Terance Mann

Pacific Notes: Crowder, CP3, Zubac, Mann

Suns forward Jae Crowder is hoping to make his second consecutive NBA Finals appearance during his first season with Phoenix, writes Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Crowder signed a three-year, $29.2MM deal in the 2020 offseason with Phoenix after a productive 2019/20 run with the Heat, in which Miami eventually fell 4-2 to the Lakers in the 2020 Finals.

“Hopefully, once when we win the whole thing, I can salsa with the crowd, with the fans, some of the Phoenix fans here once we bring a championship home,” Crowder said. “That’s the goal.”

The 6’6″, 235-pound Crowder has carved out a niche as a tough two-way forward, capable of defending multiple positions and landing timely jumpers, writes Scott Cacciola of the New York Times. Crowder has earned a reputation around the league for his physical play, which he welcomes.

“Other teams just try to be physical with me, try to get me riled up,” Crowder told reporters after Phoenix’s Game 3 win in the club’s second-round playoff series against the Nuggets. “I don’t know if they know it, but I like that style of play. I like to trash talk. I like all of that because it definitely gets me going, and I think my team definitely feeds off it a little bit, the energy of it.”

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Veteran Suns All-Star point guard Chris Paul has achieved a first-time playoff series advantage this season in taking his first 3-0 start in any postseason matchup, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Buha notes that Paul, an 11-time All-Star, shows no signs of slowing down just yet, employing his veteran savvy to help propel Phoenix to the cusp of the Western Conference Finals. “He was using the clock well, coming off pick-and-roll getting into his spots, but it helps when you have guys like [Crowder] and [Devin Booker] and [Mikal Bridges] stretching the floor, and then [Deandre Ayton] puts pressure on the rim,” head coach Monty Williams said. “Defensively, he understands the moment. And offensively, just managing the game really well. But that’s what he’s done for a long time.” The 36-year-old Paul has been a steady presence to close out all three games in the final quarter. Buha notes that, in his 20 minutes logged across the series’ three fourth quarters thus far, Paul has tallied 30 points on 12-of-13 shooting from field, eight dimes, and zero turnovers. Paul has a $44.2MM player option for the 2021/22 season, though he may opt out in pursuit of a longer-term deal.
  • Clippers center Ivica Zubac returned to Los Angeles’s starting lineup ahead of its Game 2 loss to the Jazz, writes Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. The team felt that starting the 6’8″ Nicolas Batum at center, while beneficial for the team’s first round series against the switch-heavy Mavericks, was doing them no favors against three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. “I’m going to play hard and I’m going to work what my role is no matter what I do, and I’m not going to complain, and hopefully, [head coach Tyronn Lue] and the coaches appreciate that,” Zubac said of his matchup-contingent role with the club.
  • Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue indicated that athletic second-year guard Terance Mann has fallen out of L.A.’s rotation, tweets Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. After playing for just 14 seconds in Los Angeles’s first playoff game against the Mavericks, Mann saw a more pronounced role throughout the rest of the series, playing between 10-26 minutes across the team’s subsequent six contests. Mann has played in just total nine minutes across the Clippers’ first two games in their second-round series against the Jazz, both losses.

Pacific Notes: Ibaka, Mann, Wiseman, McKinnie

Clippers big man Serge Ibaka will not join the team on its three-game road trip this week, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets. He hasn’t played since March 14 due to a back injury.

Ibaka signed a two-year contract with the Clippers last offseason that included a $9.72MM player option for next season. He has appeared in 39 games, averaging 10.9 PPG and 6.7 RPG.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Patrick Beverley‘s injury has opened up some playing time for Terance Mann, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register notes. Beverley underwent surgery on Friday for a fractured hand. Mann has played a combined 58 minutes over the last two games, contributing 21 points and 11 assists. “I’ll tell you this, with the guys being injured and guys being out of the lineup, these young guys have really taken advantage of it,” Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said.
  • James Wiseman‘s knee injury provides more clarity to the Warriors’ approach to the remainder of the season, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. No longer concerned with prioritizing Wiseman’s development, they can now either go all out to collect victories and secure a playoff berth, or they can max out minutes for players they plan to build around next season. The No. 2 overall pick could miss the remainder of the season.
  • Lakers forward Alfonzo McKinnie has been placed under the league’s health and safety protocols and will miss Monday’s game against the Knicks, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. McKinnie played a season-high 27 minutes against Brooklyn on Saturday, recording 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Clippers’ Beverley Has Fractured Hand, Undergoes Surgery

Clippers guard Patrick Beverley underwent surgery on Friday to repair a fracture of the fourth metacarpal bone in his left hand, the team’s PR department tweets. He’ll be re-evaluated in three or four weeks and there’s no timetable for his return.

