Patrick Beverley

L.A. Notes: Morris, Jackson, George, Beverley, Bryant

After failing to land Marcus Morris, the Lakers are set to add his twin brother Markieff Morris after the forward negotiated a buyout with the Pistons on Friday. While Markieff is not the offensive contributor that his brother is, he can still pack some punch for the Lakers, Sporting News’ Jacob Hancock writes.

Marcus is in the midst of his best season, averaging 19.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG while shooting 43.2% from beyond the arc. Markieff has posted more a modest 11.0 PPG whilst shooting a career-best 39.7% from three. Markieff gives the Lakers another big body to see time in the frontcourt along with Anthony DavisJaVale McGee and Dwight Howard. Additionally, Markieff’s presence will allow Kyle Kuzma — who has seen time at power forward — to play his more natural position at small forward.

The move figures to become official once Markieff clears waivers on Sunday.

Check more notes surrounding the L.A. teams:

  • To reach a buyout agreement with Detroit, Markieff gave up $4.3MM, the remainder of this season’s salary plus his player option for 2020/21, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
  • Despite practicing for two straight days, Paul George (hamstring) and Patrick Beverley (groin) have been ruled out of the Clippers‘ Saturday tilt against the Kings, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk writes. George’s hamstring has been a cause for concern this season while Beverley sat out the Skills Challenge to heal the groin. Head coach Doc Rivers has stressed the need for the Clippers to be healthy and establish chemistry heading into the playoffs.
  • In addition to acquiring Marcus Morris, the Clippers were also busy in the buyout market adding veteran guard Reggie Jackson. While Jackson figures to help the Clippers’ second unit off the bench, the opportunity will also allow him to play alongside longtime friend Paul George, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times writes.
  • The Lakers vs. Clippers game scheduled for January 28 that was postponed following Kobe Bryant‘s shocking death has been rescheduled for April 9 at Staples Center, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

Clippers Still Working Through Chemistry Issues

Some players on the Clippers are not thrilled with the team’s preferential treatment to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, sources tell Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic. This sort of handling is common in the NBA nowadays. Stars play by different rules, however, that doesn’t mean things are always smooth behind the scenes.

Look across the Staples Center to LeBron James to see another example of stars getting different treatment. James frequently sets the Lakers’ practice and shootaround schedules, coordinating with coach Frank Vogel as they try to figure out what works best for the team. Yet, LBJ’s situation is generally accepted by teammates because of his leadership style; he has an ability to inspire and connect with his teammates in a way that facilitates it.

Leonard and George have different personalities. Leonard is a lead-by-example type and with George having the same approach, there’s a bit of uncertainty about whose voice should be the loudest.

“I think it boils down to Kawhi not talking, and so who is their true leader?” one source with knowledge of the Clippers’ dynamics said. “How do you get around that?”


After a loss to the Grizzlies earlier this month, Montrezl Harrell was particularly vocal about the team’s performance, telling the media that the Clippers were not a great team” while explaining that the club needed to “wake up and figure it out.” Harrell was asked about the vibe in the locker room and the center’s response was noteworthy.

“I don’t know, brother,” Harrell said at the time. “I don’t know. And that might be another problem right there.”

Doc Rivers addressed Harrell’s comments and Buha and Amick hear that tension had been rising in the locker room leading up to those remarks. The big man’s words also rubbed some teammates the wrong way as they felt Harrell’s post-game mood was, at times, reliant on his individual box score.

Harrell is in a contract year and could be in line for a major raise in free agency. However, sources tell The Athletic duo that the 25-year-old remains focused on the team’s goal of winning a championship over any sort of personal agenda.

“Everything he does is out of his passion for winning,” one source said. “He kind of walks to his own beat a little bit, but it’s not from a selfish perspective at all.”

Buha and Amick spoke to over a dozen sources and the entire piece is worth a read. Here are more highlights from the duo’s latest:

  • Multiple Clippers players don’t feel the team practices as hard or as seriously as it should be. Leonard’s load management plays a role in that.
  • The Clippers prefer to call the strategy with Leonard “injury management.” Los Angeles’ medical team still doesn’t consider Leonard a fully healthy player and maintains that Leonard should not play back-to-backs.
  • Leonard has become more vocal recently. He’s coordinated player-only film sessions that many around the team believe have been a key to the Clippers’ recent surge in the standings. “It wasn’t one of those crazy players-only meetings, but they started doing it two or three games ago,” Rivers said earlier this month. “They just felt like watching the game together instead of everybody watching their iPads, watching it alone, would be better.”
  • The team’s success over the next week or so (which includes games against the Heat and Lakers) could determine what Los Angeles does at the trade deadline. Many players and team employees feel the dynamics have improved and the team has begun to jell over the past few weeks.
  • Buha and Amick write that Leonard most frequently speaks with George, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, and Maurice Harkless. The pair notes that Leonard is not standoffish to others, but has grown the most comfortable with that group.
  • As a reminder, both Kawhi and PG can hit the free agent market in the summer of 2021, as each player’s deal contains a player option for the following season.

