Terance Mann

Clippers Rumors: Leonard, George, Morris, Ibaka, Winslow

In the latest episode of the HoopsHype podcast, Michael Scotto said the Clippers remain focused on being competitive when Paul George and Kawhi Leonard get back on the floor.

However, despite a recent report stating that Leonard is ahead of schedule in his rehab from an ACL tear, Scotto has heard that some people within the organization believe the star forward is unlikely to return this season. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report echoes that sentiment, writing that there’s a “healthy dose of skepticism” around the NBA about Leonard playing in 2021/22.

“He’s always played things methodically and cautiously,” a source with knowledge of Leonard’s thinking told Fischer. “I knew he was ahead of schedule [in his rehab], but I wouldn’t bet on it. Kawhi is always focused on the long term. If they’re not in the playoff picture, I think the chances he comes back are slim to none.”

Fischer also shared an ominous update on George, writing that the Clippers are prepared for the possibility that the forward’s elbow injury will keep him sidelined far beyond the three-to-four week timeline the team initially announced for a reevaluation. It’s not out of the question that George’s injury could keep him out of action for the rest of the season, according to Fischer.

If the Clippers believe there’s a chance George and Leonard may both be unavailable for the rest of the season, there’s a reasonable chance they’ll pivot to becoming sellers at the deadline, Fischer adds.

Here’s more on the team from both Scotto and Fischer:

  • Following Leonard’s ACL tear in the 2021 playoffs, the Clippers’ front office broached the possibility of treating the 2021/22 season as more of a “gap year” before pushing again for a title in ’22/23, and owner Steve Ballmer was on board with that idea, Fischer says. The team didn’t initially go all-in on that plan, with head coach Tyronn Lue given no mandate to find minutes for young prospects, but George’s injury could push L.A. further in that direction.
  • Rival executives believe the Clippers will be willing to discuss many of their veteran players at the trade deadline, per Fischer. “They’re pretty much open for business for anyone except their main guys and Terance Mann. I think they really are fine falling out of the playoffs and regrouping for next year,” a Western Conference official told Bleacher Report. “I think they’re trying to shed the Marcus Morrises of the world, guys that have some value and maybe can replace them with younger talent, maybe cheaper [contracts], to free them to get someone else this summer.” 
  • The Jazz would be a good fit for Morris, in Fischer’s view, but he cautions that the Clippers may be hesitant to send the veteran forward to a key Western Conference rival like Utah, since even if the Clips are sellers this season, the two teams could face one another again in the playoffs again as soon as next year.
  • Serge Ibaka and Justise Winslow are among the players the Clippers have received inquiries about, Scotto said on the HoopsHype podcast. Fischer suggests that Ibaka may be the top trade candidate on L.A.’s roster, since offloading his $9.7MM salary would save the team a ton of money on its year-end tax bill. The Thunder, one of the only teams that can accommodate a salary-dump trade without sending out a player, are a team to watch, per Fischer. The Clippers could incentivize them with cash and/or second-round picks.

L.A. Notes: Westbrook, Howard, THT, Mann, Batum

Before squaring off against Paul George in Friday’s Lakers-Clippers matchup, Russell Westbrook spoke to the media about the way their partnership with the Thunder ended, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. They developed a friendship in Oklahoma City that still exists, and Westbrook was one of the reasons that George decided to re-sign with the Thunder in 2018.

According to ESPN and The Athletic, Westbrook approached free agent Kawhi Leonard the following summer about possibly teaming up in L.A., with Leonard signing and Westbrook being traded. Leonard reportedly took that idea and presented to George, which resulted in them both joining the Clippers.

When asked about the situation Thursday, Westbrook challenged the media to reveal the source of the report, then cast doubt on its veracity.

“That’s a lesson for all y’all,” he said. “Just always remember, just because somebody writes something … you don’t know where they got it from. That’s the truth. That’s the problem. That’s how rumors and things get started.”

