Los Angeles Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Six

Clippers’ Matt Barnes to have surgery to repair retinal tear, out two weeks


The Clippers need Matt Barnes off the bench — he’s about the only guy off the bench who could be considered a plus defender — but they are going to be without him for a couple weeks.

Barnes is going to have surgery to repair a retinal tear in his left eye, the team announced Thursday night. Two weeks is considered the minimum for his return, it could be a little longer.

The injury was suffered Monday night when Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies poked him in the eye. It was not intentional.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $6,000 Fantasy Basketball league that includes Thursday and Friday night’s games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $1,250. Starts at 8pm ET on Thursday. Here’s the link.

With Barnes out, expect to see a lot more Jared Dudley and Reggie Bullock.

But as noted, Barnes will be missed. The Clippers defense is actually good when their starters are on the floor (under a point per possession), it is when they go to the bench that things fall apart. Barnes helps stem that tide a little, but he can’t for the next couple weeks.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.