Patrick Beverley Has Right Wrist Sprain

Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley is expected to miss a few games with a right wrist sprain, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

The pesky defender was injured during a layup attempt against Utah on Saturday. He left the court after falling on his right arm, returned to the locker room for X-rays, then played in the fourth quarter.

The Clippers have already ruled out Beverley for Tuesday afternoon’s game at Sacramento. Afterward the game Saturday, coach Doc Rivers said Beverley was having difficulty grasping the basketball.

Beverley, who is averaging 8.0 PPG and 3.3 APG, is in the first year of a three-year, $40MM contract he signed in July.

Beverley is often the last option on the floor and doesn’t put up big numbers but his impact goes beyond the stat sheet. He sets the defensive tone for a team with championship aspirations. The Clippers have been missing at least one rotation piece in all but one game this season due to either injuries or load management.

Clippers Notes: Beverley, Harkless, George, Harrell

Clippers coach Doc Rivers is concerned about the status of Patrick Beverley, who hurt his right wrist in Saturday’s loss to the Jazz, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Beverley removed himself from the game after a hard fall on a third-quarter layup attempt. X-rays showed the wrist isn’t broken, but Rivers is worried that he might be sidelined for a while.

“We knew there was no break, but that doesn’t mean he is going to be out or not,” he said. “It could be a bruise, it could be anything. He clearly felt like he could not even grab the ball, so that is not a good sign. I’m concerned a little bit about what the injury is, if it’s an injury, if it’s just a one-game thing — hopefully it’s that.”

As one of the league’s top perimeter defenders, Beverley’s absence would be significant if he is lost for an extended stretch. He is averaging 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists through 29 games.

There’s more Clippers news this morning:

  • Maurice Harkless is a good fit for the Clippers, but he may also be their most valuable asset in trade talks, according to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. L.A. picked up Harkless for nearly nothing by helping to facilitate the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to Miami, and his $11MM expiring contract makes him an important piece for matching salaries. Sources tell Woike that the Clippers might be interested in Bulls forward Thaddeus Young, who is making $12.9MM in the first season of a three-year deal, as well as another center and an extra playmaker in the backcourt. “I just focus on what I’ve got going on here. That’s the only thing I can control,” Harkless said. “If I let myself worry about that stuff. … Man, I’ve been in the league long enough where I know how it goes. If it comes to that day, I’ll deal with it when I get there.”
  • The shoulder injuries that required Paul George to get two surgeries over the summer are affecting his approach to the game, tweets Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. “Last year, before the injury started, I was finishing through contact, finishing through defenders,” George said. “This year I’ve been shying away from contact.”
  • A flu that’s going around the team kept Montrezl Harrell out of the lineup Saturday and showed the Clippers could use some more help in the frontcourt, observes Brett Dawson of The Athletic.

L.A. Notes: Caruso, Rondo, Beverley, Williams

Alex Caruso was barely noticed on the Lakers‘ 2017 Summer League team that featured Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma, but he’s making a name for himself now, writes LZ Granderson of The Los Angeles Times. Caruso earned a two-way contract from that opportunity, but spent most of the past two seasons in the G League. He has turned into an NBA fixture and a fan favorite this season, averaging 20 minutes per night through the first 14 games.

“When I got called up I thought I had made it,” he said about his NBA debut in 2017. “I loved everything about being in the NBA and wanted to stay, but it didn’t work out that way. It was frustrating but I tried to stay focused on the things I could control. … There’s a reason I went back to the G League and I ended up growing and improving myself mentally and physically. When I got my chance to play more minutes at the end of last season, I was able to show how much I grew. … It all worked out.”

