If you think the Clippers don’t matter in Los Angeles — that they have too much ugly baggage to generate fan interest in a Lakers town — grab coffee with Blake Griffin in Beverly Hills.
The Lakers will always rule L.A., but Griffin matters, and the Clippers with him — even without Chris Paul — still matter in a way they never did during their pathetic prior history. They could not stomach tearing all that down even though Paul gave them a rebuild road map: recoup picks for Paul, let Griffin walk, and bottom out ahead of a killer draft.
“You consider all your options,” says Steve Ballmer, the team’s owner. “But I don’t want to lose. I like winning. Winning is good. Losing is bad. We think we have a unique opportunity to be a free-agent destination. If you want that, you have to be doing your best every year.”
They could have walked that free-agency path with Paul instead of Griffin; Paul is a more attractive magnet for the Banana Boat generation. They had chances to trade one cornerstone big man for picks and players who would fit with Paul. Teams called regularly about Griffin. The Clippers have explored DeAndre Jordan trades, though perhaps only one proposal — a deal which would have sent Jordan to Houston at last season’s trade deadline for Clint Capela, picks and players — ever gained semiserious traction, league sources say.
Source: Zach Lowe of ESPN
76ers to Workout Kevin Knox, Zhaire Smith for Second Time
Philadelphia 76ers Pre-Draft Workouts – Media Availability
11:00 A.M. Group Workout:
G-F B.J. Johnson (La Salle)
G De’Anthony Melton (USC)
G Tyler Nelson (Fairfield)
G Malik Newman (Kansas)
G Landry Shamet (Wichita State)
G Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech)
1:00 P.M. Workout:
F Kevin Knox (Kentucky)
Source: Philadelphia 76ers
Sources: Jamal Crawford Declines Player Option with Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford has declined his $4.5 million player option for next season and will become a free agent, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Crawford, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year, will become one of the top reserve scorers on the open market after facing Monday’s deadline to decide on his option.
In his 18th NBA season, Crawford averaged 10.3 points and 20.7 minutes in 80 contests, marking his 16th consecutive year that he scored in double figures per game. He joined the Timberwolves on a two-year contract last offseason and served as a veteran leader for the franchise’s first playoff season since 2004.
Source: Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports
Sources: Raptors Want Top-10 Pick, Interested in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
According to one league source, no one on Toronto’s roster is off limits as the Raptors pursue a top-10 pick
According to one league source, no one on Toronto’s roster is off limits as the Raptors pursue a top-10 pick https://t.co/AZzCv8fPXD
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 18, 2018
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter