Amir Coffey

Pacific Notes: Leonard, George, Allen, Warriors

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue has decided on his fifth starter if Kawhi Leonard isn’t available for Sunday’s series opener against Dallas, according to Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Lue didn’t reveal the name, but Carr speculates it will be Amir Coffey, who started 13 games this season, often as Leonard’s replacement.

Leonard is still officially listed as questionable with inflammation in his right knee that has sidelined him since March 31. He was expected to take part in shooting drills at today’s practice with more movement than he did on Friday, but he still hasn’t participated in anything involving full contact since the knee began flaring up.

Lue said he’s not counting on any one player to slow down the high-powered Mavericks’ attack led by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

“It’s on all of us. It’s not just one player or two players, it’s all of us collectively doing our jobs and doing it the best we can do,” Lue said. “It’s not on one or two guys, it’s on everybody to produce, as well as me and the coaching staff.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Paul George believes bad injury luck has prevented the Clippers from reaching their potential in the playoffs, Carr adds. George is making his return to the postseason after missing last season’s series with Phoenix due to a sprained knee. “Injuries happen. That’s part of the game (and there’s) no way of really avoiding it,” he said. “So, as much as chemistry and being on the floor together and playing the best basketball you could possibly play at this point of the season, a lot of it has to do with luck, too.”
  • X-rays were negative for Suns guard Grayson Allen, who left today’s game with an ankle injury, tweets Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. Coach Frank Vogel told reporters that Allen has been diagnosed with a sprain. His availability for Tuesday’s Game 2 will depend on how he responds to treatment.
  • The Warriors will need to be aggressive on the trade market to have another chance at a title during the Stephen Curry era, writes Ron Kroichick of The San Francisco Chronicle. Kroichick suggests making a run at Karl-Anthony Towns if the Timberwolves are knocked out of the playoffs early or possibly Dejounte Murray if the Hawks decide to break up their backcourt. He lists Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant, Pacers forward Pascal Siakam and Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram as others who might be obtainable.

L.A. Notes: Lakers, LaVine, Kawhi, Coffey, Westbrook

The Lakers have slumped badly since winning the in-season tournament earlier this month, losing five of their past six games, including the last four in a row, to slip to 15-14 on the season. Following a 118-111 defeat at the hands of Minnesota on Thursday night, star big man Anthony Davis called for more urgency, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes.

“It’s the NBA season. There’s going to be ups, there’s going to be downs. Right now we’re in that down period,” Davis said. “We just got to continue to fight and continue to play hard. Play with some effort, some energy and we’re treating Saturday (in Oklahoma City) as a must win.”

As Jovan Buha of The Athletic notes, Davis also spoke about the team’s recent struggles after Wednesday’s loss to Chicago, pointing out that there’s “no break coming” and no “cavalry” the team is waiting on. While LeBron James (left ankle) and Gabe Vincent (left knee) did miss Thursday’s contest, the second end of a back-to-back set, they’re expected to be available going forward.

“We’ve got everyone back now,” Davis said. “We just got to find a way to get into the win column.”

The Lakers have dealt with injuries to rotation players for most of the season, but now that they’re as healthy as they’ve been all year, Darvin Ham and his coaching staff hope to set a depth chart and rotation and stick with it “for the foreseeable future,” sources tell McMenamin.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two Los Angeles teams:

  • Within his latest roundup of trade-related rumors from around the NBA, Kurt Helin of NBC Sports says the sources he has spoken to believe that a deal sending Bulls guard Zach LaVine to the Lakers is unlikely, at best. As Buha suggested at The Athletic earlier this week, Los Angeles would probably only consider a deal if the outgoing package consists of D’Angelo Russell, salary filler, and limited assets beyond that, such as Jalen Hood-Schifino and a protected first-round pick.
  • Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard missed his first game of the season on Thursday night, as the team ruled out him due to a left hip contusion, which head coach Tyronn Lue referred to as a “day-to-day thing,” per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). Amir Coffey drew the start at Oklahoma City in what turned out to be the team’s first loss this month — the Clippers have a 9-1 record in December.
  • Clippers guard Russell Westbrook has seen his role reduced since James Harden‘s arrival in Los Angeles, but Westbrook remains supremely confident in his abilities, as Greif details for The L.A. Times. After a strong defensive performance against Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Wednesday, Westbrook said he can “do anything on the floor at all times” and suggested he wants his due as a defender. “Ain’t too many people defending better than me at this point if we keeping it honest,” he said. “But I’ll let the numbers speak for that and let y’all talk about it. But we just keeping it a buck, ain’t too many people defending better than me at this position all around the league, honestly.”

Los Angeles Notes: Clippers’ Streak, Coffey, Davis, James

The Clippers have won seven straight, demonstrating how far they’ve come since the James Harden trade, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times writes. Kawhi Leonard has scored 30-plus points in six of the last 10 games, and Leonard, Paul George and Harden are developing into a dominating trio.

“It’s exactly what I envisioned just how we should play and how we can play,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “The biggest thing is just PG, Kawhi and James making each other better on a night-to-night basis.”

We have more on the Los Angeles teams:

  • Amir Coffey played 29 minutes for the Clippers on Thursday, scoring 18 points against Golden State. He saw 17 more minutes of action against the Knicks on Saturday after playing sparingly in the first 23 games. Lue said Coffey, who is signed through next season, bulled his way into the rotation, Greif tweets. “He’s earned the right to have the opportunity to play,” Lue said.
  • The Clippers’ defense will be tested in all of their games before Christmas, Law Murray of The Athletic notes. They face top-10 offenses in the Pacers, Mavericks and Thunder during their upcoming three-game road trip, then host another top-10 offense in the Celtics. “We’re a defense-first team, and we’ll watch film, see what they like to do, prepare for them and do our best,” Ivica Zubac said. “We know Indy is a great offensive team, and then you got Dallas and OKC, some great offensive teams. But we got some good defenders on this team and guys with high IQ that read very well on defense that can make plays. It’s going to be a great test for us.”
  • The Lakers list Anthony Davis (left adductor, hip spasm) and LeBron James (left calf contusion) as questionable for Monday’s home game against the Knicks, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Christian Wood (non-COVID illness) is also listed as questionable.

L.A. Notes: Lakers, Trade Targets, Coffey, Hyland, Harden

Appearing on Hoops Tonight (Twitter video link), Jovan Buha of The Athletic confirmed that the Lakers have some interest in Bulls guard Zach LaVine, but said there are a couple other Chicago players who may be higher on Los Angeles’ wish list.

“I’ve actually heard that they’re more interested in DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso,” Buha said. “AC, he’s the one that got away. Lakers fans, it still bothers them. Inside the organization, it’s a very divisive topic. And then DeMar is someone that the Lakers have courted for several years. Both of those guys are on more manageable contracts (than LaVine).

“… I think both of those guys make more sense within what the Lakers need. There’s real interest in all three guys, but from what I’ve been told, DeMar and Alex are higher on their priority list.”

Here’s more on the NBA’s two L.A. teams:

  • Within a comprehensive look at potential trade candidates around the NBA, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says that rival executives believe D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura are among the Lakers players worth monitoring as the trade deadline nears. Scotto also cites one exec who suggests keeping an eye on the possibility of an Amir Coffey trade if the Clippers want to try to reduce their tax bill at all.
  • No Clippers players have had their minutes more affected by James Harden‘s arrival than Bones Hyland. He averaged 26.2 minutes per night before Harden’s debut; since then, he has logged 12.9 MPG with six DNPs. As Janis Carr of The Orange County Register details, head coach Tyronn Lue has told Hyland his opportunities will come and the young guard is determined to remain patient. “Obviously everybody would be (bothered), especially for someone who wants to play like myself,” Hyland said. “But at the end of the day, sometimes the coaches see different things and maybe it’s not my time for a reason. … My whole life I try to stay positive, so I don’t let little things throw me off or change my attitude and stuff like that.”
  • Speaking today to reporters, Lue said that he isn’t considering a starting lineup change but that he’s thinking about tweaking his rotation, adding that the Clippers need Harden to be “more aggressive” (Twitter thread via Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times).