There’s more from Los Angeles:

  • The Lakers used their 12th starting lineup in 24 games Friday, with Dwight Howard and Talen Horton-Tucker replacing DeAndre Jordan and Avery Bradley, notes Jovan Buha of The Athletic. It’s a clear upgrade based on performance, Buha adds, but the group was minus-7 in its 11 minutes on the court. “Dwight changed the game for us in Sacramento,” Anthony Davis said. “He was really good for us, and Coach wanted to go back to that. And I think he played well tonight as well. Protecting the paint, rebounding, setting screens, doing everything he’s supposed to do.”
  • Clippers swingman Terance Mann tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that the two-year, $22MM extension he received in training camp was meaningful because of how hard it was to get NBA scouts to notice him. Mann took part in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and the G League Elite Camp, then received a last-minute invitation to the draft combine.
  • Clippers coach Tyronn Lue is optimistic about Nicolas Batum, who has missed the past seven games while in health and safety protocols, tweets Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. “I don’t know (when he’ll return),” Lue said. “… but it was good seeing him back in the building, I can tell you that. It’s getting close and we definitely need him.”

Los Angeles Notes: Hartenstein, Clippers Bench, Anthony, James

Isaiah Hartenstein won a training camp battle with Harry Giles for the last spot on the Clippers roster and has emerged as a solid reserve, Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register writes.

Hartenstein has averaged 7.3 PPG and 4.3 RPG in 15.3 MPG through three appearances and has developed chemistry with Clippers wing Luke Kennard. “I think we just really know how to play with each other,” said Hartenstein, who is on a one-year, minimum-salary contract.

We have more from the Los Angeles teams:

  • Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said that Hartenstein, Kennard and Terance Mann learned how to blend their talents during training camp, Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times writes. “They understand their unit, how they play,” Lue said. “Move bodies, move the basketball.” Kennard is averaging 11.5 PPG and Mann is averaging 8.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.5 APG.
  • LeBron James said the league missed the boat on new Lakers teammate Carmelo Anthony, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. Anthony struggled to find another NBA opportunity until he hooked on with Portland during the 2019/20 season. “He’s been doing it for quite a while, and it’s just beautiful to continue to see, especially when, you know, they gave up on him,” James said. Anthony, who signed a veteran’s minimum contract this summer, had a 28-point game on Sunday and is averaging 14.0 PPG so far with his new team.
  • James is questionable to play on Friday due to right ankle soreness, McMenamin tweets. He has missed the last two games after playing 40 minutes on Sunday. Rajon Rondo has also been listed as questionable due to a similar injury, McMenamin adds.

Terance Mann Signs Two-Year Extension With Clippers

The Clippers have signed guard Terance Mann to a two-year contract extension worth $22MM, according to Marc Spears of ESPN.

Under the agreement, Mann’s $1.9MM option for 2022/23 becomes fully guaranteed and he will make $10.576MM in 2023/24 and $11.423MM in 2024/25, tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. A second-round pick in 2019, Mann will earn $1.782MM this season.

The 24-year-old swingman is coming off a productive second season in L.A., averaging 7.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 67 games. He took a major step forward in the playoffs after Kawhi Leonard was injured, including a 39-point performance in a close-out win over the Jazz in the second round.

“It is with tremendous honor and pride that I sign this extension with the Clippers,” Mann said. “The faith and commitment in my development and contribution thus far will provide me the motivation I need as I continue to be a pivotal part of our championship run. I want to thank the front office for this opportunity to remain a part of the Clipper Nation. I would also like to thank my coaches and teammates for believing me and allowing me to grow both on and off the court.”

If Mann hadn’t signed an extension, the Clippers would’ve faced a difficult decision on his team option next summer, since exercising it would’ve put him on track for unrestricted free agency in 2023 — turning it down would’ve allowed the team to negotiate with him as a restricted free agent, but would’ve meant he received a significant pay increase one year earlier.

As a result of the extension agreement, L.A. will get Mann at a bargain rate for an extra year and won’t have to worry about holding off rival suitors in 2023.

Pacific Notes: Preston, Westbrook, Booker, Mann

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue expressed confidence that rookie guard Jason Preston will succeed once he gets past his rehab, Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register writes.

Preston, 22, was drafted by Los Angeles with the No. 33 pick in July. He recently underwent surgery to repair ligaments in his right foot, a procedure that’s expected to cost him a significant portion of the season.

“He’s always asking questions about the offensive sets, about the defensive coverages, and then moving forward,” Lue explained, praising the Ohio University product. “So everything I’ve told him, he’s retained and repeated right back to you every single time.

“From the start of summer league to where he’s at now, he’s made a huge jump, and that’s because he’s asking questions, he’s watching film, he wants to get better and he wants to be better. So I don’t think it’ll be a problem for him at all, he’s very attentive and very smart and picks things up very well.”

