Miroslav Raduljica, Omri Casspi, Donatas Motiejunas

Clippers will stretch Miroslav Raduljica, too


Update:  The Clippers have officially waived both players.


The Clippers – who traded Jared Dudley and a first-round pick for Carlos Delfino, Miroslav Raduljica and a second rounder – never planned to keep the payers they acquired.

It’d already been reported Delfino would be stretched and Raduljica would be waived, and now, we’re learning all the specifics.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:


What does that mean for the Clippers?

To start, they’ll be $4,449,228 below the hard hap, which they trigged by signing Spencer Hawes to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception. They can still offer only minimum-salary contracts, but they now can add four players. Prior to this sequence, they could have added only one.

With just 11 players left after the the stretchings, the Clippers will definitely add at least two to meet the league minimum. Considering they could have just kept Raduljica – who had a decent rookie year with the Bucks last season – and still sign three new players, four seems most likely (though they had to stretch him by Sunday, so they might just be biding time).

Chris Douglas-Roberts and Ekpe Udoh are known candidates.

I wouldn’t surrender a first rounder just to dump Dudley and add players of that caliber, but Doc Rivers has the authority to do as he sees fit.

One one-possible positive of the trade is also diminished with this route.

Dudley has a $4.25 million early termination option for 2015-16, and he’s unlikely to exercise it, so he effectively has two years left on his deal. Delfino and Raduljica have fully unguaranteed 2015-16 salaries, meaning the Clippers could have kept both and then gotten those full savings next summer.

Instead, the Clippers stretching those two means their remaining guaranteed money will be spread evenly across the next five seasons (twice the number of years remaining on their contracts plus one).

That comes out to $950,000 per year through 2018-19. That’s a long time to carry that dead weight.

But at least the Clippers will get Douglas-Roberts, Udoh and/or a couple other veterans like them.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.