Tag: David West

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Three

Who should Clippers get to replace DeAndre Jordan? How about Blake Griffin.


It was midway through the fourth quarter of Game 7 of an epic first-round series, and the San Antonio Spurs had just gone on an 8-1 run to take a five-point lead. Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers decided to make a move and pulled DeAndre Jordan for Matt Barnes, going small and putting Blake Griffin at center.

The Clippers rode that small-ball lineup for almost the entire remaining 5:24, which included a late 7-2 run that gave Los Angeles the 111-109 victory and moved them on to the next round. (Jordan did sub in for a couple defensive possessions late.) The Clippers scored 19 points with that small lineup.

Those minutes could be the window to the future for the Clippers now that Jordan has bolted the Clippers to get a bigger role in the offense — and, more importantly, the recognition he feels he deserves — from the Dallas Mavericks.

Doc Rivers rode Jordan hard last season — he was seventh in the league in minutes played at 2,820 (more than 34 minutes a game for the full 82 games). Jordan was in the six most used Clippers lineups last season (and their regular starting five was leaned on heavily by Rivers, who didn’t trust the bench Doc Rivers the GM had given him). Jordan delivered 11.5 points on 71 percent shooting, but more importantly he was a beast on the boards at 15 a game, his offensive rebounding warped teams fast break efforts, and on the other end he was first-team NBA All-Defensive team because of his rim protection.

The Clippers cannot replace Jordan with anything near equal talent. Not with the money they have available. Once Jordan signs in Dallas and the Clippers fall below the tax line, they could have a full mid-level exception they can use (depending on Paul Pierce’s signing), but that is just $5.5 million — the money that got them Spencer Hawes a year ago (and the Clips just traded Hawes to get Lance Stephenson). The Clippers are pushing to send Jordan to Dallas in a sign-and-trade that would create a big trade exception they could use to get a big. (That alone can’t land them Roy Hibbert, who makes north of $17 million with a trade kicker; it likely would take a complex three-team trade involving the Pacers and Mavs to do that, and it is highly unlikely.)  The Clippers might try to trade Jamal Crawford for a big, suggests Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, and maybe his salary (plus filler) could net someone like Kosta Koufos of Memphis (who is currently a free agent but might do a sign-and-trade).

The Clippers do need to land another center, but he’s not going to be the same as the guy they lost.

What the Clippers do have is the ability to go small.

That small ball lineup that Doc Rivers used against the Spurs — Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, and Blake Griffin — played just 19 minutes last regular season. But they were +59 points per 48 in that very small sample size, with an offensive rating of 134.4 points per 100 possessions.

The Clippers just signed Paul Pierce, who has had his best success in recent seasons as a four in a small lineup that spaced the floor in Washington. The Clippers are trying to chase David West now (although that is a long shot at best).

The pieces are there for Doc Rivers to go small, play fast and overwhelm teams on offense. At least for stretches — longer stretches than he was willing to try it last season. It can work. It’s not going to work the same as Golden State, a team that suffers no real defensive drop off when they go small thanks to Draymond Green’s versatility. The Clippers don’t have that kind of defender (nobody else does).

But small can work for the Clippers. And it may be their best chance to stay among the elite of the West.

If they were willing to go to it in Game 7 against the Spurs, with their season on the line, they shouldn’t fear it when next season tips off.



Report: Wizards trying to trade Nene

Washington Wizards v Dallas Mavericks

The Wizards are interested in signing David West, who would provide solid depth and mid-range jump-shooting behind Marcin Gortat and Nene.

Or maybe West would just replace Nene in the starting lineup.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Nene is owed $13 million next season in the final year of his contract.

If the Mavericks miss out on DeAndre Jordan, they’d be a good fit for Nene. Maybe the Lakers – who keep their 2016 first-round pick only if it’s in the top three – want a short-term boost if they strike out in free agency. Though Nene isn’t a perfect fit, the Kings could absorb him to save face if they can’t find better use for their recently cleared cap room.

There should be interest once Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge sign.

Depending where the cap falls, the Wizards could carve out up to $13.8 million in cap space by dumping Nene. It’s unclear how they’d use that – especially because they’re probably loathe to sign players to multi-year contracts that interfere with their Kevin Durant-in-2016 plans. But it would lower their payroll and create flexibility. I’m not sure that’s worth losing a solid player, but it’s also possible Nene – who turns 33 before the season – declines to the point he becomes difficult to move.

Report: David West likely to sign with Spurs or Wizards

David West, Patty Mills

David West wants to join a championship contender.

Naturally, he looked first to the Warriors and Spurs, the last two NBA champions.

Now, the market appears to be clarifying his options.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

If the Spurs don’t sign LaMarcus Aldridge, David West makes a lot of sense as a fallback option. He’s not nearly as good as Aldridge, but West fits the same style as a jump-shooting power forward. And after trading Tiago Splitter, San Antonio would need another big and have the cap flexibility to get one.

The Wizards could offer West the mid-level exception ($5,464,000). He’s not the 3-point-shooting stretch four they really desire. But he might be the best big they can get, and he’s a good mid-range shooter. Washington would probably offer only a one-year contract, preserving cap space next summer for Kevin Durant.