Clips’ Frank: ‘We are grateful and honored that Kawhi Leonard has decided to come home’

Kawhi Leonard is coming home, and fortunately for the Los Angeles Clippers, it will be with them. The Moreno Valley, California-native has officially signed with the Clippers, the team announced today.

According to ESPN, Leonard signed a three-year, $103.1 million deal that includes a player option for the 2021-22 season, the source said. He will make $32.74 million next season, $34.37 million in 2020-21 and $36.01 million in the player-option season.

“This is a historic moment for our organization and our fans,” said Frank. “We are grateful and honored that Kawhi Leonard has decided to come home and join the L.A. Clippers. Kawhi is a peerless two-way player, a relentless worker and a natural fit for the serious, professional culture our group has established. He wins everywhere he goes, and he always has, from King High School to San Diego State to the NBA. Having him on our side is a tremendous privilege and a massive responsibility, one we will take very seriously. His expectation, and ours, is to contend for championships.”

Leonard, 28, averaged 30.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists for the Toronto Raptors last season in 24 playoff games en route to an NBA Championship and Finals MVP honor. During the 2018-19 regular season, the three-time All-Star averaged 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

In his career, the two-time defensive Player of the Year (2016, 2015) has averaged 17.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists over 467 games with the Raptors and San Antonio Spurs. Leonard also won an NBA Championship and captured Finals MVP with the Spurs in 2013-14. The 6’7″ forward has been voted All-NBA First Team twice (2017, 2016), All-NBA Second Team once (2019), and All-Defensive First Team three times (2017, 2016, 2015).

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Report: Leonard, George to the Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have just broken the internet. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers will sign free agent Kawhi Leonard, but it does not stop there. The Clippers have acquired OKC’s Paul George in exchange for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick, and two pick swaps, according to Wojnarowski.

This is a stunner. Many believed Leonard was going to sign with either the Lakers or Raptors, but in the end, the Clippers got it done.

There is going to be a lot of great basketball at Staples Center next season.

Kenny Smith on Kawhi Leonard: ‘Without question, he’s gotta take his time’

The first day of free agency in the NBA saw a lot of big names come off the board. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving went to Brooklyn, Jimmy Butler went to Miami, and Kemba Walker went to Boston, but there is still one big name out there, and that is NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, and according to reports, it seems it will come down to the Clippers, Lakers, and Raptors. Where will he go? Who knows, but according to TNT NBA analyst Kenny Smith, Leonard needs to take his time.

“I think he really has to take his time, honestly because he doesn’t have the opportunity to make this decision again,” Smith told TMZ Sports about Leonard. “This is the biggest decision for him at this stage of his life and his career that he can’t just make that decision that quickly. Kevin Durant and all those guys have had big contracts before. This is his first huge, mega contract, so, without question, he’s gotta take his time.”

Leonard is more than likely going to get a max contract wherever he goes, but he can get an extra year and more guaranteed money if he decides to stay in Toronto. Also, he will have a chance to help the Raptors defend their NBA title. If he does go to the Lakers and joins LeBron and Anthony Davis, obviously that would be a tough team to beat.

Leonard’s last big contract came in 2015 when he signed a max contract at five-years, $94 million with San Antonio. Leonard is always composed on the court and can get to all his spots while taking his time and staying under control, and he seems to be handling free agency in the same manner. He’ll make his decision, but only when he is ready to do so.

Clippers announce Vegas Summer League roster

The L.A. Clippers announced their roster and schedule today for the 2019 MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas from July 5-15 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The team is highlighted by 2019 draftees Mfiondu Kabengele and Terance Mann, as well as current Clippers guard Jerome Robinson. The team will be coached by head coach of the Agua Caliente Clippers, Brian Adams. Please note, the Clippers Summer League roster is subject to change.

L.A. opens their Summer League campaign on Saturday, July 6, at 4:30 p.m. PDT against the Los Angeles Lakers on ESPNU. The Clippers will complete their opening round with contests against the Memphis Grizzlies (Sunday, July 7, at 8:30 p.m. PDT on ESPN2), the Washington Wizards (Tuesday, July 9, at 8:30 p.m. PDT on NBATV) and the Sacramento Kings (Thursday, July 11, at 7:00 p.m. PDT on NBATV).

