Patrick Beverley

Clippers Notes: Jordan, Griffin, Beverley

The time has come for the Clippers to trade DeAndre Jordan, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders writes. The big man’s name has been subject to speculation for much of the season but now a rebuild is inevitable.

While Jordan isn’t the problem, he can be part of the team’s solution heading forward, Hamilton writes. Re-signing the 29-year-old big man would keep L.A. competitive enough to miss out on the benefits of being a bad team — unloading him for parts could help the team set off in the right direction.

There’s more out of L.A.:

  • An in-depth interview conducted by Marc Spears of The Undefeated sheds light on Blake Griffin‘s upbringing in Oklahoma. The scribe spoke with the power forward about everything from growing up biracial in Oklahoma to Chris Paul‘s departure.
  • The Clippers’ second unit has taken to referring to itself as the Goon Squad, Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times writes. Front and center of the bunch is Lou Williams, even though he’s spent time as a starter of late. “I am the leader of the Goon Squad. Yet and still,” Williams said. “I’ve started, what, six games this season? [Actually 11]. So I can’t really call myself a starter. I’m still a bench guy.”
  • While his return to the court may still be months away, Patrick Beverley is thrilled to return to rejoin his team on the sidelines. “I’m ecstatic, I get to talk some [trash] on the bench today,” he told Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register. “[…] I wanted to stay in Houston until I was off the crutches, but I’m back. I’m back for good now.”

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers’ Job Seems Safe

Clippers coach Doc Rivers will likely hold onto his job the remainder of the season, multiple sources told USA Today’s Sam Amick. Owner Steve Ballmer feels the team’s rash of injuries has made it difficult to judge Rivers’ performance this season, Amick continues. The team’s top player, power forward Blake Griffin, is out at least a month with an MCL sprain. Point guard Patrick Beverley underwent season-ending knee surgery, while newcomers Milos Teodosic and Danilo Gallinari have barely played because of ailments. “You’ve just got to hang in there,” Rivers told Amick. “People get down on the team. They get down on you. They get down on everybody. That’s what happens, and you can’t waver. You’ve just got to keep doing your job, and the players have to just keep playing.”

Other notable items from Amick’s story:

  • The club is taking calls on center DeAndre Jordan but not actively shopping him. Jordan is expected to opt of the final year of his contract next summer, leaving $24.1MM on the table. The front office believes it can re-sign him, so they’re asking price for any potential deal is high. The market could heat up on December 15th, when many players who signed new contracts last summer are eligible to be dealt. Jordan hired an agent on Monday, which could facilitate trade talks.
  • The team remains committed to building around Griffin, who re-signed with them over the summer. Griffin doesn’t have an opt-out on his massive five-year, $171.1MM deal until the summer of 2021.
  • Productive role players, such as guard Lou Williams, could be dealt for draft picks. The team still has its first-rounder in June but dealt away its 2019 pick.

Clippers Notes: Jordan, Rivers, Beverley

As the Clippers descend in the Western Conference standings, center DeAndre Jordan‘s name has become prominent in trade talks. Jordan could hit free agency after this season as he holds a $24MM player option on the original four-year, $88MM pact he signed with the Clippers in 2015.

Any team interested in acquiring Jordan could have difficulty gauging his desire to commit long-term, however, because the 6’11” center is not represented by an agent (per ESPN’s Bobby Marks on Twitter).

Per Marks, it will be hard to do any “backchanneling to see if [Jordan] is a short-term rental or would commit long-term.”

Jordan, 29, is averaging his fewest PPG (10.0) since the 2012/13 season but remains a force on the glass (13.7 RPG) and on defense (1.1 BPG). The Clippers currently hold the 10th seed in the Western Conference with an 8-11 record; the team recently snapped a nine-game skid and is dealing with injuries to Patrick Beverley (knee), Blake Griffin (MCL sprain), Danilo Gallinari (glute) and Milos Teodosic (foot).

The injuries could force a teardown and Jordan would likely be one of the first players traded. However, the All-Star recently told Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report that he is focused on being there for his current team despite the poor play and injuries.

“It’s definitely tough, but I can’t give up on my teammates,” Jordan said. “I’ve got to stay positive, and hopefully it will turn around.”

