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OT: Roasted Chicken.
nuraman00 » 04/17/12 » 9:01pm
05/15/18 » 3:28pm
Jerry West will represent the Clippers
V-Ice » 05/11/18 » 8:45am
05/15/18 » 12:47pm
Plaschke: "Clippers poised to extend contract of coach Doc Rivers"
VFHS » 05/5/18 » 3:10pm
05/14/18 » 11:17am
ClipperSisyphus » 05/9/18 » 11:33pm
05/14/18 » 12:12am
Stan Van Gundy out as coach
V-Ice » 05/7/18 » 11:24am
05/12/18 » 5:30pm
The longest-tenured player in Clippers history may be reaching the end of his time in Los Angeles.
Name: DeAndre Joran
Years in NBA: 10
12 points, 15.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 blocks per game (31.5 minutes per game in 77 appearances, all starts). 64.5% from the field, and 58% from the free throw line.
2017-2018 Salary: $22,642,350
Future Contract Status: Player option for $24,119,025 this summer. If he opts out, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent, and the Clippers will have full bird rights. If he opts in, it’ll be the same situation, but next summer.
Writing about DeAndre Jordan at this particular point in time is a little weird, at least for me. It’s part of why I’ve struggled in recent months to write about looming decisions regarding his player option and free agency. It seems unceremonious to reduce DeAndre, who is one of the most important Clippers ever: second in win shares in Clippers franchise history, first in games played, second in minutes played, first in total rebounds, defensive rebounds, and offensive rebounds, first in blocks, 8th in points, and first in field goal %. Basically any category, Jordan is top 10 in franchise history—he’s been here that long, and he’s consistently been that good.
At the same time, there’s really no other responsible way to frame Jordan’s position with the Clippers than to look critically at his contract situation. No matter what sentimental attachments exist, we all know that DeAndre isn’t the level of star who, like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, you pay to keep regardless of the price. And as tough as it might be for This Blogger to treat long-tenured Clipper legends unceremoniously, that doesn’t seem to be a problem shared by the Clippers’ revamped front office, who pulled off the blockbuster Blake Griffin trade in a manner that could be characterized as both shrewd and callous.
Maybe the most soothing factor leading to a potential divorce this summer is just that—faith in the front office to do what is good for the franchise long-term. When a decade-long fan favorite leaves the team, it’s obviously a little gut-wrenching for those fans, and that’s worsened by a general tendency in past Clipper regimes to routinely make major mistakes. We don’t want to go through DJ leaving, and having to watch him play for another team, but we especially don’t want to go through that and learn down the line that it was the wrong decision. The front office took a big risk with fanbase loyalty when they traded Blake, but the short-term results of that trade have proven that it was the right choice (and the Clippers haven’t even gotten to use that first-round pick from Detroit yet). Hopefully, if DeAndre leaves the team, we can at least take solace in the fact that not re-signing him was probably in the best interest of building the next great Clippers team.
What DeAndre does as a player is not exactly something that needs to be rehashed in this kind of article: he’s been a fixture on the team for 9 years, and while he’s obviously improved tremendously over the course of his career, he’s still the same archetype of athletic, rim-running, shot-blocking center that he was when he was backing up Chris Kaman as a rookie. Everyone knows his game, and he’s been remarkably consistent: 11.5 and 15, 12.7 and 13.8, 12.7 and 13.8, 12 and 15.2 are his point and rebound averages from the last four seasons (yes, he got both categories down to the same tenth in back-to-back seasons).
This season, with Chris Paul off of the team and Blake Griffin only playing 33 games before being traded, we got to see DeAndre step into more of a leadership role. He’s always quarterbacked the defense to an extent, but in veteran-laden 50-win seasons it felt like that was his role as a cog in a well-oiled machine, where all of the other pieces knew and executed their roles as well. This Clippers team wasn’t quite like that—first of all, they were significantly worse defensively than any team from the Lob City era. It felt like DeAndre was more of a mentor to younger players on the team and players who came up from the G-League. We saw patience and teaching, and we saw exasperation and frustration in a very humanizing way. Above all, DeAndre was more of an “anchor” for the Clippers this season than any other, even if he isn’t quite defending the rim like he used to: he was always present, starting all 77 games he appeared in on a team where only one other player started more than half of the team’s games. The Clippers utilized a league-high 37 starting lineups this season, and Jordan was part of 35 (!) of them, holding steady as the team constantly changed around him.
This doesn’t fit anywhere in the flow of the writing, but I just want to also note that DJ had a 30-point game this season, setting a career high and breaking a 20 w/o 30 streak for Clippers centers that dates back to the Chris Kaman era.