Beverley suffered the injury while pursuing a rebound in the fourth quarter against Phoenix on Thursday. He had just returned to action after missing nearly four weeks due to a right knee injury.

Beverley has started all 31 games he’s played this season. The defensive specialist is averaging 8.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 2.1 APG.

Beverley, 32, is signed through next season. He’s making $13.3MM this season and will bank $14.3MM in his walk year.

Given there’s no timetable for his return, Beverley could be out until the postseason. Beverley’s injury opens the door for more playing time for Reggie Jackson, recently-acquired Rajon Rondo and Terance Mann. Luke Kennard could also see additional ball-handling duties.

Clippers Notes: Rondo, Batum, George, Mann

Ten days after the Clippers acquired him in a trade with the Hawks, Rajon Rondo may make his debut for his new team Sunday afternoon, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. L.A. could use help in the backcourt as Patrick Beverley continues to deal with a knee issue that has limited him to one brief appearance since March 4.

Rondo has been dealing with an adductor injury and is officially listed as questionable for the Sunday showdown with the Lakers, tweets Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. Since the trade, Rondo has been resting and trying to learn the Clippers’ playbook. The veteran guard was averaging a career-low 14.9 minutes per game with Atlanta.

“Just kind of plugging him in, just seeing what he picks up,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “It’s easy to go through plays in practice, but then you got a game on the fly, it is a little different. And I know how smart he is. Just seeing what he picks up and just seeing what we can incorporate while he is in the game and just try to go from there. It is going to be good to see him get on the floor.”

There’s more on the Clippers:

  • Nicolas Batum was wondering if he still had a future in the NBA after the Hornets benched him last season, but he learned he was still in demand following his release in November, Youngmisuk adds in a separate story. Batum heard from several teams, but the Clippers were the most aggressive, with Lue, owner Steve Ballmer and executive Lawrence Frank all calling to recruit him, along with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
  • The toe injury that sidelined George for seven games in February has flared up again, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. George was able to play 32 minutes Thursday against the Nuggets, but he was in pain the entire time. “It’s really no pop on the right foot,” he said. “I can’t really bend my toe and have it flexing all the way on that second toe. It’s just figuring it out. I gotta figure it out. Most importantly, if I can play, and play with minimal pain, that’s what I’m going for. We gotta figure it out though.”
  • Second-year guard Terance Mann has become a reliable scorer lately, which made the Clippers feel comfortable with trading Lou Williams in the Rondo deal, states Shaun Powell of NBA.com.

Pacific Rumors: Mann, Clippers, Kings, Paschall, Wiseman

The Clippers don’t have any future first-round picks to offer up in trades and their roster is somewhat lacking in young talent, but second-year wing Terance Mann has emerged as an intriguing potential trade chip for the club, writes Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. Mann has established new career highs in points in each of his last two games, scoring 16 on Saturday and 21 on Monday.

If the Clippers make a deal, their preference would be to use veterans and second-round picks, but it’s a safe bet that potential trade partners will want Mann. The Kings inquired on the 24-year-old before agreeing to trade for Mfiondu Kabengele, according to Deveney.

“I don’t think they’re looking to trade (Mann),” a source told Deveney. “But I think they know when they get into some of the talks on higher-end guys, teams are going to ask for Mann. Everyone wants a first-round pick, but this kid is better than a lot of first-round picks from his class.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Chris Mannix of SI.com makes the case for why the Clippers need to make a deadline deal to cement themselves as true title contenders.
  • The Clippers sent $2.7MM in cash to the Kings as part of Monday’s Kabengele trade, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
  • The Kings still haven’t found any trades to their liking involving Nemanja Bjelica or Marvin Bagley III, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic, who says the team passed on an earlier opportunity to move Bjelica.
  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said on Monday night that there’s a chance Eric Paschall and James Wiseman will be cleared for Tuesday’s game vs. Philadelphia, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). A report last Wednesday indicated Paschall and Wiseman would be in the NBA’s health and safety protocols for at least a week.
  • Although the Suns will have some options at the trade deadline, they don’t need to make any big moves, argues Greg Moore of The Arizona Republic.

L.A. Notes: George, Leonard, Schröder, LeBron

The Clippers picked up a win over the league-leading Jazz Friday night as L.A.’s starting lineup was together for the first time since January 24, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Nicolas Batum all returned from injuries, with George and Batum playing under minutes restrictions. George scored 15 points in 27 minutes after missing the past seven games with swelling in a toe on his right foot.