Check out other news surrounding the Clippers below:

  • The aforementioned Beverley is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery and the Clippers are still reeling from the news, Elliot Teaford of the Orange County Register writes. “You can’t feel sorry for yourself, ever, ever,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “Before the game in Atlanta, I told our guys, ‘I know millions of guys who would trade places right now. Right now, on your worst day, they would trade. So, there’s a lot to be thankful for. You’ve got to keep plugging away.’”
  • Rivers admitted that his fifth season as head coach of the Clippers has been his most challenging, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times writes. However, the former NBA Finals-winning coach said his team still needs to play hard. “I’ve gone through far worse as a coach. … With this group right now, let’s get healthy and let’s see what we’ve got,” Rivers said. “But I love coaching the young guys, too. It’s nice that they get to play.”

Clippers’ Patrick Beverley Out For Season

4:48pm: The news has gone from bad to worse for Beverley and the Clippers, according to Wojnarowski, who reports that the point guard will miss the rest of the season. Per Wojnarowski, Beverley’s right knee surgery included a repair of a microfracture and a meniscus injury. His estimated recovery time is nine months.Patrick Beverley vertical

The Clippers are now eligible to apply for a disabled player exception, which would give the team a little extra spending flexibility to replace Beverley. If granted, the DPE would be worth about $2.76MM, half of his 2017/18 salary. Given their record and their proximity to the tax line, however, the Clips may not be eager to spend more on this year’s roster.

11:19am: Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley returned to the court on Monday after missing five games with a right knee injury, but that knee ailment will force him out of action again. League sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that Beverley has undergone a surgical procedure on his troublesome right knee, and the veteran’s recovery timetable is unclear.

Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times, who first reported that Beverley was being sent back to Los Angeles because of knee issues, confirmed that the 29-year-old underwent surgery in L.A. Turner also doesn’t have a specific timeline to pass along for Beverley’s recovery, but says the Clips’ starting point guard will be out “for a while” (Twitter links). Wojnarowski confirms, via sources, that Beverley will miss “a significant amount of time.”

The update is terrible news for Beverley, who had been off to a solid start with his new team early on this season. In 11 games, the former Rocket was averaging career highs in PPG (12.2), SPG (1.7), and 3PT% (.400), among other categories.

It’s also very bad news for the Clippers, who have been mired in a downward spiral since opening the season with four straight wins. Heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Hawks, the Clips have lost nine consecutive games, and they’ll be without both Beverley and Danilo Gallinari, two of their key offseason acquisitions.

Milos Teodosic remains sidelined with a foot injury too, so the Clippers’ backcourt will be shorthanded for the foreseeable future. Austin Rivers and Lou Williams will be in line for larger roles, while rookies Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans are also good bets to receive regular minutes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

L.A. Notes: Beverley, W. Johnson, Kuzma, Free Agency

Patrick Beverley is expected to return to the Clippers’ lineup Monday after missing five games with soreness in his right knee, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The injury-riddled team needs to get healthy soon, as it has dropped eight straight games and fallen to 5-10 after a 4-0 start. L.A. has been without its opening-night starting backcourt of Beverley and Milos Teodosic, who remains out indefinitely with a left plantar fascia injury.

Beverley was part of the package the Clippers received from Houston in this summer’s trade for Chris Paul. He was off to a strong start, averaging 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists through 10 games, along with elite-level defense.

There’s more this morning from Los Angeles:

  • With Beverley, Teodosic and Danilo Gallinari all sidelined by injuries, the Clippers want more offensive production from Wesley Johnson, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Johnson, who has a player option for next season worth more than $6.1MM, is taking more than twice as many shots as last season at 5.5 per game, but is careful about not forcing things. “I just see how the game feels out and then just go like that,” he said. “But I think they want me to just go out there and just have an imprint on the game. Just go out there and junk it up, do whatever.”
  • After being ignored for most of his basketball life, Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma has become one of the most celebrated rookies in the NBA, notes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Kuzma wasn’t invited to New York for the draft and he was a little-noticed part of the draft night trade that sent D’Angelo Russell to Brooklyn. “I felt like I had to sell myself everywhere,” Kuzma said of the pre-draft process. “Coming out of college, they kind of pegged me as a second-round to undrafted kind of guy. I didn’t really have that many options. Everybody was telling me to go back to school. Literally, everybody did. But I knew I was a lot better than everyone projected me to be. So going through the draft process I was on a mission, super focused. I had to come in every interview, every workout, and pretty much smash it.”
  • Despite months of rumors and a plan to create enough cap room for two max offers, the Lakers shouldn’t be overly confident that LeBron James and Paul George will join them next summer, writes Mark Heisler of The Orange County Register.

