Tag: Paul Pierce

Charlotte Hornets v Los Angeles Clippers

Doc Rivers: Lance Stephenson starting for Clippers is worst-case scenario


The Clippers did the scary thing and traded for Lance Stephenson.

Now, they must figure out how to use him.

Clippers coach/president Doc Rivers on The Beat 980, via Arash Markazi of ESPN:

“I like that [Stephenson] can play multiple positions — really 2, 3 and 1 — because he’s a terrific passer,” Rivers told The Beast 980. “I don’t know if I made the trade for him to be a starter, per se, I look at him really more to be a utility player that can come in and play literally three different positions for us. When you look at us, we needed toughness and more athleticism and we get that.”

But if Stephenson isn’t going to be a starter, who’s going to be the team’s starting small forward for 2015-16?

“We find him, we work, we still have work to do,” Rivers said. “In the worst case and it’s not a bad case [Lance starts], and I still think that Lance is an upgrade at that position even if we wanted to start him. But I’m planning on doing more things this summer without saying much. We’re not done, clearly.”

I like the idea of Stephenson coming off the bench. He’s best with the ball in his hands, but the Clippers are way better running their offense through Chris Paul. Even Blake Griffin, who has developed impressive playmaking skills, is probably a better option due the mismatches created by being a focal point from the frontcourt.

The Clippers’ bench could certainly use more punch. However, Stephenson’s skills are somewhat redundant with Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. That’s probably more of a problem for Crawford and Rivers, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, than for Stephenson.

The bigger concern than managing the bench is finding a starting small forward to replace Matt Barnes, who was dealt to the Hornets – though the issues could be related. The Clippers could try trading Crawford and  a draft pick for a wing, as they did last season. They could also attempt to sign Paul Pierce with the mid-level exception.

Overall, I’m with Rivers. Starting Stephenson wouldn’t be the end of the world. But the Clippers should attempt to form a roster that doesn’t require him to start.

Report: Royce White close to a commitment to play Summer League for Clippers

Royce White

Royce White was the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, but has only played part of one season since.

While dealing with a well-documented anxiety disorder, White’s handling of his situation became a problem most teams weren’t willing to deal with.

Now, with the benefit of hindsight and perhaps an additional level of maturity, White is eying an NBA comeback, which may start this summer with the Los Angeles Clippers.

From Shams Charania of Real GM:

Royce White is closing on a commitment to join the Los Angeles Clippers to make his NBA comeback in the July Summer League, league sources told RealGM.

White has considered interest from several organizations, including the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans, but gained trust with the Clippers’ front office through dialogue with brass members.

White is nearing a commitment to the Clippers, but the 6-foot-8 forward will stay away from signing any sort of free-agent deal in order to showcase himself for the NBA’s other 29 teams. He has spent the year training in Minnesota with trainer Chris Carr.

The Clippers make sense, because White is precisely the type of player they’ll need to look at while trying to upgrade the roster.

L.A. is hamstrung from a salary cap perspective, and can only sign players to minimum (-ish) salary deals. But the Clippers desperately need to add depth, which is why a veteran player like Paul Pierce, and a castoff like White may be the best (and perhaps only) legitimate options.

Report: Clippers remain interested in bringing Paul Pierce to Los Angeles


Paul Pierce has one year remaining on his contract with the Wizards, but it’s a player option, which means he can walk away from it to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

If he were to do that, it has been speculated that he would end up with the Clippers.

Nothing has been decided on Pierce’s end, but L.A. reportedly remains interested if Pierce chooses to make himself available.

From Robert Morales of InsideSoCal.com:

The Clippers remain interested in bringing small forward Paul Pierce to Los Angeles, a league source told us today, but that Pierce would first have to opt out of his current contract with the Washington Wizards, which he can do.

The Clippers believe they’re close to championship contention, but will need to add the proper pieces to the roster to get over that hump — a job Doc Rivers admitted wouldn’t be easy.

L.A. is already in a difficult position from a salary cap perspective, and that won’t change anytime soon if the team can get DeAndre Jordan to re-sign on a max contract that Rivers has already said will be offered.

Bringing in someone like Pierce on something resembling a minimum deal would be huge for L.A., both because of his prior relationship with Rivers while the two were together in Boston, and because of just how effective he can still be in some of the postseason’s biggest moments.

But Washington has been good to Pierce, so it’s unclear if he’s truly interested in bolting the Wizards just yet.