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OT: MLB 2018.
nuraman00 » 11/2/17 » 12:46pm
05/20/18 » 2:29pm
Draft Lottery Tonight @ 4:30
trapp76 » 05/15/18 » 11:33am
05/18/18 » 3:33pm
#2 - Golden State Warriors @ Houston Rockets
Clippers1121 » 05/16/18 » 8:09am
05/18/18 » 12:17pm
ClipperSisyphus » 05/9/18 » 9:27pm
05/18/18 » 12:16pm
#1 - Golden State Warriors @ Houston Rockets
Clippers1121 » 05/14/18 » 8:35am (Page: 1, 2)
05/17/18 » 4:00pm
Discuss the draft lottery proceedings below!
The NBA Draft Lottery will take place at 4:30 PM Pacific Time on ESPN, with streaming available on WatchESPN or the ESPN mobile app. Coverage will last approximately an hour, leading directly into Game 2 of the Cavaliers-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals.
The Clippers will likely have the 12th and 13th picks in the draft, but there are many different ways the evening could play out, with the broader scenarios and their respective consequences laid out here. It should be a fun, if nerve-wracking hour for Clippers’ fans, who have seen both lottery triumph (Blake Griffin draft) and disaster (Kyrie Irving trade) in the past decade.
Discuss the lottery and all things Clippers below!
Doc Rivers’ lead assistant Mike Woodson is not going to be with the Clippers next season, per Woj.
Woodson has been with the Clippers since the start of the 2014-2015 season, and was Doc Rivers’ lead assistant the entire time. A defensively-minded presence on the bench, Woodson was a relatively successful head coach with the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks, and might be looking to be a head coach elsewhere. It’s clear he wasn’t going to move up to the head position with the Clippers, even if Doc Rivers were to go elsewhere, and Woodson was therefore probably read to move on.
The implications for the Clippers are a little more interesting. Who they choose to replace Woodson will not only have a large impact on the team and the potential schemes the Clippers might run, but could also be a glimpse at the future head coach of the Clippers, as it will be the first major coaching hire by the new front office. I would expect a somewhat younger coach to be hired rather than an older retread, although anything is possible. Either way, the Clippers’ choice of their next lead assistant should speak volumes about the direction the team is headed.
We will keep you updated with further news about the coaching search (if such information is made publicly available). Good luck Woody!
Assistant coach Mike Woodson won't be returning to the Los Angeles Clippers staff next season, league sources tell ESPN. Woodson's departure off Doc Rivers' bench will create an opening for a top-level, defensive-minded assistant.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 15, 2018
The Los Angeles Clippers own two lottery picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Although they are both at the latter end of the lottery, a top-three pick is possible. The Los Angeles Clippers own both their own and the Detroit Pistons’ 2018 first-round pick. Los Angeles acquired Detroit’s pick in the Blake Griffin trade, with […]
Los Angeles Clippers: The chances of landing in the top three in the lottery - LA Sports Hub - LA Sports Hub - A Los Angeles Sports Site - Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Chargers, Kings, Dodgers, Angels, USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins, Ducks, Galaxy
Can the next great Clippers team come into focus with one big move this off-season?
This is the first installment in a series detailing potential paths that the Clippers’ front office could pursue this off-season.
It’s no secret that the NBA is a superstar driven league. In the last decade, 20 teams have made the NBA finals. Of those 20 teams, 7 have featured LeBron James, 3 have featured Kobe Bryant, 3 have featured Stephen Curry, 2 have featured Kevin Durant (including 1 overlap with Steph), and 2 have featured Tim Duncan. That’s 16 out of 20 featuring five of the greatest players ever—and the other four were hardly lacking in Hall-of-Fame talent: a Dwight Howard-led Orlando Magic team, Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks, and the big three Boston Celtics (featuring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen) two times.
The Clippers have never made it out of the second round in their franchise history. If simply making a Western Conference Finals is their goal, then they might not need to find the next Steph, LeBron or Kevin Durant—the grit-and-grind Memphis Grizzlies made a WCF appearance led by Mike Conley and Marc Gasol (two amazing players, but neither on par with the aforementioned legends). But I highly doubt that a second-round series win is the long-term goal that Jerry West, Lawrence Frank, Steve Ballmer, and Doc Rivers are trying to build towards—they want to win championships. Of course, that’s what every NBA franchise wants to do (unless they’re being run by a Donald Sterling-level cheapskate... cough*Robert Sarver*cough), which is what makes it so difficult.
Of course everyone wants to win titles. Of course everyone wants to find the next LeBron. We’re not exactly in groundbreaking territory here. Still, it’s exactly what the Clippers will have to do if they want the next great Clippers team to be the next great NBA team.