Pacific Notes: Deng, Beverley, Randolph

Luol Deng‘s four-year, $72MM contract that he signed in 2016 has become one of the NBA’s biggest albatross contracts. The Lakers signed the 32-year-old to essentially become a more expensive version of what Metta World Peace was to last year’s team.

Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times writes that Deng, who spent parts of his first 10 seasons with the Bulls, no longer wants to play for the Lakers. He has played in just one game this season, recording 2 points and 1 assist in 13 minutes of action. As he awaits a resolution on his future, Deng told Ganguli he does not regret his contract.

“I just know that for me, I never really [took] the contract and said I just want to shut it down, I just don’t want to do anything,” Deng said. “I’m still working as hard as I can trying to figure it out and trying to be the best player I can be. It was never, let me go and relax and not do anything. That was never the case. So I don’t regret it at all.”

The Lakers are heavily invested in a youth movement, highlighted by their first-round picks from the past seasons in Brandon Ingram and Lonzo BallDeng could help the team as a mentor to the upstarts but minutes will be hard to come by unless he is traded.

Check out other news from the Pacific Division:

  • A sore right knee has sidelined Clippers’ point guard Patrick Beverley, head coach Doc Rivers told reporters, including Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Despite initial concern, Rivers said the team expects their catalyst to miss about one week.  “It’s the same thing that kept him out of the second half of camp,” Rivers said. “But he’ll be fine, that’s the good news. We were worried that it could be worse and it’s not. But he’s still probably going to miss a week of games. So, it’s just another guy out.”
  • Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee writes that Zach Randolph, who endured a tough offseason that included an arrest for marijuana possession, is slowly getting back into shape. The Kings’ hoped the veteran would bring his toughness and grit to a young team and he spoke highly of the team’s core and what he can teach them.

Pacific Notes: Beverley, Bogdanovic, Cauley-Stein, Lakers

Patrick Beverley has earned the reputation of a defensive pest who can get under the skin of his opponents and the Clippers are glad he is on their side, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times writes.

Beverley has the unenviable task of being one of many reinforcements for a departed Chris PaulDespite the lofty expectations, Beverley’s defense and overall demeanor through his first few preseason contests have made him popular with teammates but not changed his approach.

“I try to set the tone defensively,” Beverley said. “That helps the rest of our team. I understand I have DJ [DeAndre Jordan], but I don’t want to rely on him too much. At the same time, I want to be able to still do my thing within the defense.”

Last season, Beverley averaged 9.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.2 APG, and 1.5 SPG for the Rockets last season. If he replicates the on-court performance and retains his outspoken style, the Clippers should be set at the position, according to his coaches and teammates.

Below you can find other news coming out of the Pacific Division:

  • Willie Cauley-Stein is entering his third NBA season at a time when third-year players are expected to develop into mainstays. However, a tumultuous period in Sacramento with roster, coaching, and front office turnover will make it a possibly difficult adjustment for Cauley-Stein, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic has spent limited time in the United States but he cannot contain the excitement for his NBA opportunity with the Kings, Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee details.
  • The Lakers have hired Jason Rosenfeld as Director of Basketball Analytics, according to the team. As ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link) noted, the Lakers’ signing of Rosenfeld is crucial as the team has been criticized for its lack of analytics use.

Pacific Notes: Beverley, Len, Thompson

After years counterbalancing James Harden‘s offensive presence in Houston, Patrick Beverley will step into a larger role as Chris Paul‘s replacement with the Clippers, James Blancarte of Basketball Insiders writes.

Not only has the veteran guard embraced the trade to the Clippers, he asked for the change of scenery. Now the 29-year-old will get a chance to showcase what he’s capable of above and beyond his reputation as a tenacious perimeter defender.

