Diamond Stone

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Hawks waive Diamond Stone, who had guaranteed contract

3 Comments

When Diamond Stone entered the NBA draft a year ago, he looked like a first-round pick.

Now, the Hawks are paying him to go away.

The No. 40 pick last year, Stone signed a two-year guaranteed contract with the Clippers. After acquiring Stone in a trade, Atlanta is willing to eat his $1,312,611 salary.

Hawks:

Atlanta never necessarily wanted Stone. The Clippers had to deal him (and Jamal Crawford) to match Danilo Gallinari‘s salary in a sign-and-trade. The Hawks got a first-round pick for taking the unwanted players, bought out Crawford and have now dropped Stone.

Atlanta also has enough centers with Dewayne Dedmon, John Collins, Mike Muscala and Miles Plumlee.

But the timing is curious.

As long they’re paying Stone anyway, why not bring him to training camp and assess his value further? It’d cost the same amount to waive him in October. Stone is limited by his lack of explosiveness and mobility, but he has some interior skills. At just 20, he still could develop into a useful NBA player.

Do the Hawks have other moves lined up to fill their 20-man offseason roster? Was this a favor to Stone to give him a head-start on finding his next team?

Report: Danilo Gallinari leaning toward Clippers, which would spark trade with Nuggets and Hawks

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
4 Comments

The Clippers were seeking a third team to participate in a sign-and-trade for Danilo Gallinari, and with Paul Millsap going from the Hawks to the Nuggets (Gallinari’s old team), the Clippers might have found a solution – a double sign-and-trade between the three teams involving Gallinari, Millsap, Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone and assuredly more.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Gallinari would give the Clippers an impressive frontcourt with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Even after losing Chris Paul, that team should compete for the playoffs.

Receiving a player in a sign-and-trade would hard-cap the Clippers, but they’d have plenty of room to round out their roster – maybe even enough to avoid the luxury tax entirely.

The Hawks would add a first-round pick and Stone, the No. 40 pick last year, for the trouble of taking Crawford. Whether that’s a worthwhile sweetener depends on how much Crawford, who still has $17,246,988 guaranteed remaining on his contract, would require in a buyout. Atlanta is fairly wayward now, and extra draft picks can always help the push forward – whenever the team decides which way it wants to point.

The Nuggets need enticement to participate in this arrangement rather than just signing Millsap directly, though that might come in the form of another free agent before completing the trade rather than from L.A. or Atlanta.

So, there’s more to give. But this deal appears to be pretty far down the road to completion.

Chris Paul scores 19 points, Clippers beat Spurs 98-87

Associated Press
Leave a comment

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Chris Paul had 19 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the San Antonio Spurs 98-87 on Saturday night for their fifth straight victory.

DeAndre Jordan added 17 points and 17 rebounds to help Los Angeles preserve its hopes of hosting a first-round playoff series.

Los Angeles is a half-game behind Utah for the fourth seed and homecourt in the first-round series between the two. The Jazz played the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Doc Rivers tied Mike Dunleavy for the Clippers franchise record with his 215th regular-season victory.

Kawhi Leonard had 28 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points for San Antonio. The Spurs closed out their home schedule with just their 10th loss at the AT&T Center.

San Antonio is playing out the regular season after securing the No. 2 seed and first-round matchup against seventh-seeded Memphis.

The Clippers were 3-1 against San Antonio this season.

The Clippers went on an 8-0 run after the Spurs cut the lead to 72-68 on Leonard’s 15-footer. Los Angeles would take an 82-70 lead into the fourth quarter in a physical matchup between postseason-bound teams.

Aldridge had 10 points in the opening quarter, shooting 5 for 9 while primarily being defended by Griffin. Aldridge scored eight straight points in the opening quarter, including a pair of turnaround jumpers on Griffin and powering past Marresse Speights for a layup.

The Clippers responded by outscoring the Spurs 48-32 in the paint.

TIP-INS

Clippers: Austin Rivers has missed four straight games with a strained left hamstring. . Los Angeles is 23-13 against teams with winning records this season. … Diamond Stone sat out because of soreness in his left knee. He has missed 24 games with a bruised bone in his left knee. … The Clippers have limited Leonard to 13.7 points in 55 career games, his lowest average against any team in the league.

Spurs: Danny Green was running and shooting without discomfort prior to the game after missing five straight games with a bruised left quadriceps. Green is expected to play in the team’s final two games. “Danny’s going to be OK, I’m just keeping him out another night, just to be sure,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. … Leonard has scored in double figures in 106 straight games. … San Antonio completed the regular season with a 31-10 home record after matching a league record with a 40-1 mark last season. … Dejounte Murray has missed 16 straight games with an injured groin, but could play in the next game or two, Popovich said. … San Antonio will finish with 60-plus wins for the sixth time in franchise’s 43-year history.

 

Report: Knicks could trade Carmelo Anthony to Clippers without receiving Chris Paul, Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan

10 Comments

The Knicks are reportedly trying to trade Carmelo Anthony.

The Clippers might bite – if New York is OK not receiving Chris Paul, Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

The Knicks and Clippers are discussing a deal for Carmelo Anthony that does not include Chris Paul, Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan going to New York, the Daily News has learned.

The Knicks, according to a source, are open to trading Anthony to Los Angeles even if they don’t get one of the Clippers’ Big 3 in return.

All three of the Clippers’ stars are more valuable than Anthony. Doc Rivers should maintain a hard line on not trading any of the three for Anthony.

But a lesser package could make sense.

Any deal would likely involve two of J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. Their salaries are needed to match Anthony, who has a trade bonus that makes salary matching even more complex. The Clippers are over the luxury-tax line and facing a hard cap, and the Knicks are over the salary cap.

The Clippers should be reluctant to deal Redick, though. There’s a real case that his 3-and-D skills better complement the Clippers’ stars than Anthony’s scoring would. Another complication: 32-year-old Redick might not provide much value to the Knicks if they want to rebuild around Kristaps Porzingis.

The Clippers are short on assets with far more future than present value. They can guarantee sending only one future first-round pick, though they could structure a deal that allows another first-rounder to be dealt if they make the playoffs this year and in 2019. In any scenario, the Clippers can’t convey a pick until 2021 at the earliest. They also have Brice Johnson, Diamond Stone, the rights to No. 39 pick David Michineau and no second-rounder this year or next but an extra second-rounder from the Cavaliers in 2020.

Is there a package in those lackluster pieces that would intrigue the Knicks?

And would Anthony waive his no-trade clause to join the Clippers? He’s close with Paul and said he’d consider accepting a trade if the Knicks want to rebuild. Los Angeles isn’t his beloved New York, but it’s still a major market.

I’m still unconvinced the Knicks find suitable return in the Clippers’ offerings beyond their big three. And I’m unconvinced Anthony would allow a trade at all.

But this is much more plausible than many Anthony trade rumors.