One of the biggest warning signs against signing DeAndre to a long-term deal this summer is that his athletic decline—an incredibly troubling thing for someone with his play style—seems to have just begun this season. His defensive impact has always been hard to pin down (we can point to a steep dropoff in blocks as an indicator, but it also speaks to some scheme changes and isn’t a great measure of defensive effectiveness to begin with), because at his best and most active, DJ is able to change games in a way that’s limited to only the best defenders in the league. But that level of performance isn’t a regular occurrence, and he’s prone to really taking plays off on the defensive end. It’s rare for DJ to take a game off, as he almost always ends up with his 12 & 12, but for large chunks of games he tends to seem disengaged. It might just be a reality of rest, given the burden he’s asked to bear on that end and his near-constant presence in the lineup, but it’s hard for a team to put together a good 48-minute defensive performance when their most important defensive player fades in and out mentally.
Future with the Clippers:
This is where the going gets tough. DeAndre has a player option for $24 million for next season, and he’ll have to decide in June if he’s going to play for that salary and test free agency next year, or opt out and test the market in a couple of months. Frankly, while he’s eligible for the 10-year veteran max, it’s hard to imagine any team giving it to him. Actually, I would be really, really surprised if someone offers DeAndre more than $24 million—meaning entering free agency likely would mean leaving money on the table. If another team is willing to offer him a deal like 4 years, $72 million, is that better than one year at $24? It depends on how his camp thinks next season is going to go, and what his value will be in free agency in 2019 if he shows signs of decline after turning 30 this July.
The only scenario where I see DJ getting more than $24 million is from the Clippers, who are trying to avoid long-term contractual burdens and could use DJ’s bird rights to give him more money on a shorter deal in what could be a mutually agreeable arrangement.
If DeAndre opts in, he has to be aware that there’s a strong chance the Clippers look to trade his contract. A center of his caliber on an expiring deal would be able to net them a decent return, probably a package centered around a first-round draft pick or a solid young player. A trade would also save the team from having to potentially lose him in free agency next summer when they are unwilling to pay him long-term. Of course, being traded might be DeAndre’s best option: it would give a different team his bird rights in 2019, potentially a team that is willing to use them to give him a lucrative deal beyond what teams with cap room can afford.
Steve Kerr absentmindedly stretched his back as he recalled being a player on one of the greatest teams in NBA history and the malaise that can come with too much greatness.
The Golden State Warriors’ coach stood not far from the banners in the team’s practice facility, and he explained how spent...
Whether it is to acquire a superstar or to reset the franchise, the Los Angeles Clippers may make some trades during the upcoming offseason. The Los Angeles Clippers are at a fork in the road when it comes to the summer of 2018. After parting ways with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, the Clippers are […]
Los Angeles Clippers: Three players that could become trade bait - LA Sports Hub - LA Sports Hub - A Los Angeles Sports Site - Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Chargers, Kings, Dodgers, Angels, USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins, Ducks, Galaxy
Apparently Doc Rivers’ performance this season was held in high respect by his peers
While the official NBA awards will not be released until the end of June, the votes for the Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year award were released today. And, not surprisingly, Doc Rivers placed on the ballot. He was one of eight coaches to receive votes (with Raptors’ coach Dwane Casey winning the award), so it’s unlikely he got more than one or two votes, but still, there was some appreciation there.
Doc did a masterful job of handling the Clippers through a transitionary and injury-plagued season, somehow leading them to a record over .500. Other coaches (and national broadcasts) praised his efforts all year, deservedly so.
Doc probably won’t place on the regular NBA awards ballot, as the Clippers fell apart down the stretch of the season, and there were so many other terrific candidates. However, his performance this season deserved to be recognized, and in a small way, this was part of that recognition. Doc clearly remains a respected and well-liked coach among his peers (and around the NBA), just another reason for the Clippers potentially extending his contract this summer. Maybe next season, Doc will have another shot at winning the official Coach of the Year award once again.
Tobias Harris has a chance to be a key cog on the next great Clippers’ team.
Name: Tobias Harris
Years in NBA: 7
Key Stats: In 32 games with Clippers, averaged 19.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game. Shot 47.3% from the field, 41.4% from three (5.3 attempts), and 80% from free throw line (2.5 attempts).