That means that I have to do something that I’m not a big fan of doing: engage in hypotheticals about the Clippers pulling off a Hail Mary and landing a superstar. By my estimation, there are two free agents this summer who really fit the bill: LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Even the very best other free agents—extremely talented players like DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, and former Clipper Chris Paul—probably aren’t going to be The Guy on a championship team.
Unfortunately for the Clippers, their free agency prospects seem bleak. The team would have to find a way to move quite a few medium-sized contracts (all movable individually, but the odds of being able to move four of them is quite slim) in order to open up cap space while keeping their core (DeAndre Jordan, Tobias Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams, and Patrick Beverley) intact, plus hanging on to inexpensive prospects. The alternative options would be hoping DeAndre opts out of his player option, and then letting him walk (and losing one of your best players while simultaneously loading up for a championship push), or giving up major assets to dump Gallinari’s contract. Even if one of those long-shot salary-dump scenarios works out, the Clippers would be left with a bare-bones roster, left to depend on minimum-salary players to fill out major portions of their rotation. Is it worth it to sign LeBron or KD? Of course. But if you can’t put a quality roster around them, they’ll be unlikely to come to your team.
If the Clippers are to acquire a superstar, it’ll have to be another way: either via trade, or in the draft.
The Clippers’ draft situation is pretty simple: we’ll find out during tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery if they have struck gold, and can move into the top 3 for a better chance at a superstar. Even if they don’t move up, not all hope is lost: Steph Curry was chosen 7th overall, and Kawhi Leonard was chosen 15th overall. The chances of finding a generational talent are obviously slim, but two lottery picks give the Clippers their best opportunity in years. Even if no Hall of Fame talent is available at the tail end of the lottery, the Clippers will have a chance to add valuable talent, either to support an eventual superstar addition, or to use in a trade to acquire one. It’ll just come down to watching the ping pong balls tonight, and hoping the Clippers strike gold on draft night.
The team’s trade prospects are a little more complex. In addition to exploring sign-and-trade possibilities for the superstar free agents listed above, the Clippers are one of many teams who should poke around embattled Spurs star Kawhi Leonard.
It seems incredibly unlikely that the Warriors would sign-and-trade Kevin Durant to a team in the Western Conference (okay, all of these pipe dreams are incredibly unlikely—but that’s laughable), but a LeBron sign-and-trade seems at least plausible. If the Cavaliers are going to lose LeBron in free agency anyway, the Clippers present them with an opportunity to get assets back in a sign-and-trade without taking on long-term salary. There aren’t many teams who have the combination of expendable expiring contracts ($12.7 million to Austin Rivers, $7 million to Boban Marjanovic, $6.3 million to Milos Teodosic, $6.1 million to Wesley Johnson) to make salaries match without impacting Cleveland’s 2019 cap space. Then, it’s just a matter of compensation: some combination of prospects (including the two rookies the Clippers will have selected just 1-2 weeks before) and future draft picks. If Cleveland is really stubborn, the Clippers could center a package around Tobias Harris. It would hurt to lose Tobias, but LeBron would still have Gallinari next to him at the forward positions, and Cleveland would get a really nice younger player to move forward with.
All things considered, the toughest part of working a LeBron sign-and-trade would be convincing LeBron to choose the Clippers over his other suitors, while making arrangements with the Cavaliers shouldn’t be too complicated. I suppose that’s reason for some level of hope, but pitching LeBron will hardly be easy for the Clippers this summer—I’m not sure their supporting cast is the best opportunity he’ll have to challenge the Warriors and win another title.
The Leonard situation is significantly more convoluted than James’ free agency—and he might be even less likely to become a Clipper. It’s no wonder that controversy surrounding Kawhi’s relationship with Spurs management has fans and front offices around the league salivating: at 27 years old, he’s already won a Finals MVP and established himself as a dominant force on both ends of the floor, with two career defensive player of the year awards and a career-best 25.5 point-per-game average during his last full season in 2016-17.
But I’m not sure that Kawhi will really be available in trade talks this summer. The Spurs just recently repaired a tattered relationship with LaMarcus Aldridge, their second-best player, and Greg Popovich and R.C. Buford are well aware that they need a Kawhi-level star to contend for championships. You can bet that they’ll make every effort to work things out with one of the league’s top talents. Even if there’s no path forward for Leonard with the Spurs, the trade market would be brutally competitive, and it could cost the Clippers Harris and both of their lottery picks to get into the conversation (jumping into the top 3 at the lottery would also give them an incredibly valuable chip during any trade negotiations). Would it be worth it? Yes. But for an extremely unlikely pipe dream, a lot of roadblocks remain. Kawhi only has one season left before a player option next summer, meaning that the clock is immediately ticking on convincing him to re-sign next summer, a proposition that, again, is more difficult without Tobias and the lottery talent you’d have traded away.