Clippers Notes: Lue, Leonard, George, Westbrook, Plumlee, Coffey

After battling injuries for much of last season, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George should be fully healthy for the beginning of training camp, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said in an appearance on Chris Haynes and Marc Stein’s #thisleague UNCUT podcast.

“They’re both on track to be 100% by the time training camp starts, and that’s what we need,” Lue said. “You know, our best players will be healthy, and we’ve just been in an unfortunate situation where our two best players (haven’t had) a full season together the last three years and that’s been tough on us.”

The Clippers thought they were ready to compete for a title when they signed Leonard and traded for George during the 2019 offseason, but bad luck with injuries has prevented them from making a serious run. Returning from an ACL injury, Leonard was limited to 52 games last season, then tore his meniscus during a first-round playoff series. George appeared in 56 games and missed the playoffs entirely due to a sprained right knee.

Lue also indicated that he doesn’t plan to do as much load management with his two stars this season.

“We have to, like I say, start respecting the regular season and giving our fans what they want to see and playing hard every single night, putting our best product on the floor,” he said. “And you know, our guys are ready to do that this year.”

There’s more on the Clippers:

  • On the same podcast, Lue said he’s looking forward to coaching Russell Westbrook for an entire season after the veteran guard re-signed this summer. Lue revealed that Westbrook and Mason Plumlee both had other options, but they wanted to say in L.A. “That just says a lot about the Clippers organization and what we’re trying to build there,” Lue added. “They both could have went other places for more money, but they like what we’re doing with the Clippers.”
  • Appearing recently on Stephen A. Smith’s podcast, George ranked the Clippers second in the West behind the defending champion Nuggets. “I’m gonna give Denver their credit,” George said. “They’re the champions until beaten. If healthy, we got one of the biggest chances to win it, if healthy.” 
  • Amir Coffey has been charged with one count of carrying a loaded firearm and one count of carrying a concealed firearm, according to TMZ Sports. Coffey was arrested in late July following a traffic stop in Hollywood. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for later this month.

Amir Coffey Arrested For Misdemeanor Gun Possession

Clippers wing Amir Coffey was arrested in Hollywood, California, at approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning for misdemeanor possession of a firearm, according to TMZ (hat tip to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports).

Coffey was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over for speeding. When police approached the vehicle, they reportedly smelled marijuana and subsequently searched the car. They found a loaded gun, which Coffey conceded was his.

According to TMZ, the 26-year-old was subsequently arrested for the misdemeanor charge, booked into jail, and released four hours later on his own recognizance. Coffey’s court date is scheduled for August.

The Clippers have yet to comment on the matter, Helin notes.

Coffey, who reportedly would have been sent to the Wizards in June in a three-team trade that fell apart at the last minute, has been with the Clippers since he went undrafted in 2019 out of Minnesota.

He had a breakout third season in 2021/22, averaging 9.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 1.8 APG on .453/.378/.863 shooting in 69 games (30 starts, 22.7 MPG), which led to him being promoted from a two-way deal to a standard contract in March 2022. He signed a three-year, $11MM contract with L.A. last summer — he’ll earn $7.6MM over the next two seasons.

Last season, Coffey struggled to produce at the same level in a limited role. He averaged just 3.4 PPG, 1.1 RPG and 1.1 APG on .386/.275/.778 shooting across 50 contests (nine starts, 12.5 MPG).

