Patrick Beverley

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.

Free Agent Rumors: Dudley, Beverley, McGee, Green

The new-look Nets may be close to bringing back one of their locker room leaders, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Jared Dudley is interested in signing up for another season in Brooklyn, a source tells Scotto.

Dudley, who will turn 34 next month, also contributed on the court in his first season with the Nets, averaging 4.9 PPG in 59 games and shooting 35% from 3-point range. Dudley is also drawing interest from the Pistons and met with Detroit officials today, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).

There’s more free agent news to pass along:

  • The Mavericks’ planned discussion with Patrick Beverley didn’t happen tonight, relays Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link), who speculates that it was because of the team’s involvement in a three-way trade with the Heat and Sixers. Townsend adds that the Mavs’ chances of landing Beverley seem less likely than they were earlier.
  • Dallas is optimistic about reaching a deal with restricted free agent Maxi Kleber, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. He cites “productive discussions” between the Mavericks and the power forward/center.
  • JaVale McGee has a meeting set with the Pistons tomorrow, relays Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The free agent center talked to the Rockets today.
  • Danny Green spoke on his Instagram account about meeting with the Mavericks, Lakers and Clippers and Raptors, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. “Being patient, man,” he said of the process. “Being patient.”
  • The Wizards would still like to re-sign Tomas Satoransky, but are looking into other options at point guard, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). Hughes states that they are interested in Quinn Cook and notes that Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported an inquiry about Cory Joseph.

Lakers Request Meeting With Patrick Beverley

8:25pm: The Mavericks and Bulls also contacted Beverley today to set up a meeting, according to Sean Deveney (Twitter link).

6:43pm: The Lakers have contacted the representatives for free agent guard Patrick Beverley, tweets Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. The team has been rumored as a possible destination for Beverley, who has spent the past two seasons with the cross-town Clippers.

Beverley may be a fall-back option for the Lakers if they can’t land a third star to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis. L.A. has about $32MM in cap room, which it plans to split among several players if the search for another star comes up short. Beverley is reportedly seeking a three-year deal worth about $40MM.

After being limited to 11 games because of injuries in 2017/18, Beverley turned in a solid season this year, averaging 7.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per night and playing the super-aggressive defense that has defined his career. The Kings, Mavericks and Bulls are also believed to be interested in Beverley, while the Clippers would like to bring him back.

Free Agent Rumors: Randle, Gibson, Bullock, Bulls

The Kings will be among the teams in pursuit of Pelicans forward Julius Randle, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN. He cites the Nets, Knicks and Bulls as other expected suitors.

Randle, 24, had a career-best season after signing a one-year deal with New Orleans last summer. He averaged 21.4 points and 8.7 rebounds in 73 games while shooting 52% from the field. He also improved as a long-distance shooter, hitting 34% of his shots from 3-point range.

Here are more rumors as we move to within 24 hours of the start of free agency:

  • The Timberwolves will have plenty of competition for Taj Gibson, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who lists the Clippers, Nets, Bucks, Bulls, Warriors, Raptors, Trail Blazers, Hornets and Lakers as having interest in the veteran forward (Twitter link). Gibson has averaged 11.5 PPG and 6.9 RPG during his two years in Minnesota.
  • There’s mutual interest between the Knicks and shooting specialist Reggie Bullock, according to Ian Begley of SNY.TV. Bullock averaged 11.3 points per game while splitting last season between the Pistons and Lakers.
  • The Bulls are looking for a point guard, but want to limit the contract to two years, reports K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. That may take them out of the running for Malcolm Brogdon or Patrick Beverley, Johnson notes, but he cites other options such as Cory Joseph, Tyus Jones and George Hill who might be willing to accept a shorter contract. The Bulls are counting on first-round pick Coby White to take over the position within two years and want the free agent’s contract to expire in the summer of 2021 at the same time as Otto Porter‘s and Cristiano Felicio‘s.

Kings Interested In Patrick Beverley

The Kings are interested in Patrick Beverley, a source tells Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Beverley would help take the pressure off of De’Aaron Fox, serving as the point guard’s backup.

Beverley is reportedly seeking a deal in the three-year, $40MM range. The Kings should have no problem accommodating that type of contract, as the team has just under $53MM in guaranteed salaries on the books for next season.

The Mavericks, Bulls, Clippers, and Lakers are all also expected to have interested in Beverley. Most of those teams seem to have some sort of connection between them and the point guard. Beverley is from Chicago. He shares an agent with Mavs star Luka Doncic and he played in Los Angeles this past season.

Beverley made slightly more than $5MM last season and will almost certainly see a raise on his annual salary next season.