Patrick Beverley

Pacific Notes: Stephenson, Ariza, Harrell, Ferrell

Headed to his seventh team in five years, new Laker Lance Stephenson is hoping he can land a long-term contract next summer, relays Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. Stephenson expected a longer stay in Indiana after appearing in all 82 games last season. However, after teammate Thaddeus Young opted in to a $13.7MM deal and Doug McDermott was added in free agency, the Pacers elected to decline their $4.3MM option on Stephenson. He wound up signing a one-year, $4.5MM deal with L.A.

“I’m definitely looking for a long-term contract after this,” Stephenson said. “I’m trying to find a home. I’ve been moving a lot and to different teams. I’m trying to find a place where I can actually call home and feel comfortable, and actually get a nice place and stay there for a while.”

There’s more this morning from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns contacted free agent forward Trevor Ariza in the first minute of free agency, he says in a video interview tweeted by the team. The former Rocket agreed to change teams after receiving a one-year, $15MM offer from Phoenix. “Sometimes things run their course and it’s time for a new start and new beginning,” Ariza explained. “There were a lot of options for me, but the one that … showed the most promise was this one. I’m excited to be here. I’m happy to be here. It’s closer to home [in Los Angeles] for me.”
  • The new two-year, $12MM contract for Montrezl Harrell leaves the Clippers about $500K below the tax line, but sets up a difficult roster decision, Bobby Marks posts on ESPN Now. Re-signing Harrell gives L.A. 16 guaranteed contracts, along with non-guaranteed deals for Patrick Beverley ($5,027,028) and C.J. Williams ($1,378,242). Neither becomes fully guaranteed until January 10.
  • The Kings finalized a three-year, $20.5MM contract with Nemanja Bjelica on Saturday, but not an expected deal with Yogi Ferrell, notes salary cap expert Albert Nahmad (Twitter link). He speculates that Sacramento could be examining its options with $14MM in remaining cap space and may use the room mid-level exception to sign Ferrell to a two-year, $6.2MM deal at a later date.

Pacific Notes: McLemore, Davis, Curry, Durant, Knight

Shooting guard Ben McLemore and power forward Deyonta Davis probably won’t stick around with the Kings, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area speculates. That duo was acquired, along with a future second-rounder, from the Grizzlies on Tuesday for veteran guard Garrett Temple. Adding a draft pick and clearing a little more cap space attracted Sacramento to the deal, Ham continues. McLemore joins a crowded backcourt and he could be waived or his $5.4MM contract could be bought out. Davis has a team-friendly $1.5MM salary but also doesn’t have an obvious role with the current roster.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Temple trade gives the Kings more than $20MM of cap room, making it a smarter move for them than the Grizzlies, in the eyes of Kevin Pelton of ESPN. Sacramento can use that additional wiggle room take on bad contracts or chase a restricted free agent, Pelton continues. The 2021 pick it acquired could very well wind up being at or near the top of the second round if Memphis goes into rebuild mode, Pelton adds.
  • Warriors guard Stephen Curry has decided to skip next week’s USA Basketball mini-camp, Chris Haynes of ESPN reports. Curry wants to spend more time with his family. Golden State forward Kevin Durant will take part in the mini-camp, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets.
  • The Suns will head into the season with Brandon Knight as the starting point guard unless they make a trade, Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic declares in his latest mailbag. If Phoenix strikes a deal, the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley would be an obvious target because of Los Angeles’ backcourt logjam, Bordow adds.
  • The Clippers will promote their G League coach, Casey Hill, to Doc Rivers’ staff with coaching associate Brian Adams replacing Hill at Agua Caliente, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links). Natalie Nakase will be promoted to Clippers player development staff, Wojnarowski adds.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Atkinson, Sixers, Celtics, Sullivan

After a record-breaking regular season, the Raptors once again laid an egg in the postseason, leading to the firing of Coach of the Year candidate Dwane Casey. Now, barring any trades, the team is faced with a potential luxury tax issue with a roster that cannot seem to compete in the weaker Eastern Conference come playoff time.

Eric Koreen of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at the luxury tax concerns for Toronto, focusing on who the Raptors could afford to surrender in order to get under the tax threshold while also remaining competitive.

Koreen opines that in a perfect world, the Raptors would probably love to unload one or both of the contracts of Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell, who are scheduled to make over $21.6MM and $9.3MM next season, respectively.

More realistically, the club may decide to let young guard Fred VanVleet sign somewhere else instead of matching what is expected to be an offer in the $7.5MM per season range. Koreen also explores the possibility of moving on from big man Jonas Valanciunas or the player the Raptors used their MLE on last summer – C.J. Miles.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have been relatively uncompetitive for the last three seasons, but head coach Kenny Atkinson expects significant growth next season, reports Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The Nets have limited cap space and traded away their own first-round pick in this month’s NBA Draft, so Atkinson will need to rely on his reputed prowess as a player developer if the Nets hope to show meaningful improvement.
  • Regardless of whether or not the Sixers succeed in signing a superstar free agent this offseason, the team will need to make sure to also sign both a guard with long-range shooting ability who is capable of guarding opposing point guards (e.g. Patrick Beverley) and a backup center capable of protecting the rim when Joel Embiid isn’t on the court, per David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • The Celtics‘ first selection in the upcoming draft, barring a trade, isn’t until pick No. 27, but according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, the team can still add some quality wing depth with versatile players such as Gary Trent Jr. or Josh Okogie, both of whom are likely to be available towards the end of the first round.
  • Per Ian Begley of ESPN, former Clippers’ assistant coach Pat Sullivan will join the Knicks staff as an assistant for new head coach David Fizdale. Sullivan, a New Jersey native, worked as an assistant coach for the Pistons when Knicks’ GM Scott Perry was an executive with the team.

Patrick Beverley Cleared For Basketball Activities

Clippers guard Patrick Beverley is well ahead of schedule in his recovery from microfracture and meniscus surgery on his right knee, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Beverley has received medical clearance to resume full basketball activities, about three months earlier than originally projected when the operation was performed November 22. Beverley was expected to need nine months before receiving clearance, and Dr. Walter Lowe, professor and chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Center, called his recovery “remarkable.”

“I saw Pat [Thursday] and ordered a new MRI approximately six months out from his microfracture biocartilage repair and lateral meniscus repair,” Lowe said in a statement to ESPN. “His recovery has been remarkable and I have cleared him to return to all basketball activities. This speedy recovery is a testament to Pat’s diligence to the comprehensive rehabilitation program between Houston and LA.”

The Clippers acquired Beverley last June in the trade that sent Chris Paul to Houston. He was expected to take over Paul’s role in the L.A. backcourt, but the injury shut down his season after just 11 games.

The team holds a $5MM option on Beverly for next season and could opt to negotiate an extension this summer, Wojnarowski notes. The contract won’t become fully guaranteed until January 10.

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.