Clippers’ Frank: ‘Luke(Kennard) is a young, ascending player who has worked hard to establish himself as a reliable shooter and playmaker’

The LA Clippers have completed a three-team trade with the Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets, the teams announced on Thursday. The Clippers acquired Pistons guard Luke Kennard, center Justin Patton, the draft rights to Jayden Scrubb (Nets 55th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft), and four second-round draft picks (Portland 2023, Detroit 2024, 2025, 2026).

The Nets received Clippers guard Landry Shamet, Pistons guard Bruce Brown, and the draft rights to Reggie Perry (Clippers 57th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft).

The Pistons acquired the draft rights to Saddiq Bey (Nets 19th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft), Clippers guard Rodney McGruder, Nets forward Dzanan Musa, a second-round draft pick (Toronto 2021), and the draft rights to Jaylen Hands.

“Luke is a young, ascending player who has worked hard to establish himself as a reliable shooter and playmaker,” said Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. “We’ve admired him from afar for quite a while and are excited to have him. In addition, the draft assets allow us the opportunity to continue drafting and developing young talent, or otherwise explore trade opportunities, for years to come.” 

Last season was a breakout year for the 24-year-old Kennard. In 28 games, the former 2017 lottery pick of the Pistons, averaged 15.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and, 3.5 rebounds per contest. However, he played in only 28 games due to knee tendonitis. With Kennard, the Clippers get a shooter(40% career three-point shooter). Also, he adds more depth to an already deep team. 

The 23-year-old Shamet, who was acquired from the 76ers in 2019, had his moments with the Clippers and is a knockdown three-point shooter, which should be very useful playing with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.

According to the L.A. Times, with this move, the Clippers are set to be eligible to use their full midlevel exception, worth $9.2 million, which they can use to add another player.

 



Clippers’ Lue: ‘The pieces we need are in place’

The L.A. Clippers have named Ty Lue as the team’s head coach, the team announced on Tuesday. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a five-year deal. 

The 43-year-old Lue served as an assistant coach under Doc Rivers for the Clippers during the 2019-20 season. As a head coach, Lue’s most significant moment is when he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA title in 2016. 

 “The pieces we need are in place – committed ownership, smart management, and elite talent, on and off the court, in the NBA’s best market,” Lue said. “My familiarity with the organization, particularly Mr. Ballmer and Lawrence, confirmed this is where I want to be. We have work to do to become champions, but we have the motivation, the tools, and the support to get there. I’m excited to get started.”

During the 2015-16 season, Lue became the fourth head coach since 1980 to win an NBA Championship during his first year, and the 14th person to have won a title as a head coach and as a player. Over the next two seasons, he led the Cavaliers to two more Finals appearances, becoming the third head coach in NBA history to lead his team to three straight NBA Finals in his first three seasons. 

Lue is right. The Clippers have everything in place to compete for a title, and just he did for Cleveland, Lue has an opportunity to put Los Angeles over the top. Now, the Clippers have to get everyone on the same page, which, according to reports, appeared to be an issue for this team. However, not many teams are as talented as the Clippers, so expect them to be one of the favorites again next season.

Luka on Morris: ‘He’s just saying a lot of bad stuff to me in all the games’

On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Clippers showed why many believe they can win an NBA title this season. Behind Paul George’s 35 points and Kawhi Leonard’s 32 points, Los Angeles routed the Mavericks 154-111 in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series to go up 3-2.

However, after the game, the talk was about Luka Doncic and Marcus Morris Sr. In the third quarter, Morris stepped on Doncic’s injured ankle, which he sprained in Game 3. 

Was it done on purpose? 

You be the judge:

“I’ve seen it, yeah, of course,” Doncic said after the game about the replay of Morris stepping on his ankle. “I have my own thoughts. I hope it wasn’t intentional. Tell me, what do you think? I just hope it wasn’t intentional. Every person is going to have their own thoughts.”

Doncic has no plans of talking to Morris moving forward.

“I don’t want to talk to him,” Doncic said. “He’s just saying a lot of bad stuff to me in all the games. I don’t want to talk to him. I’ve just got to move on. Like I said, everybody is going to have their own opinion. I just hope It wasn’t intentional. If that was intentional, that was really bad.”

According to Morris, stepping on Doncic’s ankle was not purposely done. Here’s what Morris wrote on Twitter concerning the play:

 

 

It’s hard to say if it was intentional, and in reality, the only person that would know is Morris. This series is getting chippier by the game and should be interesting to see how Dallas responds in Game 6.

Mavs’ Carlisle compares Luka Doncic to Larry Bird, Jason Kidd

Luka Doncic is becoming a legend right before our eyes. With a bad ankle and all in Game 4 of their first-round series against the Clippers, Doncic hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Mavericks a 135-133 victory in OT. The second-year guard becomes the youngest player in NBA history to hit a game-winning buzzer-beater in the playoffs, and with the win, the Mavericks tied the series up at 2-2.

Dallas came into the game without Kristaps Porzingis, who was a late scratch due to knee soreness. However, Doncic carried the load. The 21-year-old recorded his second-straight triple-double with 43 points, 17 rebounds, and 13 assists in 46 minutes.

