per Wojnarowski. Mannix adds that the Celtics believe Jaylen Brown has star potential and would be very reluctant to include him in an offer for Butler.
  • In recent weeks, the Sixers have shifted their focus from trading Nerlens Noel to trading Jahlil Okafor, but if the team doesn’t find a deal it likes for Okafor, Noel remains a trade candidate, says Wojnarowski. Although the Bulls have had “pretty consistent interest” in Okafor, Philadelphia continues to value him like a former third overall pick, and teams around the league are less bullish on his value, according to Woj.
  • The Rockets, Thunder, and Hawks are among the teams on the lookout for help. Mannix says Houston remains in the market for a frontcourt piece, while Wojnarowski says the Thunder are still seeking a wing scorer. Woj also notes that Atlanta is focused on building around Paul Millsap, despite the fact that he can opt out this summer.
  • The market for Nets center Brook Lopez is “really limited,” since the market is somewhat over-saturated with that type of player, says Wojnarowski.
  • The Clippers are reluctant to give up any more draft picks, particularly for rental players, so they’re a candidate to dive into the buyout market after the deadline, according to Wojnarowski, who adds that the club has had some interest in Wilson Chandler and Nikola Mirotic.
  • According to Wojnarowski, the Trail Blazers remain committed to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum as core pieces, and are taking the long view on their roster rather than pushing for a playoff spot this season.

Knicks Rumors: Rose, Carmelo, O’Quinn, Jennings

The Knicks have been actively exploring potential Derrick Rose trades with the deadline nearing, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (podcast link). As Wojnarowski notes, the club’s approach to Rose suggests there isn’t a ton of interest in re-signing him this summer.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN.com, some members of the Knicks organization are “wary” of taking on any long-term salary back in a deal for Rose, since the team could free up more than $21MM for 2017/18 by keeping the point guard’s expiring contract on the books.

As the Knicks mull what to do with Rose, here are a few more notes on the team from Wojnarowski and Begley:

  • Rival executives around the NBA believed – as of Tuesday evening – that the Clippers and Celtics haven’t entirely closed the door on a Carmelo Anthony trade, writes Begley. Still, according to Wojnarowski, the Knicks have been underwhelmed by what teams are willing to give up for Anthony, reducing their motivation to move him.
  • Per Wojnarowski, it’s possible that the Knicks hang onto Anthony through the deadline, then try to reopen trade scenarios around the 2017 draft. Begley reports that some people within the Clippers organization think that the All-Star forward would be open to waiving his no-trade clause and approving a move to Los Angeles in the summer.
  • Even if the Knicks don’t move any marquee veterans, a deal this week is possible. According to Begley, teams have asked about guys like Kyle O’Quinn and Brandon Jennings in recent days.

Coaching Role Impacts Doc Rivers' Personnel Decisions

  • Doubling up as the head coach of the Clippers and managing team personnel isn’t easy and some believe that it has limited Doc Rivers‘ ability to make significant trades. Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes that Rivers has considered deals in the past but ultimately scrapped them because of an unwillingness to part with talent that he likes to have when he’s coaching from the sidelines.
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