While Beverley will have big shoes to fill even on the defensive side of the ball – Paul was the only player that ranked higher than him in defensive real plus minus – he brings leadership qualities that should help the Clippers franchise in the midst of a critical transition.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

Patrick Beverley Confirms He Asked Rockets For Trade

Appearing on Adrian Wojnarowski’s ESPN podcast this week, Patrick Beverley confirmed that he asked the Rockets to explore the trade market to find him another opportunity this offseason (link via ESPN.com). Houston ultimately obliged, sending him to the Clippers in part of the package for Chris Paul.

“It comes kind of surprising to people that ask, ‘Why did they trade you?’ I asked for it,” Beverley said. “I asked for a bigger opportunity, a bigger chance to display my skills on a high level and I was fortunate that the Rockets did really good with me and [put] me in a situation where I can thrive and be successful. They could have really dumped me anywhere, but they did right, and I respect them a lot for it.”

Beverley is on one of the NBA’s most team-friendly veteran contracts, and is in line to earn about $10.5MM over the next two years with the Clippers. That affordable salary was one reason it was a little surprising when word broke in June that the Rockets were looking to move him. However, even that initial report from Sean Deveney of The Sporting News indicated that the veteran point guard would welcome a deal.

As I noted at the time, Beverley saw his role in Houston change a little last season as James Harden assumed the point guard reins. Although he reportedly enjoyed playing for Mike D’Antoni, Beverley’s 14.1% usage rate was a career low.

Beverley, 29, averaged 9.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.2 APG, and 1.5 SPG along with solid three-point shooting (.382 3PT%) for the Rockets in 2016/17. His defensive ability also allowed Houston to have him guard the most dangerous backcourt threat on opposing teams, taking some pressure off Harden.

With Paul no longer running the show in L.A., there should be room for Beverley to take on a larger role with his new team, though the Clippers have no shortage of options at the point. Milos Teodosic figures to see plenty of action, and players like Austin Rivers and Lou Williams may also get a chance to handle the ball. Still, the Clippers don’t have a ball-dominant star like Harden standing in Beverley’s way in the backcourt.

Pacific Notes: Ingram, Beverley, KCP

The Lakers have been active and persistent this offseason, from drafting UCLA product Lonzo Ball, to shipping out former first round pick D’Angelo Russell to the Nets, to signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year deal. While trade talks persist, the team is adamantly against trading last year’s second overall pick Brandon Ingram, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News writes.

Ingram, soon-to-be 20 years old, did not post eye-popping numbers in his rookie season, averaging 9.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG and shot 40.2 % from the floor. However, his work ethic and potential is the reason why Lakers brass has been abruptly ending phone calls once opposing teams inquire about his availability. Team president Magic Johnson‘s endorsement is a glowing one for the Duke product.

“The guy only cares about winning and basketball,” Johnson said. “He’s quiet and doesn’t do anything else. He is a very intelligent young man and is our hardest worker.”

As the Lakers continue their drift toward youth, Ingram figures to crack the starting lineup next season. Alongside the hotshot prospect Ball, veteran acquisition Lopez, and other youngsters, Ingram’s development remains a crucial point and goal for the Lakers.

Below are additional notes surrounding the Lakers and the Pacific division:

  • The Lakers‘ signing of KCP is a risk for both sides but one that could pay dividends, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times writes. Caldwell-Pope signed a one-year, $18MM deal with Los Angeles and was introduced earlier this week. The Lakers’ hope is that the 24-year-old, who is technically considered a veteran as he enters his fifth NBA season, will be a leader for a young team.
  • Conversely, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press ponders whether KCP’s decision to reject a four-year, $80MM offer from the Pistons last season was a wise move. While KCP will do fine financially this season, injuries, poor performance, and a change in the market could harm his value after 2017/18. Caldwell-Pope’s hope will be to have a strong season and hit the market at 25 years old looking for security.
  • Mark Medina adds in a separate piece that the Lakers are looking to fill out their roster in the next few weeks.
  • One of the Clippers‘ many acquisitions in the Chris Paul sign-and-trade was defensive standout Patrick Beverley. USA Today highlighted Beverly and his desire to not be compared with Paul and rather let his game speak for itself. Many Clippers officials are also quoted in stating their longtime appreciation of Beverley’s talents.
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