There’s a dark timeline where the Clippers land Kawhi for a king’s ransom, use that one-year window as justification for giving long-term money to an aging DeAndre Jordan and Avery Bradley, and then are left in salary cap hell for years to come when Kawhi leaves in free agency anyway after a second-round playoff exit. Let that scenario serve as a mental balance to the super-enticing dreams of Leonard adding more DPOYs and Finals MVPs to his resume as a Clipper.
All in all, the Clippers adding the kind of generational talent that they’ll need to win a title isn’t very likely this summer. But it’s not the kind of thing that will necessarily grow more likely in the future—it takes a perfect combination of skill, luck, and planning. While the front office works on trying to make something spectacular happen this summer, they also have to make sure they position themselves to maximize their odds of adding a star at some point in the future, either via the draft (by stockpiling valuable picks), trade (by accumulating contracts, players, and picks with trade value), or free agency (by maintaining cap flexibility).
It appears the big man will be back in vogue in the 2018 NBA draft.
This is not to say there won’t be a wealth of wing players and point guards selected during the June 21 draft.But the forecast is that 10 of the 30 picks in the first round could be centers or power forwards, with as many as five...
What’s next for LAC?
The 2018 off-season will be my seventh blogging here at Clips Nation about various rumors, possibilities, and developments. This summer is going to be a little bit different.
Ever since the Clippers acquired Chris Paul ahead of the start of the 2011 season, the franchise has had what I’ve been calling “direction,” meaning that team-building was pointed in a certain direction with specific goals. It’s important for a team to have a direction, and for everyone in the organization to be on the same page. Everything from scouting to off-season workouts to major trades to substitution patterns can be tailored towards the franchise’s direction, and sometimes things can be done in a way that would be fine in a vacuum but doesn’t match that direction.
The direction for the entirety of the Chris Paul era was very clear: short-term moves to try to win a championship during the window of Chris Paul’s prime. While the team ultimately fell short of that goal during Paul’s 6 years, that direction influenced the front office’s (sometimes questionable) moves: trading future first-round picks for short-term help was justified as a way of strengthening Paul and Griffin’s supporting cast. Similarly, signing veterans for depth was prioritized over looking for undrafted and D-League prospects because the Clippers needed more dependable options at 11th and 12th man when they had injuries.
Last June, when the Clippers and Chris Paul parted ways, the direction of the team was thrown somewhat into question: what would happen with Blake Griffin’s free agency, and would the Clippers be able to open a new championship window? That was somewhat settled by the franchise’s decision-making last off-season, with a five-year contract for Griffin and a sign-and-trade where the team gave up Houston’s 2018 first-round pick to sign Danilo Gallinari to a 3-year contract. The direction of the franchise became clear, even if it seemed unlikely that a new championship window had been opened: big, long-term money spent on two 28-year old free agents meant an expectation to be a solid playoff team while trying to add more talent on the fly. Patrick Beverley’s emergence as a veteran leader, the use of the mid-level exception on 30-year-old Milos Teodosic, and the continued presence of 28-year-old DeAndre Jordan rounding out the starting lineup—all signs pointed towards the same goal.
Of course, we all know how that story went. Beverley only played 11 games, and Gallinari played just 21. Teodosic played 45 but spent the entire season limited by a nagging plantar fascia injury. Blake Griffin was traded mid-season, and Jordan was mired in trade rumors throughout as the depleted team fell short of a playoff berth.
After trading Griffin for Tobias Harris, who is only 25, the Clippers have opened themselves up to more team-building possibilities in the short and long-term. There isn’t pressure any more to win immediately around an all-star forward nearing 30. The team will have a lot of decisions in the next two months or so, and it’s important for them to enter this summer knowing which direction they want to pursue so that they can tailor their decision-making process towards that direction.
Going forward, we’ll be looking in detail at four potential directions that the team can choose to pursue this summer, breaking down what they’ll decide to do at every critical juncture if they follow each path. None of these scenarios are direct predictions, and it’s likely that the team will employ some combination of them as they try to balance short-term success with long-term asset development. Here are the directions I’ll be looking at:
- The Home-Run Swing: The NBA is a superstar’s league—it’s incredibly rare to win a championship without one. Eventually, the goal of acquiring assets has to be to cash them out to get a star, either by trading for an established player, using your flexibility to open up cap space to sign a free agent, or drafting (or trading for a pick to use to draft) a future prospect. This is a direction that’s obviously the best of the bunch, but also one that might not be especially available to the Clippers this summer. We’ll look at some possibilities for home-run swings.