Following the opening four games, the top eight teams are then seeded in a tournament, which culminates with a Championship Game on July 15 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.  Teams that do not qualify for the tournament will each play a consolation game.  Every team will play at least five games and as many as seven at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League.

L.A. CLIPPERS 2019 NBA LAS VEGAS SUMMER LEAGUE ROSTER
NO PLAYER POS HT WT DATE OF BIRTH PRIOR TO NBA/HOME COUNTRY YRS
36 Cliff Alexander C 6’8″ 245 11/16/1995 Kansas/USA 1
39 Oshae Brissett F 6’8″ 210 06/20/1998 Syracuse/Canada R
55 Robert Carter F 6’9″ 240 04/04/1994 Maryland/USA R
41 Amir Coffey G 6’8″ 205 06/17/1997 Minnesota/USA R
47 Kaiser Gates F 6’8″ 205 11/08/1996 Xavier/USA R
28 Nigel Hayes F 6’8″ 254 12/16/1994 Wisconsin/USA 1
37 Isaac Humphries C 7’0″ 255 01/05/1998 Kentucky/Australia R
38 Tramaine Isabell G 6’1″ 180 06/27/1995 Saint Louis/ USA R
25 Mfiondu Kabengele F 6’10” 250 08/14/1997 Florida State/Canada R
14 Terance Mann G 6’7″ 215 10/18/1996 Florida State/USA R
27 David Michineau G 6’4″ 180 06/06/1994 France R
1 Jerome Robinson G 6’5″ 190 02/22/1997 Boston College/USA 1
26 Derrick Walton Jr. G 6’1″ 189 04/03/1995 Michigan/USA 1

 

L.A. CLIPPERS 2019 NBA LAS VEGAS SUMMER LEAGUE SCHEDULE (all times PDT)
Game Day Date  Opponent Time Arena TV
1 Saturday July 6 Los Angeles Lakers 4:30PM Thomas & Mack ESPNU
2 Sunday July 7 Memphis Grizzlies 8:30PM Thomas & Mack ESPN2
3 Tuesday July 9 Washington Wizards 8:30PM Thomas & Mack NBATV
4 Thursday July 11 Sacramento Kings 7:00PM Cox Pavilion NBATV

Mfiondu Kabengele on Clippers: ‘There is team cohesion’

The L.A. Clippers acquired the draft rights to Florida State forward Mfiondu Kabengele (Fi), the 27th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, from the Brooklyn Nets, in exchange for the draft rights to UCLA guard Jaylen Hands and the Philadelphia 76ers’ 2020 first-round pick. The Clippers selected Hands with the 56th overall pick in the draft.

“The Clippers are great, just similar to Florida State University. There is team cohesion and the togetherness. [They have] Lou Williams coming off the bench as [an elite leader], Montrezl Harrell as well. Shai being a rookie and getting big-time minutes in the playoffs. I just know that when it comes to developing talent and the coaching, I just know it’s the right spot.” said Kabengele.

Kabengele, 21, was named the ACC Sixth Man of the Year during the 2018-19 season where he averaged 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 37 games for the Seminoles.  Throughout his two collegiate seasons at Florida State, he appeared in 71 games, averaging 10.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 18.3 minutes.

The 6’10”, 250-pound forward shot 49.8 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from three-point range as a Seminole.  A native of Burlington, Ontario (Canada), Kabengele was named to the All-ACC Tournament team. Kabengele’s parents are from the Democratic Republic of Congo and moved to Canada after his uncle, Hall of Famer, Dikembe Mutombo was drafted.

Clippers claim Rodney McGruder off waivers

The L.A. Clippers have claimed guard Rodney McGruder off waivers, the team announced today. McGruder, who was recently waived by the Heat, is not eligible to participate in the 2019 NBA Playoffs.

McGruder, 27, has appeared in 66 games for the Miami Heat this season, averaging 7.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23.5 minutes. The 6’4”, 200-pound guard holds career averages of 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 23.5 minutes in 162 appearances across three NBA seasons with Miami.

Prior to his time with the Heat, McGruder played two seasons in the G League, spending time with the Maine Red Claws and the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

 

Mbah a Moute out 8 weeks with injured knee

The L.A. Clippers today announced that forward Luc Mbah a Moute underwent a partial medial meniscectomy on his left knee, with medial femoral condyle chondroplasty.

