Dunleavy after the game

Here’s what coach Mike Dunleavy had to say after the Clippers 99-92 loss to the Lakers Tuesday night:

“We’re not looking for any moral victories, I’m glad our guys played hard all the way through. There were some times during the game where they could have folded and could have left it right open. Instead we kept coming back and making some plays.”

On playing the Lakers:

“Taking them on any night is a tough challenge. They put a lot of pressure on you.”

On Blake Griffin’s injury:

“He didn’t die. He’ll be back in six weeks. He’s in the locker room, we saw him, we put our arms around him, we hugged and we kissed him and he’s going to be back.

“The kid’s going to be fine. Yeah, we’re disappointed he’s out, but it is what it is.”

Where would Sessions fit?

The Clippers rumored interest in Milwaukee restricted free agent Ramon Sessions is real. The urgency of signing the former D-Leaguer has dimmed a bit after last weeks’ trade for Sebastian Telfair.

The Clippers felt strongly they needed a veteran point guard to back up Baron Davis. Last year they hoped Jason Hart could play that role, but that clearly didn’t work out. Hart ended the season on the Nuggets bench.

Second-year man Mike Taylor was pressed into early duty and was showing signs of improvement before a thumb injury cost him two months of the season. The Clippers are still high on him, but don’t want to rush his development by forcing him into the primary back-up role.

The team still likes Sessions, but bought itself some serious leverage by acquiring Telfair.

Telfair is a proven commodity in the league and the Clippers feel fine with him as their No. 2 PG. His contract is also very tradeable. It doesn’t hurt that he’s young with room to grow.

So what would happen if Clippers signed Sessions? Would they carry four PGs? For now the team is taking a “cross-those-bridges-when-they-come-to-them” attitude.

I was also told not to go too far down line with these hypothetical questions as negotiations with Sessions aren’t past “50-yard-line” yet.

Also: Sessions is hardly the only backcourt player Clippers have contacted this offseason. One source said the team has put feelers out to just about every combo-guard on the market.

One other housekeeping note: The Clippers still have a qualifying offer out to restricted free agent sharp-shooter Steve Novak.

AI update

I’ve confirmed the Clippers interest in Allen Iverson is mutual, but it’s hard to say who is more into who. lverson clearly needs a job and isn’t hurt at all by his name being linked to several franchises: Miami, Memphis and now the Clippers.

The Clippers are intrigued by the idea, but I’m told by a team source they are intrigued by several players right now. On the wish list before next season is adding another big (to replace Brian Skinner) and another perimeter player. The team still has it’s MLE, it’s bi-annual exception, veteran minimums and a $7.3 million trade exception once the Zach Randolph trade is finalized.

Which of these options it uses to sign those two players is still to be determined. Iverson fits the “perimeter player” job description, but the team is still formulating its plans.

Of particular concern is how adding an Iverson to the mix affects the development of shooting guard Eric Gordon, who blossomed in the second half of last season.

Z-Bo trade should be completed by Thursday

The Zach Randolph-Quentin Richardson trade hasn’t been completed just yet, due to “timing,” according to a source. This has a lot to do with the reported trade involving Shawn Marion between Dallas-Toronto-Memphis. Basically, Memphis has cap space to help facilitate the deal, but will lose that space when Randolph goes onto their books. Hence the “timing.”

My source indicated the deal should go through by tomorrow at the latest however.

Clippers trade Randolph for Richardson

Make room for Blake Griffin.

On Wednesday the Clippers agreed to a deal that would send starting power forward Zach Randolph to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard Quentin Richardson, according to an NBA source with knowledge of the deal, thus clearing the way for Griffin, the No. 1 overall pick in last week’s draft.

Due to league rules, the deal can not be completed until next week.

Randolph was the team’s leading scorer and second-leading rebounder last season. He averaged 20.9 points and 9.4 rebounds in 39 games after coming over in a midseason trade with the New York Knicks.

When the Clippers won the lottery however, there was no longer room in the frontcourt for Randolph, Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby and now Griffin, a 6-foot-10 power forward.

The deal also creates an interesting homecoming with Richardson, who played four seasons with the Clippers from 2000-04, before signing a rich free agent contract with the Phoenix Suns.

Richardson averaged 10.2 points for the New York Knicks last season, but was shipped to Memphis in a draft-day trade for Darko Milicic.

The Clippers also benefit financially from the deal, getting out from under the $33 million owed to Randolph over the next two seasons, while taking back only Richardson’s $9 million salary next season.

Because of the difference in Randolph and Richardson’s salaries, the Clippers also receive an $8 million trade exception, which they can use later.

Randolph’s agent Raymond Brothers said that his client was disappointed to learn of the deal, because he felt he had found an NBA home with the Clippers.

“It’s tough getting traded but that’s part of this business,” Brothers said. “It’s just unfortunate because Zach really felt comfortable in L.A. and felt like he’d found a home. He wanted me to thank the Clippers and (owner) Donald Sterling for the opportunity to play with them for a year.”

The two teams had discussed a deal involving Randolph on draft day,
but it fizzled, a league source said, because the Grizzlies insisted
on the Clippers taking either Marko Jaric or Greg Buckner along with

The Clippers insisted on taking back a player with an expiring
contract, in order to justify parting ways with a proven frontcourt
player like Randolph.

The Clippers also weren’t completely sold on adding Milicic, the
former No. 2 overall pick who has had an underwhelming NBA career,
because it would’ve added another player to an already-crowded

When the Grizzlies dealt Milicic for Richardson, it reignited trade

Richardson had the best season of his career playing for the Clippers
in 2003-04, when he averaged 17.2 points and 6.4 rebounds.

Camby weighs in

I text messaged Baron Davis, Al Thornton and Marcus Camby tonight to get a bit of reaction to the Clippers draft. Only Camby wrote back, which on the surface is a little surprising because Blake Griffin’s presence is one of the main reasons why Camby’s name keeps popping up in trade rumors. But if you know Camby — as stand-up a guy as there is in the NBA — it’s not all that surprising.

Anyway, here’s what he had to say:

“I think Blake is a tremendous young talent with a great future,” Camby wrote. “I feel he can really help this team and organization.”