The Los Angeles Clippers have officially re-signed free agent Nicolas Batum, the team announced on Friday.
According to reports, it’s a two-year deal.
“Nico is a terrific player, a selfless teammate and a consummate professional, who lifts us in a lot of different ways,” said Clippers president of basketball operations, Lawrence Frank. “He fits in perfectly from the beginning, and we’re grateful he’s chosen to return.”
Last season, the 32-year-old Batum averaged 8.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting 40.4 percent. During the Clippers’ run to the 2021 Western Conference Finals, Batum averaged 8.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks in 29.2 minutes.
Before joining the Clippers last season, the 13-year veteran spent time with Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Hornets
This summer, the Lisieux, France native helped lead the French team to a silver medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Batum’s versatility as a defender was very valuable for the Clippers last season. At times, he played center for Los Angeles in the playoffs and was very effective doing it. Bringing him back was an important move for the Clippers.
Clippers F Kawhi Leonard underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his right ACL, the team announced on Tuesday.
According to the team, the surgery was a success, and there is no timetable for his return.
Leonard, 30, injured his knee against the Jazz in Game 4 of their second-round series and would miss the rest of the playoffs.
The nine-year veteran can opt out of his contract this summer and become a free agent.
This season, Leonard, who signed with the Clippers in 2019 after winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors, averaged 24.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game.
Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul has made it to the NBA Finals! Paul scored 31 of his game-high 41 points in the second half, including 19 points in the fourth quarter, as the Suns defeated the Clippers 130-103 in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals at Staples Center on Wednesday night. With the win, Phoenix will make the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Paul’s 31 points in the second half is the most he’s scored in the second half in his career(regular season and playoffs).
In addition, the 36-year-old Paul, who scored 37 points in a series-clinching win against the Nuggets in the second round, became the oldest player in postseason history with 35 points in consecutive close-out games within a postseason, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
The 16-year veteran struggled with his shot in the team’s Game 5 loss against the Clippers, but Suns head coach Monty Williams knew that Paul could have a breakout performance in this series, and it came at the right time.
“I’ve told you guys from the jump I wanted to stay out of his way,” Williams said postgame. “There were questions about his production before tonight, and in my heart, I felt like it was a matter of time. I didn’t know it was going to be like that, but that’s who Chris(Paul) is. He was tired, and he was still making those kinds of plays — getting to the basket, the threes, orchestrating everything.”
Paul, who spent six seasons with the Clippers, broke Los Angeles with his performance in the second half, and the Suns knew that when Patrick Beverley shoved Paul in the back after a Clippers’ timeout in the fourth quarter. Beverley would get ejected, and Phoenix continued to pour it on.
“Over the years, people talk junk to me, and a lot of times I usually say something back, but I done changed a little,” Paul said. “A little. A little. And I just kept thinking, if we do what we’re supposed to do, I get the last laugh. So you stay the course long enough, you break ’em, and that’s what we did.”
Jae Crowder, who scored 19 points in Game 6, added on Beverley’s shove: “They broke. We know we broke them. There’s no better sign of defeat than knowing that moment, that moment where it’s like competition meets and we just — you can’t do anything else to help your team overcome that situation. He just broke. That’s what we were trying to reach.”
Paul, who was traded to the Suns by the Thunder last offseason, getting to this point was not easy. He’s suffered untimely injuries in past years during the playoffs and had untimely injuries this postseason(shoulder, COVID), but according to Paul, he knew his chance to make it to the Finals would come.
When asked if he ever thought this moment would not happen, Paul said the following:
“No. No. I ain’t built like that. It’s just get to work,” he said. “Get to work. What was it, Game 3, I find out I tore some ligaments in my hand. I said, oh, here we go. But you just — I got an unbelievable team around me.”
Not many people had the Suns in the NBA Finals, but guess what? They’re here, and with home-court advantage in the Finals, injury issues with both the Hawks and Bucks, and based on the way they’re playing, Phoenix has an excellent chance to win a championship.
Watch below as Paul talks making NBA Finals:
The LA Clippers signed Yogi Ferrell to a 10-day contract, the team announced on Monday.
Ferrell, 27, appeared in two games for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, averaging 9.5 points. 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals. The 6-foot-0 guard also appeared in 14 games for the Salt Lake City Stars of the G League this season.
The four-year veteran holds NBA career averages of 7.8 points, 2.3 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 251 career appearances with the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings and Cavaliers. A native of Indianapolis, Ind.,
Ferrell earned a spot on the 2016-17 All-Rookie Second Team, and in February 2017, became just the second undrafted rookie to win Rookie of the Month honors in his first professional season.
The Los Angeles Clippers(29-16) are a very talented team, and they have a lot of guys who can make shots, which they did on Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs(22-19).
Los Angeles shot 51%(17-33) from three-point range. Ex-Spur Kawhi Leonard led the way for Los Angeles with a game-high 25 points, and Marcus Morris, who hit five three-pointers, had 20 points as the Clippers defeated the Spurs 134-101 in the first game of their two-game set at AT&T Center.
Los Angeles has now won three straight. The Spurs dropped their third straight at home and their third consecutive game overall.
The Clippers had six guys in double figures on Wednesday night.
DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Spurs with 19 points.