Celtics, Wizards, Clippers Trade Talks Fall Through

The three-team trade that would have sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Celtics, Malcolm Brogdon to the Clippers, and Marcus Morris, Amir Coffey, Danilo Gallinari and the No. 30 pick to the Wizards has fallen through and the clubs have decided to move on, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

While multiple reporters said the deal was nearing completion, Wojnarowski previously cautioned that there was more work to do to make an agreement official, and now the three-team trade has been shelved.

Sources tell Marc Stein that the Clippers had concerns over Brogdon’s medicals, which caused the three-team framework to collapse (Twitter link).

Brogdon, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, reportedly suffered a torn tendon in his right elbow during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami. He said after the Celtics’ season ended that he’d consider undergoing surgery on his shooting arm, though a report earlier today indicated he was optimistic about avoiding a procedure and would like to stay in Boston.

The Wizards are still working on a deal to send Porzingis to Boston, but the Clippers won’t be involved, according to both Wojnarowski and Stein.

It’s very rare for a details of a trade to emerge so publicly and seemingly be so close to the finish line and eventually fall through. Evidently the Clippers’ medical staff saw something they didn’t like though, so Boston decided to pivot and try to acquire Porzingis in new framework.

Brogdon has two years and $45MM left on his contract. It’s unclear if he’ll be involved in the new proposal.

Celtics, Clippers, Wizards Nearing Deal Involving Porzingis, Brogdon

3:49pm: The three teams are closing in on an agreement, reports Charania (Twitter link). According to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link), negotiations on the deal are “nearing the final stages.”

The Wizards are expected to receive the No. 30 pick in Thursday’s draft from the Clippers as part of the potential trade, Charania adds (via Twitter). Amir Coffey would also be sent from L.A. to D.C., according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who cautions (via Twitter) that there’s more work to do to complete an agreement.

2:34pm: There’s a “high possibility” of the three-team deal getting done, per Charania and Jared Weiss of The Athletic. The Athletic’s duo adds that Gallinari would likely be involved in the trade, since Boston needs to send out additional salary. Gallinari would head to Washington, tweets Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

1:55pm: The Celtics, Wizards, and Clippers are engaged in serious talks about a possible three-way trade that would send Porzingis to Boston, Brogdon to Los Angeles, and Marcus Morris and draft compensation to Washington, reports Charania (Twitter link).

More pieces would need to be included and it remains to be seen whether Porzingis will opt in, so nothing’s done yet. However, the framework makes some sense for all three teams, including the Clippers, who have been on the lookout for backcourt help.

1:18pm: The Celtics have interest in acquiring big man Kristaps Porzingis and are talking to the Wizards about a possible trade that would involve Porzingis picking up his 2023/24 player option, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter video link).

Porzingis’ decision on a $36MM player option is reportedly due on Wednesday, unless he and the Wizards agree to push back that deadline. If he were to opt out, the 27-year-old would be on track to reach unrestricted free agency and couldn’t be dealt this offseason unless it happened in a sign-and-trade deal.

Acquiring a player via sign-and-trade hard-caps a team at the first tax apron, so it would be simpler for the Celtics – a projected taxpayer – to trade for Porzingis if he were to pick up his option. That would make him immediately trade-eligible and wouldn’t result in hard-cap complications.

Porzingis is coming off perhaps the best season of his career. He averaged 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 blocks in 65 games (32.6 MPG) in 2022/23, posting a shooting line of .498/.385/.851.

Still, Porzingis’ future in D.C. is murky following the upheaval in the team’s front office. The new group, led by president of basketball operations Michael Winger, is in the process of resetting the Wizards’ roster, starting with a trade that will send Bradley Beal to Phoenix.

According to Charania, the team hasn’t closed the door on working out a new deal with Porzingis, but the big man is receiving interest from rival suitors. It’s also unclear if he’d want to stick with the Wizards through a retooling process.

