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NBA PM: What Moves Can the Clippers Make?

What’s next for the Clippers after Blake Griffin’s injury? What moves could they make to help replace him?

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Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin will reportedly miss two-to-six weeks as he recovers from surgery to remove a staph infection in his right elbow. Griffin had the surgery today and the team says he will be reevaluated after the All-Star break.

With that said, who on the Clippers needs to step up in Griffin’s absence so that L.A. doesn’t tumble down the Western Conference standings? Are there any trades or signings the Clippers can look to make to bolster their frontcourt and fill in during Griffin’s absence?

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders and Noah Coslov of CineSport talk about what’s next for the Clippers and possible moves they can make now that Griffin is out.

The Latest on Ray Allen’s Free Agency

Throughout the 2014-15 NBA season, Ray Allen’s name has come up quite a bit. That’s because he’s the best free agent remaining on the market and just about every playoff team has expressed interest in him at one point or another. Now, reports have indicated that Allen will make a decision about his future over the All-Star break.

But just to be clear, there’s no guarantee that Allen is going to play this year. Sources close to the situation say that Allen hasn’t decided if he wants to resume his NBA career and that decision obviously must be made before he can proceed and start considering different teams.

Allen has been in Miami, where he’s been spending time with his family and golfing. Sources say that he may turn down the chance to play this season and just stay in Miami, as he has really enjoyed being on his own schedule. He has been working out while down there, so he could keep his options open and because Allen is a fitness freak.

With all of that said, if Allen does decide to play during the 2014-15 season, he’ll essentially be able to pick his team.

Just about every playoff team (even those with 15 players under contract) have expressed interest in signing Allen at some point, according to league sources.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, L.A. Clippers and San Antonio Spurs have been among the teams most often linked to the veteran sharpshooter, but plenty of others have reached out too.

Allen averaged 9.6 points per game last year on the Miami HEAT and hit perhaps the biggest shot of his career the year before, which helped Miami go on to win the championship over the Spurs. Allen is also highly coveted for his leadership, as he’s a strong veteran presence and knows what it takes to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy.

Allen will turn 40 years old in July and he has played 18 seasons in the NBA. Over the course of his career, he has averaged 18.9 points on 45.2 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range, along with 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals. The 10-time All-Star has appeared in 1,300 regular season games and 171 postseason games (winning two titles).

Antetokounmpo, Westbrook Named Players of Week

The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Feb. 2, through Sunday, Feb. 8.

Antetokounmpo shot 63.3 percent from the field (fifth in the East) and set single-game career highs in points and rebounds during Milwaukee’s 3-1 week. The second-year forward from Greece ranked among the East’s top 11 in scoring (19.5 ppg), rebounding (11.0) and blocks (1.75 bpg) for the week. In a 113-105 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 4, Antetokounmpo recorded 25 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Antetokounmpo, 20, posted personal bests of 27 points and 15 rebounds to go with four assists in a 117-111 loss to the Houston Rockets on Feb. 6, becoming the second-youngest player in the last 30 seasons (behind LeBron James) to put up those numbers.

Westbrook averaged 34.3 points (second in the NBA), 9.3 rebounds, 9.0 assists (sixth in the NBA) and 2.5 steals (tied for fifth in the NBA) as he helped the Thunder to a 3-1 record. The 26-year-old guard began the week with a triple-double of 25 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds in a 104-97 victory over the Orlando Magic on Feb. 2. The 2015 NBA All-Star then had a 45-point, six-rebound, six-assist performance in a 102-91 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 4, followed by a career-high 48-point, 11-assist, nine-rebound effort in a 116-113 loss to the Pelicans on Feb. 6. Westbrook joined Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor as the only players in NBA history to finish with at least 45 points, five rebounds and five assists in back-to-back games.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, Indiana’s George Hill, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul and Utah’s Gordon Hayward.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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