The decision for Austin Rivers to re-sign with Clippers was not difficult

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

When guard Austin Rivers first came to the Clippers this past season to play for his father, coach Doc Rivers, there was no shortage of reporters who wondered how it was going to work out. After all, it was the first time in NBA history a player was to toil for his head-coach pops.

By recently signing a two-year contract to remain with the Clippers for about $6.4 million, the younger Rivers put to rest any notion that a situation like this couldn’t work. Austin Rivers on Tuesday talked about what it was like when he first arrived in mid-January after being traded to the Clippers

“It was definitely challenging at first, just because I knew what I’d have to deal with just coming here and what it would look like for me, and also just the questions of how could a father-and-son relationship work on a professional level,” he said. “And I took that chance. It was a chance that I needed to take for myself because I honestly believed that if I came here, not only would I start to play the way I knew I could play, but also helps this team in an area where they needed help.”

The Clippers didn’t have much flexibility to sign players to long-term deals, but for now, the two-year accord Rivers signed just over a week ago was fine.

“Right now I signed a two-year deal because I want to come here and help this team win,” he said at a news conference Tuesday at Staples Center; joining Rivers were his father and teammates DeAndre Jordan, Paul Pierce, Cole Aldrich, Wesley Johnson, Josh Smith and Branden Dawson. “And that’s my focus right now. And I believe we can do so, so it really made my decision very, very easy to come back and really maybe not even try to venture out and see what else is out there because I wanted to be here.”

Rivers averaged 7.1 points and 1.7 assists in 41 regular-season games with the Clippers this past season. He averaged 8.4 points in the playoffs and had a couple of very big games.

Rivers won’t be 23 until Aug. 1.

 

Clippers, forward Josh Smith have come to terms on 1-year contract

Josh Smith

Josh Smith/Photo courtesy of Houston Rockets

 

The Los Angeles Clippers had to have hated what Josh Smith did to them in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals. He scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to help the Houston Rockets overcome what had been a 19-point late-third-quarter deficit to shock the Clippers 119-107 at Staples Center. The Rockets ended up winning the series 4-3 with a Game 7 win at Houston.

But the Clippers were so impressed with Smith’s performance that Thursday they had agreed to bring him on board. A league source told this newspaper the accord was on the verge of being signed, and would be by the end of Thursday.

The deal is for one year for the veterans’ minimum, which in Smith’s case is just about $1.5 million.

Smith, a 6-foot-9 forward, played 55 games for Houston after being waived by Detroit in December. He averaged 12 points and six rebounds for the Rockets after averaging 13.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 28 games for the Pistons.

Smith, 29, started eight of Houston’s 17 playoff games and averaged 13.5 points and 5.6 rebounds. He made 38 percent (27 of 71) of his shots from 3-point range.

Smith has 11 years in the league with career scoring and rebounding averages of 15.1 and 7.7, respectively. His best season was in 2011-12 with Atlanta, when he averaged 18.8 points and 9.6 rebounds.

The Clippers this off-season have now re-signed center DeAndre Jordan and guard Austin Rivers, signed free agents Smith, small forwards Paul Pierce and Wesley Johnson and center Cole Aldrich; and traded for wing Lance Stephenson.

Chris Paul to represent Team World in NBA game in August in South Africa

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Chris Paul will play on Team World when it takes on Team Africa on Aug. 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Team Africa will consist of players born in Africa and second-generation African players. The team is to be coached by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Among the players on that team will be Luc Mbah a Moute of the Sacramento Kings, Serge Ibaka of Oklahoma City and Festus Ezeli of Golden State.

Among those to play with Paul on Team World are brothers Marc and Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls, respectively. Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins will coach Team World.

“I look forward to representing Team World in the first NBA game in Africa,” Paul said in a statement.  “It will be my first visit to the continent, and I cannot wait to contribute to the growth of the game on and off the court.”

The proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs in South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

ESPN will televise the game live at 6 a.m. (PT).

Clippers announce they have waived guard Lester Hudson

Lester Hudson

Lester Hudson/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers on Wednesday announced they have waived guard Lester Hudson.

Hudson, who had been a star in the Chinese Basketball Association the past two seasons, came to the Clippers near the end of March. He played in five regular-season games, averaging 3.6 points and an assist. He appeared in seven of the 14 playoff games and averaged 2.0 points and an assist.

Hudson, 30, played his college ball at University of Tennessee at Martin.

Clippers have come to terms with draft pick forward Branden Dawson

Clippers Sign Branden Dawson

Branden Dawson/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers on Wednesday announced they have signed Branden Dawson, who was chosen 56th in the recent NBA draft. The Clippers purchased his rights from the New Orleans Pelicans late the night of the draft.

Dawson, out of Michigan State, is a 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward. He averaged 12.8 points and 10.3 rebounds in four games during the recently completed Orlando Pro Summer League.

Dawson averaged 11.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in his senior season at Michigan State and was named second-team All-Big Ten.

Clippers re-sign guard Austin Rivers to two-year deal worth $6.4 million

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Los Angeles Clippers on Monday announced they have re-signed guard Austin Rivers to a two-year contract and signed center Cole Aldrich to a one-year contract with a player option for a second year.

The Clippers last week re-signed center DeAndre Jordan and signed small forwards Paul Pierce and Wesley Johnson.

Austin Rivers, son of Clippers coach Doc Rivers, signed for a total $6.4 million, according to a league source. That’s the most the Clippers could pay him.

The younger Rivers came to the Clippers during the 2014-15 season in a three-team deal with the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns. He had just been traded from New Orleans to Boston and never had to report to Boston as he was then dealt to the Clippers.

Rivers averaged 7.1 points and 1.7 assists in 41 games for the Clippers after coming over in mid-January. He upped his level of play in the post-season when he averaged 8.4 points and 1.1 assists playing in all 14 games.

Austin Rivers was given a lot of credit for helping the Clippers win Game 4 of their first-round series at San Antonio by scoring 16 points on 7 of 8 shooting off the bench. That victory tied that series 2-2 and came on the heels of a 100-73 Game 3 loss at San Antonio.

Then, in the Western Conference semifinals, Rivers scored 25 points on 10 of 13 shooting to help Los Angeles to a 124-99 victory over Houston in Game 3 at Staples Center.

Rivers, who is 6-foot-4, played one season of college ball at Duke. He played the first 2 1/2 seasons of his pro career with New Orleans. He’ll be 23 on Aug. 1.

Aldrich, who is 6-11, has been in the NBA for five seasons. His contract calls for the veterans’ minimum. In his case, that’s $1,100,602 for the upcoming season. He played his first two seasons for Oklahoma City, played for Houston and Sacramento in 2012-13 and for the New York Knicks the past two seasons.

His most productive season came in 2014-15 when he averaged 5.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in 61 games with New York, starting 16 and averaging 16.0 minutes.
Aldrich, 26, was drafted 11th overall in the 2010 draft. He played his college ball at Kansas. He was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and second-team All-America in 2010.