Charania doesn’t clarify what pieces the Celtics might include in an offer for Porzingis, but the team would have a variety of options for salary-matching in a trade. Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari is one hypothetical combination that would work. Derrick White and Marcus Smart will each make $18MM+ next season and could be traded, though Brogdon and his $22.5MM salary seem more likely to be included in an offer.

Robert Williams and Al Horford are among Boston’s other potential trade pieces if the team envisions Porzingis replacing one of them in the frontcourt rather than supplementing them. Restricted free agent Grant Williams could be a sign-and-trade chip. It at least seems safe to assume the Celtics will keep Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown out of any offer for Porzingis.

It’s also worth noting that the C’s have traded away their 2023 first-round pick and swap rights to their 2028 first-round selection, but are otherwise fairly unencumbered in offering future first-rounders.

21 More NBA Players Become Trade-Eligible

Today is Sunday, January 15, which means that nearly two dozen players who signed free agent contracts meeting specific criteria this past offseason are now eligible to be traded.

Most offseason signees became trade-eligible on December 15, but players who met the following criteria were ineligible to be moved for an extra month:

  1. The player re-signed with his previous team.
  2. He got a raise of at least 20%.
  3. His salary is worth more than the minimum.
  4. His team was over the cap and used Bird or Early Bird rights to sign him.

The following players met that criteria and are eligible to be traded as of Sunday:

(* Players marked with an asterisk have the ability to veto trades.)

Most of the players on NBA rosters are now eligible to be moved, though a small handful still can’t be dealt. That group includes Thunder guard Isaiah Joe, who becomes trade-eligible on Monday, Bucks swingman Pat Connaughton (trade-eligible on Wednesday), and Thunder forward Kenrich Williams (trade-eligible on Friday).

There are also several players who won’t become trade-eligible before this season’s February 9 deadline, including Lakers star LeBron James. Players on 10-day contracts are also ineligible to be dealt.

L.A. Notes: Clippers, Coffey, George, Lakers, AD

John Hollinger of The Athletic previews the Clippers for the 2022/23 season, writing that with the league’s deepest roster and stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George back and healthy, they should be among the best teams in the league. Hollinger predicts the Clippers will go 54-28 and finish as the No. 1 seed in the West, but thinks the Warriors have a better shot of making the NBA Finals.

There are a couple of question marks on the roster, even though it’s very deep, especially on the wing. According to Hollinger, the Clips need either John Wall and/or Norman Powell to step up and be a “third star” to complement Leonard and George, with shot creation and getting to the free throw line top priorities.

The other weakness of the roster is center, with only Ivica Zubac as a true five on the 15-man roster. Hollinger thinks it might be a tall order to have Robert Covington play full-time backup center in the regular season, and wonders if the team might use its last standard roster spot on a traditional center.

Here’s more on the two Los Angeles teams:

  • Amir Coffey, a Minnesota native who played college ball for the Golden Gophers, says he fulfilled a lifelong dream by signing a three-year, $11MM contract as a restricted free agent. “It’s a dream come true,” Coffey told Marcus Fuller of The Star Tribune. “Just playing in the league and doing something I’ve been wanting to do since I was a kid. Just putting all that work in and having it pay off is a good feeling.” Coffey had a breakout third season in ’21/22 after spending the bulk of his career on two-way deals, averaging 9.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 1.8 on .453/.378/.863 shooting in 69 games (30 starts, 22.7 MPG).
  • George recently sat down for an interview with Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (video link) and discussed a number of topics, including joining forces with Leonard, his health, leadership, recruiting Wall, and more.
  • The Lakers started Patrick Beverley and Austin Reaves in place of Kendrick Nunn and Damian Jones during Wednesday’s preseason game against Phoenix as coach Darvin Ham was taking a look at a small-ball lineup, tweets Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group. Star Anthony Davis sat out the game for “precautionary” reasons due to lower back tightness, Goon notes (via Twitter).