Well, so much for the whole Chris Paul thing.
The Clippers put in the high bid among multiple teams to claim Chauncey Billups off waivers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
Now the real question — will Billups retire or will he play for the Clippers?
Billups has threatened retirement if he didn’t get sent to a team he wanted to play for, he wanted to be a free agent Wojnarowski says was leaning towards the Lakers or the Heat, two contenders who need point guards. But a lot of players — including CP3 — have expressed interest in the Clippers thanks to Blake Griffin. Is that and Los Angeles attractive enough to Billups, or would he retire?
Another question: Do the Clippers really need him? They already have two good point guards on the roster in Mo Williams and Eric Bledsoe.
Billups was on the waiver wire because the Knicks used their amnesty on him to clear the way for signing Tyson Chandler. Under the terms of the new CBA, teams under the salary cap could bid on the rights to that player for a portion of the season (the bid would be the price that team would pay of the salary, the Knicks pick up the rest).
The Clippers did not get Billups as a trade chip — players grabbed off amnesty cannot be traded until July 1 next year (when Billups would be a free agent anyway). They want him for the season.
The Clippers were able to bid because they were under the salary cap… at least until they would have matched the bid the Warriors put in on DeAndre Jordan. Which L.A. had not yet done. The Clippers had up to $3.5 million to bid.
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.
After five years in Washington, French forward Kevin Seraphin signed a one-year deal in New York last offseason. He played 48 games for the Knicks, averaging 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 11 minutes per game and wasn’t a big part of their rotation. Now, as a free agent, he’s looking for a new NBA home, and Yann Ohnona of L’Equipe reports that he’s worked out for the Indiana Pacers and has interest from the Spanish club FC Barcelona.
The translation of that tweet reads:
Kévin Seraphin, always courted by Barcelona, is in the United States for a trial with the Pacers of Indiana
With Barcelona in pursuit, Seraphin appears to have a solid fallback option if he can’t land a spot on an NBA team. He can be useful as a fourth or fifth big, it’s just a matter of a team having room.
Lakers forward Julius Randle has suffered a minor setback in his summer workouts. The team announced he received stitches on his right hand and will be sidelined for two weeks.
Lakers forward Julius Randle suffered a laceration to his right hand (webbing between middle and ring fingers) yesterday while practicing. He received seven stitches and will be re-evaluated in approximately 14 days.
That sounds painful, but the timing works out such that the two weeks will be up and he’ll have plenty of time to get back into things before training camp kicks off the last week of September.
One of the most surprising developments of the summer came when Evan Fournier, coming off an excellent year with the Magic, was left off the French national team that went to Rio to compete in the Olympics. Fournier himself doesn’t have a good answer for why he wasn’t included, according to an interview with the French magazine L’Equipe (translation via EuroHoops.net).
“I hated not being in the Olympic Games,” he said. “I had suspected that I won’t make the cut a week before I was informed about it. I was reading interviews where only Rudy (Gobert) was mentioned among the players who didn’t play in the OQT but would go to Rio. In the end, I received a voicemail by Vincent Collet that briefly explained the reasons I was left out.”
Fournier said he didn’t have much communication with the national team, except for when head coach Vincent Collet asked him for tickets to a Magic game.
“The only time I’ve heard from the Federation this year was during a visit from Patrick Beesley (French NT technical director) in Orlando where he told me the dates of the qualifying tournament and Olympics. He didn’t tell me ‘If you do not come in Manila, then you do not come in Rio’. The second time was from an sms by Vincent Collet. It was our only contact outside competitions in the last three years. He was asking me for tickets to a game for his friends. I never closed the door to the French national team but these events sent me a clear message. That i’m not in the project. It’s that simple and it hurts.”
It’s a little bizarre that Fournier, at 23 years old and one of the better basketball players from France, isn’t on the team and a clear reason hasn’t been given. But it sounds like that isn’t going to change anytime soon.