Posts Tagged ‘2017 NBA Season’


Jerry West couldn’t have arrived at a better time.

The Los Angeles Clippers are growing increasingly concerned over the possibility that Chris Paul could leave in free agency, sources told Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

Paul has been linked to the San Antonio Spurs, and will also speak with the Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets, one executive told Turner.

The Clippers can offer Paul the most money on his next deal – a five-year maximum worth $205 million. Paul, who serves as president of the NBA Players Association, tangentially made this contract offer possible in the new collective bargaining agreement by altering the under-36 rule.

Any other suitor can only offer Paul $152 million over four years.

From Los Angeles’ side, the message has been consistent: the team wants to re-sign Paul. Owner Steve Ballmer is reportedly committed to keeping the Clippers’ core group together, even if the price tag is astronomically high.

However, the Clippers have largely spun their wheels in recent seasons and Paul is running out of time to secure a title in his prime. The 32-year-old guard continues to face criticism for failing to make it past the second round, and changing teams might be the best option for him to reach his goal.

Paul averaged 18.1 points, 9.2 assists, five rebounds, and 1.9 steals last season while posting a hyper-efficient true shooting percentage of 61.4.



Damian Lillard could see himself in La La Land and Salt Lake City.

The Portland Trail Blazers point guard was remarkably candid in a Twitter Q&A on Wednesday, revealing that if his current team no longer needed his services and it were up to him, he’d join the Utah Jazz or Los Angeles Lakers.

Though the clubs are in vastly different positions, they both could use a leader to run the point.

The Jazz dubbed George Hill their floor general this season, and he was solid when healthy but was sidelined for 33 games due to myriad injuries. Utah still managed to make the playoffs for the first time in five years and reach the semifinals. However, Hill’s future with the team is up in the air as he’s a free agent this offseason and the Jazz are more focused on keeping All-Star Gordon Hayward.

Meanwhile, sophomore guard D’Angelo Russell was thrown into the role for L.A., but he isn’t ready. The rebuilding Lakers finished 2016-17 near the bottom of the league standings for the fourth consecutive season and hope to pick up their future star at the one-spot in next week’s draft, where they’re set to make the No. 2 selection.

At 26 years old, Lillard doesn’t quite fit in with the Baby Lakers’ timeline. Regardless, it’s not hard to understand the lure of the Lake Show, what with the rich history, limelight, and endorsement deals. Plus, Lillard’s from nearby Oakland.

The two-time All-Star has four years and about $115.56 million remaining on his contract with Portland. He recorded a career-high 27 points to go along with 5.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 35.9 minutes per game for the Trail Blazers, who snuck into the playoffs but overall had a disappointing campaign.

Perhaps that prompted a change of heart. Last year, an L.A. fan asked Lillard to join the Lakers and he declined, saying he’s trying to replicate Kobe Bryant’s 20-year run in L.A. in Portland.


It appears more and more likely that this year’s NBA champs won’t be visiting the White House.

While the Warriors revealed earlier this week that they’ve yet to make a decision on whether they’ll visit the nation’s capital, Steph Curry told reporters Wednesday he’d prefer not to go, according to Marcus Thompson of The Mercury News.

Curry has been critical of Donald Trump since he assumed office, subtly referring to the 45th president as an “ass” in an interview earlier this year.

Several other members of the Warriors have condemned the administration, including head coach Steve Kerr, who said Trump “couldn’t be more ill-suited to be president” last month.

Andre Iguodala said Tuesday he hoped not to visit the White House, but would ultimately follow Curry’s lead.


Now that he has a choice in the matter, Rudy Gay appears well on his way out of “basketball hell.”

The 30-year-old small forward has declined his $14.3-million player option for next season with the Sacramento Kings to become an unrestricted free agent, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

The decision comes as no surprise, as his agent, Roger Montgomery, let the cat out of the bag last month.

Gay signed a three-year extension with the club in 2014 following a trade from the Toronto Raptors. He’s been vocal about his disenchantment with the franchise, saying he has “no choice but to work for the Sacramento Kings” and that he doesn’t “even know who our new players are.”

Despite his bitter feelings toward the organization, he had to consider opting in, since he’s coming off a campaign that was cut short due to injury. After suiting up in just 30 games, he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon that sidelined him for the rest of the season.

Montgomery indicated last month that his client is “ahead of schedule” in his rehab and should return to the hardwood this month. They hope the update on the veteran swingman’s improving condition will boost his chances of fetching a handsome deal in the open market in what could very well be his last big pay day.

Gay put up 19.3 points, six rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.3 steals over nearly four years with the Kings, who failed to make the postseason over that span.


The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers have shared residency at Staples Center since 1999, but it appears that arrangement may be coming to an end.

The Clippers will reportedly make an official announcement Thursday that they’re closing in on building a new arena in Inglewood, Calif., according to the Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner.

The organization will enter an exclusive negotiating agreement with the city regarding 22 acres of land which will be used for a privately funded arena to be 100 percent financed by Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, according to Turner and the Orange County Register’s Vincent Bonsignore.

The ENA would then need approval from Inglewood’s city council, with the vote expected to occur Thursday morning.

It was reported back in February that the Clippers were in talks to move to a complex that would be adjacent to the new arena which will host the NFL’s Rams and Chargers in 2019.

Inglewood was one of several options the Clippers were exploring at the time, with another being simply staying at Staples Center beyond 2024, when the current lease is set to expire.


The Chicago Bulls and Jimmy Butler made sure they were on the same page as they headed toward a summer of uncertainty.

Bulls executives met with Butler in Chicago on Monday to convey the message that they value the three-time All-Star and don’t intend to move him, sources told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

The feeling is mutual, as Butler fully intends to stay with the franchise that drafted him with the 30th pick in 2011. His contract sees him earn $19 million per year through 2020.

However, the front office will do their due diligence and listen to trade offers, similar to last year at the draft and earlier this season at the trade deadline. Butler drew significant interest across the league, with the most notable suitor being the Boston Celtics, who offered a bounty of draft picks.

The possibility of a trade, however, remains slim. Chicago plans to exercise the player options of both Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade to make yet another playoff push with the “Three Alphas.” Moving Butler would cut sharply against this plan.

Butler posted a career season, averaging 23.9 point, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.9 steals as he continues to blossom into an elite two-way wing.

The Sterlings just won’t stay away.

Shelly Sterling, wife of disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, spoke with James Rainey of NBC News in her continued quest to have the league lift its lifetime ban over Donald Sterling from attending NBA games.

“I couldn’t understand the severity of the ban. It just seemed a little bit out of line,” Shelly Sterling said. “I have talked to (the NBA) several times and I don’t know what they will do. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t (lift the ban). Maybe it takes a little bit more time.”

One year ago, Shelly Sterling pitched the NBA for leniency by citing the case of Cincinnati Reds team owner Marge Schott, who was docked $25,000 and suspended one year after she made racial slurs and anti-Semitic remarks at employees in 1993. The NBA shut down that appeal.

Donald Sterling was banned from attending NBA games and fined $2.5 million following the emergence of a recorded tape in which he made racist comments toward blacks. That was followed by a legal battle in which the NBA eventually arranged to have the Clippers sold to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion in 2014.

To hear Shelly Sterling tell the story, that generous sum was the reward for the “tragedy” suffered by her racist husband.

“I think that, really, at this stage of his life, he is happy, not at the way that it happened, but that he got so much money for it,” she said. “He could have never sold it today at that price…. We never know when we are going through it, but sometimes, through tragedy, comes happiness.”