After the game, Doncic explained what happened on the game-winning shot.

“I was just trying to make it,” Doncic said. “I can’t explain the emotions I had, not only when the ball goes in, but when I see the whole team running toward me. That was something special, one of the best feelings I’ve ever had as a player. Just something special.”

Doncic, who was a game-time decision after injuring his ankle on Friday, gave credit to the Mavericks’ training staff for getting him ready for the game. 

“The guys here you don’t hear about did an amazing job with me yesterday,” Doncic said. “We were working almost the whole day. They were helping me out the whole time with whatever I needed. Obviously, it wasn’t 100 percent, but I think it was good.”

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlise, who played with Larry Bird and coached Jason Kidd, was impressed with Doncic’s performance on Sunday and thinks Doncic is similar to the two Hall of Famers.

“I mention Kidd and Bird,” Carlisle said. “I think both of those guys are from the same fabric competitively, in terms of their will to win and their resourcefulness to impact the game in unique forms. It’s not just about putting the ball in the basket. It’s about giving teammates confidence. It’s about knowing how to channel your emotions. Luka has gone through a lot here. Early on, we were having a lot of discussions with officials; it was draining all of our energy, and our team has grown through that stuff. We understand more and more that distractions are things that we control.

“I thought the second half, particularly Luka, did a great job of channeling his energy toward his teammates and giving them energy. Otherwise, you wear yourself out. This, today, is a game that will go down in history in some form as one of the best games a second-year player has ever played. I asked this question earlier today, when is the last time a rookie of the year was up for most improved the following year? I don’t think that’s ever happened. The work he has put in has been phenomenal as well, I don’t think there has been enough talk about that.”

Being compared to Bird and Kidd is high praise for Doncic. He is playing at an elite level right now. If he continues to play at this level, the comparisons to Bird and Kidd will continue. However and more importantly, after Doncic’s game-winner on Sunday, the Mavericks are right back in this series with the Clippers.

Luka on Kawhi: ‘He’s always in the zone’

The Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard for the situation we saw on Friday night. Leonard, who came to the Clippers after leading the Raptors to an NBA title last season, had 36 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, as the Clippers defeated the Mavericks 130-122 to take 2-1 lead in their best of seven first-round series. 

When he is flowing, Leonard is tough to stop. On Friday, he set a franchise record by scoring 100 points in the first three games of the playoffs, and after the game, the Mavericks reacted to Leonard’s greatness.

“He’s always in the zone. He’s a top-three player in the league,” Luka Doncic, who had a triple-double on Friday night, said after the game. “It’s really tough to stop him. He’s an amazing player, amazing defender. It’s really hard to stop him. I think Maxi [Kleber] is doing an amazing job, DoeDoe[Dorian Finney-Smith]. It’s just hard. He’s an amazing player.”

Tim Hardaway jr. on Leonard:

“Kawhi is going to do what Kawhi does out there on the floor, but we have to give their supporting cast a pat on the back. They did a great job of knocking down their shots, open or contested, and taking advantage of their matchups and just being aggressive out there on the floor. So the difference between last game and this game is when the bench came out and when the other players got involved, they made the most of it, and they took advantage of the opportunity.”

Seth Curry on Leonard:

“It is just tough. We were playing good defense, and he was making shots over us. When we played even better defense and felt like we got to the front of him, he got to the foul line. It was tough. We have to make adjustments, come back next game, stick our game plan, and try to be even better. Tonight, it was just going in; we have to take something away. Tonight we didn’t take anything away from him. He got everything he wanted, and they put him at the foul line.”

With the uncertainty of Doncic after he left and returned and left again due to an ankle injury, the Mavericks could be in trouble moving forward. Still, Friday was  all about the greatness of Kawhi Leonard. 

 

NBA announces Mavericks-Clippers first round playoff schedule

The No. 7 seed Dallas Mavericks announced today the schedule for their first round playoff series with the No. 2 seed L.A. Clippers, which will open on Monday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. CT and be broadcast live on ESPN and Fox Sports Southwest.

Games 2 and 3 of the series, which are scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 19, and Friday, Aug. 21, respectively, will also tip-off at 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on TNT and Fox Sports Southwest. Game 4 will be played on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 2:30 p.m. CT and be carried exclusively by ABC.

If necessary, Games 5, 6 and 7 are scheduled for Aug. 25, Aug. 27 and Aug. 29, respectively (game times and TV schedule TBD).

Dallas is set to make its 22nd playoff appearance (first since 2016) in the franchise’s 40-year history. The Mavericks have now made the playoffs 16 times in the last 20 years.

2020 DALLAS MAVERICKS FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF SCHEDULE 

GAME

DATE

OPPONENT

TIME (CT)

ARENA

TV

1

Monday, Aug. 17

@ L.A. Clippers

8:00 p.m.

AdventHealth Arena

ESPN/FSSW

2

Wednesday, Aug. 19

@ L.A. Clippers

8:00 p.m.