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division:

  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic gave his first impressions of Russell Westbrook‘s preseason debut with the Lakers on Friday. Westbrook mostly struggled in his 17 minutes, recording two points, seven rebounds, four assists and six turnovers on 1-for-7 shooting.
  • Despite missing the game against the Lakers on Wednesday, Suns star Devin Booker is starting to ramp his conditioning back up, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. Booker tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of September. He’ll miss the team’s second game against Los Angeles on Sunday.
  • Clippers guard Terance Mann is poised to have a breakout season with the team, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times opines. Mann is coming off a season where he averaged seven points and 18.9 minutes per game, shooting 51% from the floor and 42% from behind-the-arc.

Pacific Notes: Mann, Leonard, McGee, Thompson

Clippers guard Terance Mann is seeking more growth in his role with the team this season, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times writes. Mann is entering his third NBA season, coming off a campaign where he averaged seven points and 18.9 minutes in 67 games.

“Just watching him play the last few weeks, the maturity that he brings to the table, the hard work that he brings to the table, how he has improved his shot,” head coach Tyronn Lue said. “So, he’s been putting the work in, and it’s paid off. So, we’ve just got to let him continue keep developing.”

Los Angeles will need production from the 24-year-old this season with Kawhi Leonard still rehabbing a partially torn ACL. The Clippers drafted Mann, a Florida State product, No. 48 overall back in 2019.

Here are some other notes from the Pacific Division:

  • Speaking of Leonard, the two-time NBA champion is ahead of schedule in his rehab, Farbod Esnaashari of Sports Illustrated reports. Leonard underwent surgery in July to repair the injury, but no concrete timetable has been offered by the Clippers. He was averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game in the postseason before getting injured.
  • Suns center JaVale McGee brings valued championship experience to a team that reached the NBA Finals last season, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. “To me, he’s a breath of fresh air,” head coach Monty Williams said. “He’s just a good dude and I’ve told him that. I think he had some assumptions about me. So I think his first couple of days, he was trying to do what he thought would allow for him to fit in with me and I had to tell him like, hey man, we don’t do that. Be yourself. We’re just about respect.”
  • Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee examines what Tristan Thompson could bring to the Kings this season. Thompson, a 10-year NBA veteran, was acquired by Sacramento in a three-team trade this past summer.

Mitchell Robinson, Terance Mann, Kenyon Martin Jr. Receive Salary Guarantees

Knicks center Mitchell Robinson ($1.8MM), Clippers guard Terance Mann ($1.8MM) and Rockets guard Kenyon Martin Jr. ($1.5MM) all saw their 2021/22 salaries become fully guaranteed on Sunday, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

Robinson had his team option picked up by the club on Saturday, but his salary for next season didn’t guarantee until today. The 23-year-old center played only 31 games for New York this season, averaging 8.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in 27.5 minutes per contest.

Mann, 24, showed flashes of potential with the Clippers this past season. He was the team’s No. 48 pick in 2019 and averaged seven points per game in 2020/21, shooting 51% from the floor and 42% from three-point range.

Martin, a 20-year-old swingman, was selected by the Kings on behalf of the Rockets with the No. 52 overall pick in last year’s November draft, then signed a four-year contract with Houston. His $1.78MM salary in 2022/23 remains non-guaranteed, while he also has a team option worth $1.93MM for 2023/24.

Both Robinson and Mann are also extension-eligible with their respected clubs, Marks notes.

Scotto’s Latest: Beverley, Mann, L. Williams, Wizards

Veteran guard Patrick Beverley is open to signing a contract extension with the Clippers, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said on the latest episode of the HoopsHype podcast alongside Yossi Gozlan.

Beverley, who will earn $14.3MM in the final year of his current contract in 2021/22, loves playing in Los Angeles with the Clippers, according to Scotto, who says the former Arkansas standout is a “big fan” of team owner Steve Ballmer. The team will have to determine this offseason how it plans to handle the point guard position, including Beverley’s and Rajon Rondo‘s expiring contracts.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • Terance Mann is another key Clippers guard who is eligible for an extension this summer, but Scotto doesn’t believe they’ve had those discussions yet. Scotto gets the sense that Mann would only seriously consider an extension if the club offered the maximum allowable contract (approximately $56MM over four years).
  • Veteran guard Lou Williams is believed to be seeking a multiyear deal of either two or three years, says Scotto. Williams has interest in re-signing with the Hawks, and comments from GM Travis Schlenk at season’s end suggest that interest is mutual, Scotto adds.
  • Before beginning their second round of interviews, the Wizards met with Suns assistant Kevin Young about their head coaching vacancy, according to Scotto, who suggests Young is a name to watch for future coaching openings.