Mbah a Moute was injured during the Clippers game versus New Orleans on October 23, 2018. Luc at first underwent various non-surgical treatment options this season for his left knee injury which ultimately required a procedure. Mbah a Moute will miss the remainder of the 2018-19 NBA season. The expected timetable is a return to basketball-related activity in 8 weeks, which means Mbah a Moute will more than likely miss the playoffs.

Mbah a Moute, 32, has appeared in four games for the Clippers this season, averaging 5.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game.

Clippers waive Michael Beasley

The L.A. Clippers have waived forward Michael Beasley, the team announced today. Beasley came to the Clippers, with Ivica Zubac, from the Lakers in exchange for Mike Muscala on Thursday before the NBA trade deadline.

Beasley, 30, was initially appeared in 26 games for the Lakers this season, averaging 7.0 points and 2.3 rebounds, while shooting 49 percent from the field in 10.7 minutes.

The 6’9”, 235-pound forward holds career averages of 12.4 points and 4.7 rebounds, while shooting 46.5 percent from the field in 22.8 minutes in 609 appearances across 11 NBA seasons with Miami, Minnesota, Phoenix, Houston, Milwaukee, New York

Lawrence Frank on Zubac to Clips: ‘We are eager for him to join our group of promising young players’

The L.A. Clippers have acquired center Ivica Zubac and forward Michael Beasley from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for center Mike Muscala.

“For two-plus seasons, we have seen Ivica up-close and watched him develop into a skilled center,” said Frank. “For his age, Ivica has proven to be an energetic rim protector who can score around the basket. We are eager for him to join our group of promising young players.”

Zubac, 21, appeared in 33 games (12 starts) for the Lakers this season, averaging career-highs in points (8.5), rebounds (4.9), field goal percentage (.580) and free-throw percentage (.864) in 15.6 minutes. The 7’1”, 240-pound Croatian center was selected 32nd overall by the Lakers in the 2016 NBA Draft after playing one professional season in the Croatian A-1 League and one professional season in the Serbian KLS League.

Beasley, 30, appeared in 26 games for the Lakers this season, averaging 7.0 points and 2.3 rebounds, while shooting 49 percent from the field in 10.7 minutes. The 6’9”, 235-pound forward holds career averages of 12.4 points and 4.7 rebounds, while shooting 46.5 percent from the field in 22.8 minutes in 609 appearances across 11 NBA seasons with Miami, Minnesota, Phoenix, Houston, Milwaukee, New York and the Lakers. A native of Frederick, Maryland, he was selected second overall by Miami in the 2008 NBA Draft following one collegiate season at Kansas State University.

Muscala, 27, was acquired in the team’s six-player trade with Philadelphia on February 6. He appeared in 47 games for the 76ers this season, averaging 7.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22.1 minutes. He has appeared in 290 career games across six NBA seasons with Philadelphia and Atlanta, averaging 5.7 points and 3.3 rebounds, while shooting 47 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from three-point range and 84 percent from free-throw line in 15.9 minutes. The Bucknell alumnus was originally selected by Dallas with the No. 44 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft before being acquired by the Hawks in a draft night trade.

Clippers ship Avery Bradley to Grizzlies, release Marcin Gortat

The L.A. Clippers have acquired forward JaMychal Green and guard Garrett Temple from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard Avery Bradley, the team announced today.

Also, the Clippers waived center Marcin Gortat.

Gortat, 34, appeared in 47 games in his lone season with the Clippers, averaging 5.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in 16.0 minutes.

Bradley, 28, appeared in 49 games for the Clippers this season, averaging 8.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 29.9 minutes.

Green, 28, appeared in 41 games for Memphis this season, averaging 9.8 points and 5.1 rebounds.

Temple, 32, appeared in 49 games (all starts) for Memphis this season, averaging career-highs in points (9.4) and rebounds (3.1) in addition to 2.7 rebounds and 1.02 steals in 31.2 minutes.

The Clippers were very busy before the trade deadline. On Wednesday, the team traded Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott to Philadelphia in exchange for Wilson Chandler, center Mike Muscala, guard Landry Shamet, two first-round draft picks and two second-round draft picks.

This team is looking toward tomorrow, and this offseason should be very busy for the Clippers.