“Got to get back to that basketball conditioning and get that wind back to where it was,” George said. “As much as I would’ve loved to play, I probably would’ve hurt the team being on the floor past the minutes I played.”

Leonard, who had been dealing with a contusion in his lower left leg, wore a compression sleeve with padding underneath his knee as he logged 38 minutes. Batum was back on the court after missing two games with a concussion.

“We’re all pros, I think that starting lineup all played 10-plus years so that’s how we can sort of get a rhythm early,” Leonard said. “But it takes time, you haven’t seen those bodies on the floor. Obviously, playing with me and PG is a lot different. We might isolate sometimes or take some tough shots so it’s just all that combined. And that’s why we got to keep playing and staying healthy.”

There’s more from Los Angeles:

  • Luke Kennard was replaced in the rotation Friday by Terance Mann, notes Law Murray of The Athletic, who adds that Mann earned more playing time with his performance while George was sidelined.
  • Lakers guard Dennis Schröder, who is in the NBA’s health and safety protocol, tested negative for COVID-19 but will have to quarantine for at least a week, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Coach Frank Vogel offered an update on Schröder before tonight’s game, saying the team hopes to have him back for Friday’s contest against the Trail Blazers. Wesley Matthews started tonight in Schröder’s place.
  • The Lakers face a difficult decision about whether to increase LeBron James‘ playing time while Anthony Davis is injured, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. L.A. is in a tight race for the top spot in the West, but is concerned about not wearing down James before the playoffs. Goon notes that his minutes have already increased from 31.4 per game in December to 37.7 in February.

L.A. Notes: Horton-Tucker, LeBron, AD, COVID-19, Mann

With his second consecutive impressive preseason performance on Sunday, second-year Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker is making a strong case to be part of the team’s regular season rotation, as ESPN’s Dave McMenamin writes.

“It’s going to make my job difficult for sure,” head coach Frank Vogel said when asked about finding a role for Horton-Tucker, who poured in 33 points in Sunday’s win to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists, and four steals.

“We have a very deep team. No minutes are guaranteed,” Vogel added. “He’s going to keep playing at a high level, and that should push everybody else to stay playing at a high level. It does give us that luxury of having him carry the load some for some of our guys who played deep in the championship run last year and had a short offseason.”

Even if the Lakers stay relatively healthy this season, the club should prioritize finding regular minutes for Horton-Tucker, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who says the franchise will need to develop young talent if it wants to remain a title contender for years to come

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

  • Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis didn’t play at all during the team’s first two preseason contests, but they’ll both be “ready to go” when the regular season gets underway next week, according to Vogel (link via Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times).
  • Both the Lakers and Clippers were missing players on Sunday due to “excused absences” believed to be related to the NBA’s coronavirus protocols, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Those absences may be related to inconclusive tests or contact tracing, so they don’t necessarily mean the individual tested positive for COVID-19, according to Greif, who notes that the Lakers were without Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok, while the Clippers were missing Reggie Jackson and assistant coach Chauncey Billups.
  • Although Terance Mann has seen some time at shooting guard and small forward, the Clippers view the 24-year-old as a point guard and expect him to be a key contributor off the bench, as Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register writes.

Clippers Rumors: Lue, Young Players, Kawhi

After parting ways with Doc Rivers, the Clippers initially put together a list of about 10 possible candidates to replace him, according to Jovan Buha and Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The team seriously considered five of those candidates before narrowing their search to three finalists.

Although the Clippers did conduct a full search, Tyronn Lue was the first candidate they contacted following Rivers’ departure and was one of just two candidates who checked every one of the team’s boxes. As Buha and Vardon explain, the Clippers consider Lue an “elite tactician” and viewed his familiarity with the roster as a positive — having spent the 2019/20 season as Rivers’ lead assistant, Lue got to see first-hand what went wrong, and has ideas for potential solutions.

[RELATED: Clippers to promote Tyronn Lue to head coach]

According to The Athletic’s duo, the Clippers also like that Lue isn’t a “staunch idealist” like Mike D’Antoni or Tom Thibodeau, and is more willing to tinker with lineups and styles, adapting to the roster he has. The club hopes to keep Kawhi Leonard and Paul George around for multiple seasons but recognizes that the roster might change around them. L.A.’s front office believes Lue is capable of adjusting to those changes and getting the best out of his players.

Speaking of Leonard and George, they were consulted by the Clippers’ top decision-makers during the search, per Buha and Vardon. However, neither star forward wanted to steer the search in a particular direction and told the team that they trusted the front office. They were both ultimately on board with the choice of Lue.

