Here is where things stand Clippers fans — Chauncey Billups, at age 36 and recovering from a major Achilles tendon injury, will be back with your team before Grant Hill.
Billups could be back by the time you’re taking a nap after eating too much turkey and stuffing, with a side of sweet potatoes. That’s what Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Del Negro said that guard Chauncey Billups is closer to returning than Grant Hill, though there is no definite timetable for either player.
Billups, recovering from surgery to repair a torn left Achilles’ tendon in February, may be able to play around Thanksgiving, Del Negro said. Hill has a bone bruise in his right knee that has kept him out since early October.
The Clippers could use Billups. Last season when Billups was on the floor the Clippers seemed to run the offense more fluidly and have a better focus on defense — two things they seemed to lack in their losses this season. Last season the Billups averaged outscoring opponents by 4.7 points per 48 minutes when he was on the court, fourth best number on the team.
With their current lineup the Clippers are going to put up plenty of points this season, the question was always defense — that determines just how good they are now and how they do in the playoffs. Through four games the Clippers have been pretty pedestrian at that end of the floor. And that may be kind.
As for Grant Hill, he will be a nice little boost off the bench when he’s ready. But that’s a long ways off.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) An ex-financial adviser to retired San Antonio Spurs player Tim Duncan has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for defrauding the former NBA star of millions of dollars.
Federal prosecutors say 49-year-old Charles Banks of Atlanta was sentenced during a court hearing Wednesday in San Antonio.
A judge also ordered Banks to pay $7.5 million in restitution.
Banks had pleaded guilty in April to one count of wire fraud.
Investigators say Banks manipulated Duncan -who retired last year after five NBA championships with the Spurs – into guaranteeing payment of a $6 million debt related to a merchandising business.
Prosecutors say Banks failed to disclose commissions and loans he received in the deal.
Banks is set to report to federal prison as early as Aug. 28.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers have exercised their $1.3 million contract option on guard David Nwaba for the upcoming season.
The Lakers announced the move Wednesday.
Nwaba earned a job with the Lakers after they called him up from their D-League affiliate on Feb. 28. The rookie averaged 6.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while impressing Luke Walton’s coaching staff with his hustle and defensive play.
The Lakers signed him to a new contract with a multi-year component just three weeks after his NBA debut.
Nwaba is a local product, attending University High School in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica College before finishing his college career at Cal Poly.
HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) — Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry is set to test his golf game against the pros.
The Web.com Tour said Wednesday that Curry, coming off his second NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors, will play in the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae on Aug. 3-6.
It’ll be the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event for Curry, who has competed in various celebrity events and pro-ams. The top 25 on Web.com Tour’s regular-season money list will earn PGA Tour cards.
Curry will maintain his amateur status, competing on an unrestricted sponsor exemption in the event that benefits the Warriors Community Foundation.
Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice played in the event in 2011 and 2012. He missed the cut in 2011 with rounds of 83 and 76 and withdrew in 2012 after playing 27 holes in 23 over.
Also Wednesday, Nissan’s upscale Infiniti brand announced that Curry would be its new global brand ambassador. The point guard will be featured in ads for the Q50 sports sedan beginning this summer.
The Clippers projected to be able to offer Chris Paul a five-year, $201 million contract that would have culminated with a $46 million salary in his final season.
Did they offer that much before sending him to the Rockets?
Just as one side is trying to pin all the Clippers’ problems on Doc Rivers and Austin Rivers, the Clippers surely want to spin Paul’s exit to another way – that they shrewdly chose when to part ways rather than that they lost the best player in franchise history due to nepotism.
David Aldridge of NBA.com:
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
If Paul really wanted that five-year max, he could have pushed harder for it by bringing counter offers to the Clippers in July rather than engineering his way to Houston before free agency even began.
Would the Clippers have eventually relented and offered the five-year max? We can never know for certain.
But it’s pretty clear why the Clippers would want this version out there. Accurate or not, it makes them seem far more on top of things and is less likely to taint them with free agents they covet in 2018.