Clippers Notes: Mann, Leonard, Lue, George

In the most important game in Clippers‘ history, the hero was a second-year swingman whose name may be unfamiliar to most NBA fans, writes Marcus Thompson II of The AthleticTerance Mann scored a career-high 39 points in Friday’s close-out win over the Jazz, connecting on 15-of-21 shots from the field and 7-of-10 from three-point range.

Mann, who played a combined 9:10 in the first two games of the series, sparked the L.A. comeback Friday with 20 points in the third quarter as the Clippers advanced to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history. His shooting success enabled coach Tyronn Lue to stick with a smaller lineup that left Utah scrambling to defend the perimeter.

“When you trust your work, you trust in yourself,” Mann said, “you’re not surprised when any of this happens.”

There’s more on the Clippers:

  • There’s still hope that injured forward Kawhi Leonard can rejoin the team sometime during the conference finals, but Lue said he’s preparing to go through the series without him, tweets Mark Medina of USA Today. Leonard, who injured his knee on Monday, didn’t travel with the team to Phoenix and has been ruled out of Sunday’s Game 1. “We can’t have hypotheticals and think he’s coming back one game,” Lue said. “No. We have to prepare like he’s not playing, and just kind of go from there.”
  • Paul George enjoyed his first playoff game with a capacity crowd in his hometown of Los Angeles, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Last year’s postseason took place at the Disney World complex in Orlando, and COVID-19 restrictions prevented the Clippers from filling their arena until Friday night. “This was my first time experiencing a crowd like this,” George said. “It was just a special night. You felt it, the cheers, the excitement. You felt the monkey off of the Clippers’ back in terms of getting out of the second round.”
  • Josh Robbins of The Athletic talks to an anonymous coach, scout, and executive from the Western Conference and gets a split decision in their predictions for the conference finals.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Simmons, Harden, Nets, Mann

The Sixers forced a Game 7 on Sunday in their second-round series against the Hawks by winning on the road Friday night. That didn’t stop Joel Embiid from complaining about the officiating, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. Without specifically naming Trae Young, Embiid claims the Hawks’ star gets favorable treatment.

“I just felt like it wasn’t called both ways, especially because of the minimal contact that they get on the point guard, and when it comes to us, we don’t get the same thing,” Embiid said. “So I just want it called both ways. If you’re going to call something like nothing on their point guard, it should be the same way and call the same thing [for] me when I get — if I get — touched.”

Young has taken an average of 9.7 free throws in the series but only five on Friday. Embiid has shot an average of 12.0 free throws per game, though just four on Friday.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Ben Simmons‘ performances in the last three games have damaged his reputation, Rich Hofmann of The Athletic opines. The Sixers’ guard has four years remaining on his five-year, $177.2MM extension but he hasn’t improved upon his weaknesses. The same knocks against Simmons from four years ago still exist, according to Hofmann, mostly notably that he remains an offensive liability against a set halfcourt defense. Simmons’ 29.8% shooting from the foul line in the series has also forced coach Doc Rivers to pull him out of the game at crucial stages.
  • James Harden promises to be a bigger threat in Game 7 on Saturday than he was the past two games, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. The Nets’ star guard scored a combined 21 points on 21.9% shooting after returning from hamstring tightness. “It’s not even about rust, it’s about being able to move,” Harden said. “As I go day-by-day, continue to get better. … I’ve got to be better on both end of the ball, which I will be in Game 7.”
  • With Kevin Durant on their side and the home-court advantage, the Nets have no excuses in Game 7, Ian O’Connor of the New York Post opines.
  • Clippers guard Terance Mann exploded onto the national scene on Friday with a career-high 39 points as his team eliminated the Jazz. Some members of the Knicks’ front office lobbied to acquire Mann in the Marcus Morris deal last year, Ian Begley of SNY tweets. The Clippers retained Mann and instead shipped Maurice Harkless, a 2020 first-round pick and 2021 second-rounder to the Knicks.