As the championship champagne flowed like a river in the Golden State Warriors locker room on Monday night, Jerry West and his wife, Karen, walked slowly out of a back entrance of Oracle Arena. Minutes earlier West had been in the tunnel as the exuberant Warriors ran toward the bubbly. Draymond Green, at full tilt, stepped on the brakes when he came to West. They embraced and talked for a long minute. A few seconds later Kevin Durant came by, and he, too, stopped to talk warmly to the Logo.
Then West turned, took Karen’s hand, and they walked out the back way, no longer—as he and very few people knew at the time—a Golden State Warrior.
In a few weeks West will become a special consultant (exact title to be determined) for the Los Angeles Clippers, more or less the role he had played with the Warriors for six years, which included two championships. West had been in touch with the Clippers, particularly owner Steve Ballmer, over the last couple of months after it started to become evident that he and the Warriors were ending a relationship that had begun in 2011.
Sources say that a strain had developed between West and the ownership group, which is headed by hedge-fund legend Joe Lacob and Hollywood heavyweight Peter Guber. But West said he would not address those reports. One thing is clear: It was his decision to leave.
Sources: Jimmy Butler Prefers Trade to Clippers, Interested in Knicks, Nets
After registering a trade request with the Minnesota Timberwolves, All-Star Jimmy Butler is most interested in pursuing a future with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told ESPN.
Butler’s ability to partner on the Clippers with a second star player in a deep summer free agency market holds a strong appeal to Butler, league sources said.
The Clippers have two max contract slots available in July, and are emerging as a front-runner for Toronto’s All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard when he becomes a free agent in July, league sources said.
Butler told Minnesota president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau that he would like to be traded before reporting for Timberwolves media day on Monday and prefers the possibility of the Clippers — as well as the New York Knicks, league sources said. Butler told the Timberwolves that he planned to leave the franchise in free agency next summer, sources said.
The Brooklyn Nets’ ability to sign two max free agents in the summer will keep them in consideration for Butler, but he has prioritized the Clippers and Knicks over them, league sources said.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Sources: Brandon Knight Had ‘clean up’ Procedure on Left Knee
On @theathleticnba @watchstadium: Houston’s Brandon Knight underwent surgery on his left knee, considered a “clean up,” and will miss some time, per league sources.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 20, 2018
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
Report: Pelicans Waive Emeka Okafor
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has requested waivers on center Emeka Okafor.
Okafor, 6-10, 252, appeared in 26 regular season games last season with New Orleans after signing with the team on February 3, 2018 and finished the season with averages of 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.
Source: New Orleans Pelicans