There’s more from Los Angeles:

  • Rajon Rondo doesn’t believe he deserved a Flagrant 2 and an ejection last night against the Thunder, relays Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Rondo was fined $35K for “unsportsmanlike physical contact” with Dennis Schroder, along with verbal abuse of an official and failing to leaving the court in a timely manner. McMenamin observes that Rondo appeared to knee Schroder in the groin, but the fiery guard insists he was ejected because of his reputation. “You know, you’re a four-, five-time felon, the judgment is kind of harsher when you’ve had a history prior,” Rondo said.
  • Also fined today was Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, who was assessed a $5K penalty for a second violation of the league’s anti-flopping rules, tweets Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Beverley reacted to the news with a tweet of his own, featuring several emojis and the message, “what NAW MAN.”
  • After adding two All-Stars this summer, the Clippers have kept Lou Williams as their late-game closer, notes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Coach Doc Rivers recalls that Williams wasn’t excited about joining the team when he was traded there two years ago. “He came in the day before camp and the rest of the team had been there for 30 days,” Rivers said. “In his defense, he’d been traded, what, four years straight at that point and probably didn’t believe that we had any interest in keeping him around. So I just thought we needed to have a good talk, and I thought we both needed to prove something to each other. It was a two-way thing … we just talked and said, ‘You prove it, I prove it,’ and if we can get to a trust point, then we can get to a great spot.”

Clippers Notes: Opener, Patterson, George, Beverley

The Clippers showed off championship potential in Tuesday’s win over the Lakers, writes Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Although it was opening night, the game featured playoff intensity as Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams, LeBron James and Anthony Davis were each on the court for at least 36 minutes.

With all the talent on hand, Kawhi Leonard stood out as the best player on the court, Buha states. The Clippers’ bench held a 60-19 scoring advantage and their defense took over the game after a slow start.

“We got players on the team that want to play defense,” Leonard said of the Clippers, who were missing defensive stalwarts Paul George and Rodney McGruder. “We got some big bodies, we’re long. As long as we come out and be aggressive and play with our active hands, be in spots, it’s gonna be tough for people to score on us when it’s in a half-court. So, I guess, that’s just taking pride in our defense and wanting to win the ball game. Just got them a little flustered.”

There’s more Clippers news to pass along:

  • Coach Doc Rivers made a surprise decision to start veteran forward Patrick Patterson, Buha adds in the same story. Patterson had been with the third unit in nearly every practice and scrimmage that was open to the media, but he delivered when Rivers called on him Tuesday. Buha notes that the Lakers adjusted their strategy in an attempt to take advantage of Patterson guarding Davis in the post, which slowed down the offense. Rivers has promised a flexible starting lineup, so Patterson’s role may change from game to game.
  • Sources tell Chris Hayes of Yahoo Sports that George, who is recovering from offseason surgery on both shoulders, is expected to make his season debut in about three weeks. That matches an earlier report in which Rivers estimated that George will miss the season’s first 10 games.
  • Patrick Beverley has been fined $25K for throwing a ball into the crowd late in Tuesday’s game, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Western Notes: Valanciunas, Rockets, Johnson

Jonas Valanciunas is dealing with foot soreness, though David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter link) hears that there is no structurial damage in the center’s foot. The big man played for Lithuania in the FIBA World Cup and it’s possible the quick turnaround to training camp contributed to his soreness. Valanciunas won’t suit up for the remainder of the preseason, as the Grizzlies are opting to provide him with rest so that he’s fresh for the regular season.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said “there’s always challenges” when it comes to setting the regular season roster, as Mark Berman of Fox 26 relays (Twitter link). D’Antoni added that he feels getting to a nine-man rotation will also be difficult, since he believes Houston has “about 11-12 guys that can play.”
  • Spurs first-rounder Keldon Johnson, who turned 20 this weekend, has impressed his veteran teammates, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. “I remember those days,” Rudy Gay said. “It’s amazing what he’s accomplished at this young age and to be out here playing with somebody like me who has been here since dinosaurs were playing basketball.”
  • Patrick Beverley is back at practice at suffering an undisclosed injury earlier this week, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times reports. The point guard re-signed with the Clippers this offseason on a three-year, $40MM deal.

Pacific Notes: Smailagic, Adams, Diallo, Shamet

Warriors rookie big man Alen Smailagic has a severe ankle sprain, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Coach Steve Kerr said Smailagic, a second-round pick, will be out for the “foreseeable future” due to the injury.