Here’s more on the Clippers and their new head coaching hire:

  • Lue will be aiming to bring more ball movement and a faster pace to the Clippers next season, sources tell Buha and Vardon. He also intends to switch up defensive coverages more often and give the club’s younger players – such as Ivica Zubac, Landry Shamet, Terance Mann and Mfiondu Kabengele – more playing time.
  • Lue’s five-year contract is believed to be worth in the neighborhood of $7MM per year, according to Buha and Vardon.
  • The Clippers would like to establish better “synergy” between the coaching staff and front office, sources tell The Athletic. Lue is willing to work with the front office as he fills out his staff.
  • Buha and Vardon also reiterated a point that we’ve heard in the past, writing that some Clippers players – including Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell, and Lou Williams – bristled at the preferential treatment that Leonard received during his first season in L.A. The star forward was allowed to dictate to Rivers when he came out of games and was often late for team flights because he lived in San Diego, according to The Athletic’s reporters.
  • In an Insider-only story for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton offers up three areas for Lue to focus on as he attempts to get the Clippers to the NBA Finals. Those include tightening up the defense and not overreacting to a disappointing postseason outcome.

Pacific Notes: Hield, Kings, Green, Suns, Mann

When Buddy Hield signed his four-year contract extension with the Kings last fall, it was said to be worth $86MM, with another $20MM available in incentives. When that deal goes into effect for the 2020/21 season, only $500K of the $5MM in annual incentives will be considered likely, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).

As Marks explains (via Twitter), finishing in the top 10 in the NBA in three-pointers made – as Hield did this season – will be worth $500K per year on his new contract. As a result, the Kings sharpshooter will have a first-year cap hit of $24.9MM in ’20/21 rather than $24.4MM, the base value. Hield can still earn his other $4.5MM in annual bonus money — those incentives will just be considered “unlikely” rather than “likely,” meaning they won’t count against the team’s cap for the time being.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • After a disappointing finish to the 2019/20 season extended the Kings‘ postseason drought to 14 consecutive seasons, the team faces difficult questions and an uncertain future, writes James Ham of NBC Sports California.
  • Tim Kawakami of The Athletic argues that Draymond Green‘s comments about Devin Booker – which earned him a $50K fine – weren’t meant to tamper with Booker, but rather to taunt the Suns, a franchise the Warriors forward has criticized in the past.
  • Clippers coaches “love” rookie guard Terance Mann, according to Sean Deveney of Forbes.com, who tweets that the club was more willing to give up a first-round pick than Mann at the trade deadline in February. Mann’s name did reportedly come up in the Marcus Morris trade talks with New York — at the time, a report suggested the Knicks preferred draft picks to young players.

Pacific Notes: Bagley, Clippers, Lakers, Morris

The Kings were one of 22 teams chosen to play in the NBA’s restart, which begins in a couple of weeks in Orlando, Florida. The Kings are currently 3.5 games behind Memphis for the eighth seed and could make the playoffs if they can play how they did before the season was suspended.

That will hinge not only on how De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield play, but also how Kings head coach Luke Walton utilizes second-year big man Marvin Bagley. This past weekend, Walton was asked about where does the former Duke standout fit on the court and responded by saying that Bagley is a position-less player.

“We see Marvin as a player that, down the road, is going to be pretty much a position-less type of basketball player,” Walton said. “For now, and getting him back, we got him getting most of his reps at the five and the four.”

Richard Ivanowski of The Sacramento Bee disagrees with Walton’s assessment and opines that Bagley should be considered a center or big man. Ivanowski points out that the former second overall pick struggles to shoot from three-point range (28.8%) and is not someone who can initiate the offense. Instead, Bagley is better around the rim and is an adequate defensive rebounder.

Here’s more from around the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers guard Terance Mann, who is the team’s NBPA rep, told reporters on Tuesday that the players’ decision to play was “a pretty long process,” per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk (Twitter link). The Clippers, who will be back in action on July 30 against the Lakers, had several Zoom conversations about the restart before deciding to participate, Mann said.
  • Mann also told reporters that he is back to full contact after undergoing hand surgery in March, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Anthony Slater and John Hollinger of The Athletic discussed the current state of the Lakers and where they’ll go from here. The Athletic duo talked about how Los Angeles did in free agency last summer, what to do with Kyle Kuzma (who is eligible for an extension this offseason), and Anthony Davis‘ future.
  • According to Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register (Twitter link), veteran forward Markieff Morris, who has an excused absence, is expected to join the Lakers soon in Disney World.