The Clippers may be the deepest team in the NBA, but that’s going to get a test Monday. And maybe a little more beyond that.
Chris Paul will be out Monday night when the Clippers travel to face the Grizzlies, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Clippers point guard Chris Paul has a contusion in his right kneecap and will not play Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum….
Asked if he would play against the Grizzlies, Paul said: “I don’t know yet. If a miracle comes through. I hope so. I want to play, no question. But if I feel like I’ll hinder the team, then I won’t.”
The report says CP3 likely sits out the back-to-back game against the Rockets on Tuesday night. Paul is having an MVP caliber season, averaging 16.9 points, 9.7 assists and 2.6 steals per game and is the main reason the Clippers are 28-9.
Rudy Gay will miss the game for the Grizzlies as he attends his grandmother’s funeral.
Paul’s injury happened in the fourth quarter of the Clippers loss to the Magic over the weekend, when CP3 and J.J. Redick banged knees. Paul played through it but there was swelling later. This shouldn’t be a long-term thing, but maybe a couple of games.
Eric Bledsoe will get the start and that should be interesting — Bledsoe completely outplayed Conley in the playoffs last season. There will be a little extra in that matchup.
DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).
After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.
Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.
Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.
So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.