Author: Kurt Helin

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Clippers

Report: Clippers not interested in trading Jamal Crawford


The Clippers don’t look as good, as threatening as last season’s Clippers. Part of that may be locker room chemistry issues (although the players deny that). Part of that might be just poor execution at the end of the game.

But some of their problems are easy to put your fingers on — a lack of depth and the need for depth at the three.

Doc Rivers and the Clippers have been active in trying to find a trade partner to solve those latter two issues, but it’s not been easy because they are not flush with young assets that are the draws in trade partners. The one guy everyone asks the Clippers about it Jamal Crawford, but they are not interested in moving him, reports Ken Berger of

The Clippers continue to shop for a starting small forward, but have told at least one inquiring team that they do not intend to move valuable sixth man Jamal Crawford in the process, sources say. The Clippers have one of the least productive benches in the league as it is, and that problem would become even more pronounced if they moved Crawford. Coach and president Doc Rivers has few trade assets to work with, and the Clippers are hard-capped and thus don’t have much flexibility to take on salary.

The fantastic Clipper beat writer Dan Woike of the Orange County Register confirms this.

It’s going to be difficult for the Clippers to pull off a meaningful move. For one, as mentioned above, the guys they are willing to give up in a deal are not the guys anybody else wants. Second, after giving Spencer Hawes the mid-level exception this summer the Clippers face a hard cap of close to $80 million and they are nearly up against it already, they can’t really absorb salary in a deal.

The Clippers need to find some better play — more consistent defense, more creative end of game sets — from the guys on the roster. The Cavalry is not charging over the hill to save them.

New York Times trolls Knicks with “wanted” ad in paper

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks

This appeared in Tuesday’s New York Times:


That’s quite a dig.

With their loss Monday night, combined with a Philadelphia win over Cleveland, the Knicks took over as the team with the worst record in the NBA. And I think we can all agree, if you love the game of basketball then the Knicks are not easy to watch.

However, that was a bit of a cheep shot by the Times.

As noted by Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie (among others), the life of Knicks beat writer for the Times Scott Cacciola is not that bad. Yes, he has to sit through some tough games and the travel can be daunting, but he gets to cover sports for a living, working for the greatest American newspaper. Things could be a whole lot worse. We in the NBA media will have complaints about or jobs now and again, like everyone else, but at the end of the day we’re fortunate. I’m a basketball junkie who is lucky to have this outlet, this platform and this team of writers at PBT. I don’t want to take a moment of it for granted. I don’t know Cacciola, but I bet he feels much the same way.

That said, the Knicks do suck this season.

Nick Young prefers playing for Lakers over Clippers because of “atmosphere of winning”

Nick Young

The Lakers are 11-24 and on pace for a franchise worst record this season. The Clippers are 23-12. If you’ve been paying even vague attention for the past few years we are clearly in a swing of the pendulum when the Clippers are one of the NBA’s better franchises and the Lakers are… rebuilding. To put it kindly.

Nick Young doesn’t see it that way.

He was with the Clippers for 22 games back in 2011-12, a year the Clippers made the second round of the playoffs. Young has spent the last two seasons with the Lakers, not coming close to the playoffs.

But he said this in comparing the franchises, with the two teams are set to meet Wednesday night, as reported by Bill Oram of the Orange County Register (hat tip to Eye on Basketball).

“Being a Laker, there’s nothing like it,” Young said. “I think I learn more just being here and being around an atmosphere of winning, toughness and learning how to play under a great player like Kobe (Bryant).”

Atmosphere of winning?

We listed the numbers above, right? The Lakers are 38-79 since Young joined the squad.

Lakers fans will jump into the comments below spouting their Lakers exceptionalism — the brand is about winning the Buss family is about winning, Kobe Bryant is all about winning, look at the banners, yada yada yada. That is what the Lakers have sold for years. I will grant you that Dr. Jerry Buss was an exceptional owner who built a culture of winning, one of professionalism throughout the organization. Jim and Jeanie Buss are trying to carry on that legacy, how things are going is up for debate (I think it’s far too early to judge them).

The problem for the Lakers is that the moves to flatten out the NBA talent base in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement were essentially aimed right at them, trying to cut them off at the knees. The methods they used to rebuild and restock in the past will be much more difficult to execute now — nobody is giving an NBA Championship team the No. 1 overall pick the next year so they can snap up James Worthy again. The Lakers can’t just outbid teams for the top free agents because they have the money.

It’s going to take far more crafty, far more patient ownership to rebuild the team this time around. Los Angeles is still a draw, the Lakers brand and fan base are still draws, but the market has changed. The question we will see the answer to over the next few years is have the Lakers adapted to the new reality?

As for the Clippers, well, Young was there during the Donald Sterling era. It’s far too early to judge what kind of an owner Steve Ballmer will be, but I will guarantee he’s better than Sterling.