- Running It Back: Last summer, the Clippers were content to put together a team that would win 46-48 games and be competitive in the playoff race. They fell short due to injuries, but there’s a strong sense that re-signing Avery Bradley and DeAndre Jordan, along with improved health for players like Patrick Beverley and Danilo Gallinari, could propel the Clippers to a playoff berth.
- Consolidating Assets: One of the Clippers biggest issues this summer is going to be roster spots. Running it back would mean using a large number of those spots on the veterans that would return to populate the team’s rotation, which would mean fewer spots to keep the team’s current prospects around and add young talent in the draft. Consolidating assets doesn’t necessarily throw away competing for a playoff spot, but it clearly prioritizes using roster spots on prospects, possibly by trading, releasing, or not re-signing veteran players.
- Tank: This is an obvious, and clear-cut, direction. You cash out all of your veteran players for prospects or future draft picks, give tons of minutes to young players, farm the G-League for diamonds in the rough, and lose a lot of basketball games to get high picks in the draft.
Here’s a guide to the various ways the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery could play out for the Clippers.
The NBA draft lottery will take place tomorrow, Tuesday May 15 at 4:30 PM Pacific Time, and will be available to watch on ESPN or via streaming on ESPN.com or through the app. Once a day of huge import for the Clippers every season, they’ve been out of the lottery since 2011, and fans might be a bit unused to the nervous feeling of waiting for the picks to be announced. Here’s a quick rundown of the four basic directions that the lottery could go, in order of most to least likely.
Scenario 1 (Approximately 95.3% probability): Clippers keep Pistons pick at 12 or 13, select their own at 13 or 14
This is by far the most likely scenario to happen. In this case, neither team’s pick jumps to the top three, in which case the Clippers select their own at 13 (or 14, if by a very low chance Denver’s pick jumps to the top three), while keeping the Pistons pick at 12 (or 13, if the Clippers’ is at 14) as well. Even though the Clippers don’t get a top three pick in this scenario, they still retain both picks, which would make this a very nice option. Those two picks could possibly be packaged into moving up for a higher pick, or in a trade for a star player (though that seems unlikely). Picking back-to-back is also helpful, as it means the Clippers will know exactly who is left on the board for both their selections.
Scenario 2 (Approximately 2.45% probability): Pistons pick jumps to top 3 so Clippers lose it, they select their own at 13 or 14
This is the worst-case scenario, and fortunately has a relatively low chance of happening. The Pistons’ pick at 12 only has a 2.5% probability at jumping to the top three, which is fortunate for the Clippers. Clippers’ fans struggled on who to root for down the stretch of the season, because the Pistons’ pick dropping was a double-edged sword. On one hand, if the Pistons fell to the 11th or 10th pick (there was no real chance of going lower), the Clippers would have a higher likelihood at landing a franchise piece with that pick. On the other, as the pick fell, it would have a correspondingly higher chance of being kept by the Pistons (2.9% at 11, 4% at 10). It probably would have benefitted the Clippers if the Pistons had fallen to 10, as that 4% isn’t all that much worse than 2.5%. But any further… not being super nervous on draft lottery day is a great boon. Still, if this is the scene that plays out tomorrow, there will be tears everywhere in Clipperland.
Scenario 3 (2.15% probability): Clippers keep Pistons pick at 13 or 14, their own pick jumps to top 3
This is the best-case scenario, and Clippers’ fans will be desperately hoping for the lottery balls to bounce this way on Tuesday. The top of this draft class is stacked with potential All-Star players, and the Clippers’ jump back to contention could be expedited greatly if they were to snag one of the top three prospects in it. Even better, they get to keep the Pistons pick as well! There would also be the possibility of flipping that top-three pick for a superstar player, as that is the kind of blue-stock chip that teams would be willing to part with an All-Star for. This situation would be phenomenal for the Clippers, and a monumental day for the franchise. Fingers crossed.
Scenario 4 (0.05% probability): Pistons pick jumps to top 3 so Clippers lose it, their own pick jumps to top 3 as well
This scenario is obviously very unlikely. It’s highly unusual for even one pick in the teens to jump to the top of the lottery, and I’m pretty sure two picks making that leap in the same draft has never happened before. While the Clippers would lose the Pistons’ pick here, they would gain a top three pick as well, and that’s more valuable than having both of the lower picks—no team would be willing to trade down from the top three for picks 12 and 13. So while this scenario would cost the Clippers a bit in terms of versatility and strategy regarding their draft assets, it would be a relatively large win overall.
Essentially, scenarios 1, 3, and 4 are all positive outcomes for the Clippers, to one extent or another. The only case which would be truly dismal would be the second situation, and even then, having at least one pick in the teens is not a horrible consolation prize. Still, the Clippers must hope against hope for the draft lottery gods to smile in their favor, as this draft lottery is one of the most important moments in recent Clippers’ history.