This is what a star like Blake Griffin can do for a franchise.
A year ago, the Los Angeles Clippers were not on anybody’s radar as a free agent until they got desperate. Now, in one day they have popped up as a potential landing spot for the two biggest free agents on the market. We told you already about Chris Paul.
Now there is the note from Chris Broussard at ESPN that the Clippers really want Dwight Howard.
But while the Clippers like Paul, sources say they like Dwight Howard even more. The Clippers have made it clear to executives throughout the league that they will do whatever it takes — outside of trading Griffin — to get Howard, who will become a free agent at the same time as Paul, either this season or next summer. So they will not move the players they’ll try to use to get Howard to New Orleans for Paul.
The Clippers would have to give up a lot to make that deal work. Chris Kaman would be the base because of his $12.2 million salary, but Orlando is going to want pieces for the future out of this. I’d demand Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and a first round pick.
Clippers fans may think that’s a lot, but realize that the team across the hall will offer up Andrew Bynum and parts, and there are 27 other teams including Boston that will put together trade packages, so you’re going to have to come big to win this. Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin would make the most formidable front line in the NBA.
Of course, the other question one always has to ask is this — will Dwight Howard take the risk of going to a team owned by Donald Sterling. The Clippers are hot now, but they have been at the bottom for a long time for a reason.
All of this is dependent on the Magic deciding they have to trade Howard, and we may never get there. Still, you can start moving the Clippers into the echelon of teams free agents will consider now. Thank Blake Griffin for that.
In his first game in New Orleans, coach Alvin Gentry threw forward Omri Casspi right into the rotation, and he scored a dozen points.
Casspi also broke his thumb and will be out 4-6 weeks.
Because there is so little time in the season and the Pelicans want to make the playoffs, they have decided to waive Casspi, reports Sams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
The idea is to create a roster spot to either grab someone waived by another team over the next few days or to get players on 10-day contracts.
Casspi will be a free agent this summer, and there are a number of teams that think he has real potential once unleashed outside what was going on in Sacramento.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Ryan Kelly and guard Lamar Patterson to multiyear contracts.
Patterson provides depth across the perimeter, including at point guard. He previously signed two 10-day contracts with the team, most recently on Feb. 8. He has averaged 2.3 points in four games.
The 6-foot-11 Kelly has played in nine games with the Hawks after signing Oct. 31.
The Hawks now have their maximum 15 players. They traded forward Mike Scott to the Suns on Thursday, leaving two vacant roster spots.
Kelly and Patterson are expected to be available when the Hawks play Miami on Friday night.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee fired back at Shaquille O’Neal via Twitter after the former star-turned analyst posted on his verified account a disparaging photo of McGee with the words, “America meet Javale “BUM” McGee.”
O’Neal also responded angrily to McGee , saying he would “smack” McGee’s “bum a–.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Kevin Durant backed McGee on Friday, with Durant calling Shaq “childish” while calling out the retired center’s free throw shooting and other flaws in his game during a Hall of Fame NBA career.
Shaq and McGee went back and forth in a heated Twitter spat late Thursday night, when McGee returned to a reserve role for the NBA-best Warriors as starting center Zaza Pachulia returned from an eight-game absence because of a shoulder injury.
For a couple of seasons now, teams have tried to beat the Golden State Warriors by making the game ugly — slow, grinding, physical, and the opposite of the free-wheeling game they like. Only one team has had any real success with that strategy, and it has LeBron James on it (and even that wouldn’t have been enough if Draymond Green could keep his hands to himself).
So why not beat them at their own game?
That’s what Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey thought when he added Lou Williams to the roster, he said.
There is a sense around the Warriors that the Rockets may be a bigger concern than the Spurs, because Houston can score with them. Don’t confuse that with worry in the Bay Area, they are the best team in the West if healthy, but the Rockets may be the team they face off against in the conference finals.
And if that happens, Lou Williams is going to play a significant role.