2017-2018 Salary: $16,000,000
Future Contract Status: Fully guaranteed for one more season at $14,800,000
Tobias came to the Clippers on January 28 as the centerpiece to the Blake Griffin trade. As such, he had relatively high expectations placed on him by Clippers’ fans, most of whom were shocked, upset, and hurt by the Griffin trade. Amazingly, he lived up to those expectations and then some, proving to be the Clippers’ steadiest option offensively in the second half of the season, as well as revealing hidden talents as a passer and help defender.
While Tobias wasn’t good enough to power the Clippers to a postseason berth, he was a fringe All-Star player in his half season with the team. He rarely rose to heights befitting a superstar level player, true. On the other hand, he also rarely sunk below the level of an average starter, consistently providing at least very solid play to a Clippers team that desperately needed it. The Clippers were noticeably much worse whenever Harris was out of the game, and that kind of simple value speaks for itself.
Tobias’ greatest strength is his ability to score the basketball. And as that is the most important element of basketball, it’s a good strength to have. Tobias can score in a wide variety of ways, but it’s his outside shooting that has taken the biggest step forward since his arrival in the NBA. He’s a deadly spot-up shooter, with a swift and consistent shot release that enables him to get looks off cleanly against almost any defender. This shooting from the forward positions is a great boon for spacing, especially when Tobias plays as a small-ball power forward. In recent years, Harris has expanded his shooting to extend to off-the-dribble threes, an incredibly valuable skill in the modern NBA. Shooting over 41% from three on a good number of attempts per game (5.3 with the Clippers) made Harris one of the best outside shooters in the NBA this season, something the Clippers have to be extremely excited about going forward.
However, Tobias can score in other ways than as a jump shooter. He is a quick and athletic player who finishes explosively around the basket. Those traits translate to a very good transition scorer, who runs hard and fills in the wings properly so that maximum spacing can be obtained. In the halfcourt, Harris is capable of taking opponents off the dribble and attacking the rim, especially against slower big men or defenders who have closed out too hard to take away his shot. He’s also become a proficient pick and roll scorer who can generate clean looks from the midrange with ease, shots that are smooth as butter and fall at an incredibly high rate.
But Clippers’ fans suspected that Tobias had many of these strengths even when they were watching from afar. It was Tobias’ other attributes (either uncovered by the Clippers, or developed with them) that so surprised and pleased fans. Tobias was thought of by some as a ball-stopper incapable of creating for others. That notion was quickly disproven, as Harris averaged 3.1 assists in his stint with the Clippers, proving proficient at playing within a quick-decision, free-flowing offense. Similarly, Tobias never had much of a reputation as a defensive player before coming to the Clippers. And while he’s still not a stopper, he demonstrated the ability to be a useful help defender, particularly around the basket, where he had several sweet rejections. He also had a nose for steals, often getting strips with quick hands and a good reading of the court.
Finally, Tobias isn’t a bad defensive rebounder for his size, and the feared drop-off on the boards with the loss of Blake failed to materialize. All this presents Tobias Harris as more than just a scorer: He’s just a really, really good overall basketball player.
If Tobias is solid to good at many things, he’s not superlative at anything outside of three-point shooting. That lack of high-end skills is the only thing keeping him from being a full-fledged All-Star player. But while Tobias is 25 and nearing his prime, he’s added new things to his game every season, and there is no reason to doubt his capacity to improve—he clearly has an incredible work ethic, and will be working hard to make another jump this summer.
A solid enough passer, Tobias still has the tendency to drive to the basket with blinders on sometimes, missing open teammates on the perimeter in favor of tossing up a contested shot around the rim. If he works on passing more out of his drives, his efficiency will increase and his assists will rise. The same goes for the pick and roll, where Harris usually looks to score rather than pass. His developing more of a playmaking instincts could be the final step in unlocking him as a true top option in a good offense.
On defense, Tobias isn’t quite a weak link, yet not a true plus either. He just doesn’t have the lateral quickness to keep up with smaller players on the perimeter, and lacks the size to bang with centers on the boards and around the basket. That limits his capacity to switch on players who aren’t forwards (though he could probably handle some shooting guards for short stretches), which isn’t a devastating weakness, but does make him a little less versatile on that end.
Future with Clippers:
Under contract for one more season with the Clippers, Tobias Harris is probably the closest thing to a franchise building block that the Clips have. Young, talented, hard-working, and a great teammate, Tobias is everything that teams want in a player, and he was phenomenal for the Clippers in the 2017-2018 season. It’s possible that the Clippers trade him as the centerpiece for a superstar level player (Kawhi Leonard?), but not likely at this stage. If anything, I believe an extension is the more probable option: If all goes well, Tobias should be a Clipper for years to come.