AdventHealth Arena

TNT/FSSW

3

Friday, Aug. 21

vs. L.A. Clippers

8:00 p.m.

AdventHealth Arena

TNT/FSSW

4

Sunday, Aug. 23

vs. L.A. Clippers

2:30 p.m.

AdventHealth Arena

ABC

5*

Tuesday, Aug. 25

@ L.A. Clippers

TBD

TBD

6*

Thursday, Aug. 27

vs. L.A. Clippers

TBD

ESPN/FSSW

7*

Saturday, Aug. 29

@ L.A. Clippers

TBD

TNT/FSSW

        * If necessary

Luka on playing Clips in playoffs: ‘I think some people count us out, but we’re not out’

If the regular season series against the Clippers is any indication, the Dallas Mavericks could be in trouble. The Mavericks, who are pretty much locked in the 7th-seed(3.0 games behind 6th-seeded Thunder), will probably battle the 2nd-seeded Clippers(1.5 games up on 3rd-seeded Denver) in the first round of the playoffs.

Last night, the Mavericks'(41-30) struggles against the Clippers(46-22) continued. Behind Kawhi Leonard’s 29 points, Paul George’s 24 points, and Ivica Zubac’s 21 points, including 10-10 from the field, Los Angeles would defeat Dallas 120-111 in Orlando. With the loss, Dallas is 0-3 against the Clippers this season. 

On the surface, going 0-3 against the Clippers does not bode well for the Mavericks, but according to Luka Doncic, who scored 29 points last night, people should not count out Dallas.

“We always have chances,” Doncic said about the possibility of playing Clippers in playoffs. “You know we’re a great team. We always got chances, no matter what. I think some people count us out, but we’re not out. I think we have chances, so we’ll give it our best.”

Mavericks’ Kristaps Porzingis, who scored a game-high 30 points last night, looks forward to the challenge of playing the Clippers in the playoffs.

“That is obviously going to be a tough matchup,” Porzingis said. “They are one of the favorites to win it all. They are a big, physical team that knows how to play, has experience, and have multiple guys that have been there already.

“It is definitely going to be a tough matchup, but we are looking forward to the challenge and getting experience from that.”

The Clippers are a championship-caliber team. Los Angeles has arguably two top ten NBA players in Leonard and George. Additionally, they have two outstanding players coming off the bench in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. Los Angeles is built to win now, and at this point, the Mavericks still have some growing to do. With Doncic and Porzingis, Dallas can give the Clippers a tough series, but they probably don’t have enough.

However, anything can happen in the NBA bubble.

Clippers sign C Joakim Noah

The L.A. Clippers have signed free agent Joakim Noah to a new contract, the team announced today.

According to Ohm Youngmisuk, the deal is for rest of the season plus next season (non-guaranteed).

Noah, 35, who signed a 10-Day contract with the Clippers on March 9, is a two-time NBA All-Star (2013, 2014) and former NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2014). He appeared in 42 games last season for the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 7.1 points, 2.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds. The 6’11”, 230-pound center holds career averages of 8.8 points, 2.8 assists and 9.1 rebounds in 667 appearances across 12 NBA seasons with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Grizzlies.

Before being selected by Chicago with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Noah played three collegiate seasons at the University of Florida, leading the Gators to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2007.

Clippers’ GM on Noah: ‘His experience, acumen and toughness fit well in our locker room’

The L.A. Clippers have officially signed free agent Joakim Noah, the team announced today.

“Joakim is a relentless competitor and a proven winner,” said Frank. “His experience, acumen and toughness fit well in our locker room.”

The 35-year-old Noah is a two-time NBA All-Star (2013, 2014) and former NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2014), appeared in 42 games last season for the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 7.1 points, 2.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds. The 6’11”, 230-pound center holds career averages of 8.8 points, 2.8 assists, and 9.1 rebounds in 667 appearances across 12 NBA seasons with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, and Grizzlies.

Before being selected by Chicago with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Noah played three collegiate seasons at the University of Florida, leading the Gators to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2007.

It appears that’s an “Arms Race” between the Lakers and Clippers. We’ll find out who will have enough come playoff time.

Why Reggie Jackson should have signed with the Lakers

The L.A. Clippers have signed free agent guard Reggie Jackson, the team announced today. 

“Reggie is a proven playmaker and scorer, and we are looking forward to adding his experience and creativity to our team,” said Frank. 

Jackson, 29, appeared in 14 games for the Detroit Pistons this season, averaging 14.9 points, 5.1 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in 27.2 minutes. The 6’3″, 208-pound guard holds career averages of 12.9 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 544 appearances across eight NBA seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Detroit.

On the surface, it would seem the Lakers might have been a better fit for Jackson. With the Lakers, he probably would have gotten a decent amount of minutes, but with the Clippers, those minutes won’t be guaranteed. Jackson will have to battle Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, and Landry Shamet for minutes. With the Lakers, Jackson would have to battle it out with Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso, so it’s clear that the better opportunity for him was with the Lakers

Jackson to the Clippers probably should have been Jackson to the Lakers, but maybe he knows something that we do not. We shall see.