The 18-year-old Serbian played in the G League for Santa Cruz – the Warriors’ affiliate – in 2018/19 but wasn’t draft-eligible until this year. He was shut down early in the pre-draft process and was “hidden” in Serbia from the rest of the NBA. He signed a four-year, minimum salary contract with two years guaranteed.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings never seriously considered trading for Thunder center Steven Adams, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reports.  The Thunder are reportedly seeking a significant return for their top big man and were hoping to pry away Buddy Hield or Bogdan Bogdanovic in talks with Sacramento.
  • The Suns have numerous options at the power forward and center spots but Cheick Diallo could be in the mix, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. Diallo was signed to a two-year contract after spending three seasons with the Pelicans. “He’s a really active player,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “He can score around the basket. He’s trying to defend. … He just plays hard. Gives you a different edge at that four-five spot.”
  • Landry Shamet and rookie Terance Mann are the main backup options to Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley despite having backgrounds at the wing positions, Mirjan Swanson of the Orange County Register relays. Coach Doc Rivers believes Shamet will emerge in that role. “Landry will play point a lot this year,” Rivers said. “There’s no doubt about that. Because he can do a lot of things that very few guys can do, (Stephen) Curry-like. He can push it up, throw it and run and still score.”

Clippers Re-Sign Patrick Beverley

JULY 12: The Clippers have officially re-signed Beverley, the team announced today in a press release. While agreeing to terms with Beverley was one of the club’s first moves of free agency last week, it was far from the last — L.A. has since acquired Leonard and Paul George while also reaching new deals with Ivica Zubac, Rodney McGruder, and JaMychal Green.

JULY 1: Patrick Beverley will remain with the Clippers on a three-year, $40MM deal, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s the exact contract that Beverley was rumored to be seeking in a report earlier this week.

Beverley was among the most highly sought after guards on the free agent market, with the Mavericks, Lakers, Bulls and Kings among the teams expressing interest.

Re-signing Beverley won’t affect the Clippers’ ability to get a deal done with Kawhi Leonard, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), who observes that they can still add Leonard to the roster without needing to trade Danilo Gallinari.

The Clippers made it a priority to keep Beverley, who was an inspirational leader for the team, along with a dogged defender. He missed nearly all of the 2017/18 season after being acquired from Houston in the Chris Paul deal, but bounced back strong this year, posting a 7.6/5.0/3.8 line in 78 games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Western Notes: Russell, Suns, Beverley, Kings, Rivers, Blazers

The Timberwolves, led by D’Angelo Russell‘s close friend Karl-Anthony Towns, were confident about their ability to get a commitment from Russell in free agency and went into their Sunday meeting with him ready to make the trades necessary to make a deal work, sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota was just waiting for the green light from D-Lo to move forward on those trades, but the All-Star point guard instead opted to join the Warriors.

The Suns were viewed as a team that might try to get into the mix for Russell, who has another good friend – Devin Booker – in Phoenix. However, despite Booker’s campaign, Phoenix chose not to pursue the RFA guard, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. According to Rankin, the Suns “apparently felt Russell wouldn’t have been a good influence on Booker off the court.”

The Warriors, with their veteran leaders, apparently had no such qualms about D-Lo, who – by all accounts – matured considerably during his time in Brooklyn.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • After agreeing to sign a three-year, $40MM deal with the Clippers, Patrick Beverley tells Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times that he turned down a more lucrative offer from the Kings to return to L.A. “I got a bigger offer from Sacramento and I took $9-10 million less to come here,” Beverley said. “… It was the right decision. Of course, the human part of you wants to take as much money as you see, but all money isn’t good money. I did what was best for me and my family and I did what was best to stay on a winning team, and I feel like I made the right decision.”
  • Despite Beverley’s comments, Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link) hears that the Kings offered the veteran guard a guaranteed total of $35MM over three years, with a partial guarantee in year three. Theoretically, it’s possible that Beverley’s claim could still be accurate if that third-year partial guarantee was very small and he’s including the non-guaranteed money as part of Sacramento’s bid.
  • Before he agreed to return to the Rockets for the veteran’s minimum, Austin Rivers had offers in the range of the $5.7MM taxpayer mid-level exception, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. “Now that the league is wide open, I just saw an opportunity,” Rivers said. “You can’t really put a price on happiness. The goal was to come back to Houston all along. I think we have the team to beat.”
  • The Trail Blazers have announced Terry Stotts‘ coaching staff for the upcoming season, with Nate Tibbetts replacing David Vanterpool as the team’s associate head coach. Portland has also promoted Jim Moran to the front of the bench and hired former NBA guard Jannero Pargo as an assistant.