Fortunately for the Spurs, they have an opportunity to avenge this loss on Thursday night as San Antonio plays the third game of their nine-game homestand against the Clippers.
The Clippers were in control of this game from the start and never trailed in this one. Los Angeles led by as much as 35 points in this contest.
When asked what San Antonio can do better to defeat the Clippers on Thursday, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said this:
“We have to do whatever we did tonight a little bit better,” he said.
Spurs Dejounte Murray added: “We were more focused on the obvious two, Kawhi and Paul George. We have to know who’s who on the floor and what they are capable of.”
The first two games of this homestand have been a disappointment for San Antonio, and with this loss, the Spurs dropped to 8th in the Western Conference.
After this poor performance, It should be interesting to see San Antonio’s response on Thursday night.
The Dallas Mavericks(21-18) were looking to avenge Monday’s loss to the Clippers(26-16) on Wednesday night, and behind their All-Star guard Luka Doncic, Dallas defeated the Clippers at home 105-89 in the second of their two-game set with Los Angeles.
Doncic was 16-28 from the field, including 6-11 from three-point range. He also had nine assists, six rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Doncic has now scored 40-plus against the Clippers on three occasions (incl. playoffs), his most against any team.
It was like a playoff game at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night, which Doncic discussed after the game.
“They’re a really good defensive team,” Doncic said about the Clippers. “The past two games were like playoffs.”
Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle ran out of words to describe the greatness of Doncic.
“Luka [Dončić] was spectacular,” Carlisle said. “Sometimes, you simply run out of adjectives to describe how good he is. But he was exceptionally good tonight, and we needed every point, every rebound, every assist, and defensively, he was terrific as well.”
Maxi Kleber, who had 12 points for Dallas on Wednesday night, has a lot of confidence when Doncic shoots the basketball.
“Sometimes, when I am on the court, it feels the same way,” he said. “You see him attack the guys, and he takes an easy step back; that looks so simple for him, but every time he shoots it, you think that is cash. He creates a little bit of space, and he doesn’t need much, and he shoots it, and every time the ball goes up, I think it is a basket. Today he just did incredible things. He was scoring on every possession, it felt like. He is a very rare and special talent. I think that was Luka Magic everybody has been seeing all year long here.”
Dallas now travels to Portland to face the Blazers in a two-game set starting on Friday, and according to Josh Richardson, Dallas will be ready.
“It’s my first year in the Western Conference,” he said. “Seeing all these tough opponents every night is tough. It’s a grind. But I think we have the players and the depth to fight through that and to be able to go out and battle.”
Paul George led the Clippers with 28 points (5-8 3FG), 7 rebounds and 5 assists in 41 minutes.
Kawhi Leonard had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists for the Clippers. Leonard has scored 20+ points in 21 of his last 22 games.
No Kawhi Leonard and no Paul George for the Clippers on Sunday night against the Cavaliers, but it did not matter. Lou Williams scored 30 points, and Marcus Morris Sr. added 23 as the Clippers(20-8) defeated the Cavaliers 128-111 at Staples Center.
Collin Sexton led the way for Cleveland with 22 points.
With the loss, Cleveland(10-18) has now dropped seven straight and nine out of their last 10. Cleveland has been beaten by double digits in three out of the four games on this trip. The Cavalier finish off this five-game road trip on Monday night against the Warriors.
The defense was again an issue for Cleveland. The Cavaliers allowed over 120 points for the sixth time in the last seven games.
Cedi Osman, who scored 20 points off the bench, acknowledged that the team is not playing well on the defensive end.
“When we’re playing defense, offensively, we were great,” Osman said. “We were sharing the basketball. We were playing for each other, but right now, defensively, we are not playing good.”
In fairness to Cleveland, they have played some very good teams during this game road trip. Cleveland has lost to Clippers(2x), Bucks(2x), Denver, Portland, and Phoenix in the last seven.
“Without making excuses, we have played really good teams in this stretch,” Cavaliers head. coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the loss to the Clippers. “Our concern has to be are we playing well, and if we’re playing well, we give ourselves an opportunity. Against these teams that are competing for a championship, you can’t afford to make those mistakes and give yourself an honest chance to win the game at the end, so our focus strictly needs to be on how are we playing.”
Cleveland surprised the league when they started the season 3-0, and they were not as good as that start indicated, but they are probably not as bad as what we have seen of late. Once Cleveland gets home, they can regroup and try to fix what’s wrong.
The LA Clippers have re-signed free agent Reggie Jackson, the team announced today.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a one-year deal.
After being waived by the Pistons in February, the 30-year-old Jackson would sign with the Clippers. In 17 games with Los Angeles last season, Jackson averaged 9.5 points, 3.2 assists, and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 41.3 percent from beyond the arc.
At times, Jackson played well for the Clippers last season and will probably have a bigger role with the team in the 2020-21 season.
The 6-foot-3 guard holds career averages of 12.8 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 561 appearances across nine NBA seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Pistons, and Clippers.
While the Clippers lost JaMychal Green and Montrezl Harrell this offseason, they were able to replace those guys with Serge Ibaka and Nic Batum, which is not bad at all, and now they retain Jackson, who will definitely give this team scoring off the bench.
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.