Clippers set to introduce Lance Stephenson to Los Angeles media

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson/Photo courtesy of Charlotte Hornets, ESPN.com

 

The Clippers on Thursday afternoon will introduce newly acquired Lance Stephenson to the Los Angeles media at a news conference.

Doc Rivers, Clippers coach and president of basketball operations, on Monday traded small forward Matt Barnes and forward/center Spencer Hawes to the Charlotte Hornets for Stephenson, who at 6-foot-5 can play both guard positions and small forward.

Stephenson, just 24, played his first four seasons with the Indiana Pacers. His final season with them was his statistical best as he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 2013-14.

Stephenson signed with Charlotte after that season, but he did not follow up his previous season with anything similar. He averaged 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in his only season there. He started just 25 of 61 games in which he played.

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Clippers to unveil new look in and around Los Angeles on Thursday

Members of the Clippers family on Thursday will visit several locations around the greater Los Angeles area to meet with fans and unveil their new look with a food and t-shirt giveaway.

The Clippers will have a presence at Sprinkles Cupcakes in downtown Los Angeles (735 S. Figueroa) from 8 a.m. to noon with owner Steve Ballmer appearing from 10-10:45 a.m. T-shirts and cupcakes will be distributed.

The Clippers will be at Pink’s Hot Dogs (709 N. La Brea) from noon to 2 p.m. with coach Doc Rivers and longtime broadcaster Ralph Lawler buying lunch for fans from noon-1 p.m.

Also, Gillian Zucker, president of business operations, will meet with fans at L.A. Metro (800 N. Alameda St.) from 6-7 a.m. with the team presence beginning at 4 a.m. and lasting until 8 a.m.

The Clippers will have people at a total of 32 locations around the city. Other prominent locations and times include:

6 – 8:30 am     Stauffer Middle School                       Lamond Murray (7 am – 8 am)

11985 Old River School Road            Clippers Spirit Dance Team

Downey, CA 90242

 

5 – 6 am          American Airlines Terminal/LAX        Clippers Spirit Dance Team

1 World Way, Los Angeles CA, 90045

 

8 am – 1 pm    Universal Studios                                Gary Grant (10:30 am – 12 pm)

100 Universal City Plaza                    Pooh Richardson (10:30 am – 12 pm)

Universal City, CA 91608                   Clippers Spirit Dance Team

(Fountain near Saddle Ranch)

 

9 am – 2 pm    Santa Monica Pier                              Olden Polynice (11:30 am – 12:30 pm)

380 Santa Monica Pier                       Darrick Martin (11:30 am – 12:30 pm)

Santa Monica, CA 90401                   Clippers Spirit Dance Team

(Pacific Park basketball game – access by walking down pier)

 

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Clippers are on verge of trading for wing Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson/Photo courtesy of Charlotte Hornets, ESPN.com

 

A league source on Monday afternoon confirmed to this newspaper that a trade that would send small forward Matt Barnes and power forward/center Spencer Hawes to Charlotte for wing Lance Stephenson could be done any moment.

The deal in the works was first reported by YahooSports.

Stephenson played his first four seasons with Indiana. In his fourth season in 2013-14, he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He did not have similar success at Charlotte this past season, however, averaging 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists.

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Clippers have worked out several players at their practice facility

Quinn Cook 764712

Quinn Cook/Photo courtesy of Duke University

 

The Clippers at this time do not have a pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but they can work out players and they’ve been doing that at their facility in Playa Vista.

The Clippers this past week worked out power forwards Aaron White (Iowa) and David Kravish (Cal), shooting guard Treveon Graham (VCU), small foward Julian Washburn (UTEP) and point guards Quinn Cook (Duke) and Ryan Boatright (UConn).

All of these players are projected as either late second-round picks or just outside of the second round.

The draft will take place June 25. The Clippers are the only team without a pick.

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Adam Silver doubts change will come regarding intentional fouling

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

According to a story on ESPN.com, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters covering the NBA Finals in Oakland that there is little chance there will be a rule change that would prevent the intentional fouling of poor free-throw shooters like DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets.

Silver said league executives at the general managers meeting in mid-May were opposed to any changes.

“The data shows that we’re largely talking about two teams, throughout the playoffs,” Silver said. “In fact, 90 percent of the occurrences of Hack-a-Shaq invole the Rockets and the Clippers. And for the most part, it’s two players. Seventy-five percent involve two players, DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard. So then the question becomes, should we be making that rule change largely for two teams and two players?”

Jordan, an unrestricted free agent, shot just 39.7 percent from the free-throw line this season and has just a 41.7 career percentage over seven seasons. Howard shot 52.8 percent this season and has shot 57.3 percent over 11 seasons.

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Clippers remain interested in bringing Paul Pierce to Los Angeles

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce/Photo courtesy of Washington Wizards, NBA.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.

We’re also told that the Clippers will be pushing hard to retain unrestricted free-agent center DeAndre Jordan by offering him a max contract to stay with the team. Only the Clippers can offer Jordan a five-year deal worth roughly $109 million while the best other teams can offer is four years in the neighborhood of $81 million.

Pierce, 37, attended Inglewood High. He has played 17 seasons and has a career scoring average of 20.7. He averaged 11.9 points this past season with the
Wizards.

Pierce’s player option with Washington for next season is $5,543,725.

Jordan, 26, averaged 11.5 points, a league-high 15.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks during this past season. He helped the Clippers to the second round of the playoffs, where they were beaten in seven games by the Houston Rockets.

The down side to Jordan is that he can’t make free throws. He shot just 39.7 percent from the free-throw line in 2014-15 and his seven-year career percentage is 41.7.

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Clippers leaving Las Vegas to take part in Orlando Pro Summer League

The Clippers have announced that for the first time they will compete in the Orlando Pro  Summer League after playing the past nine seasons in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

The league will consist of two teams from the Orlando Magic and one each from the Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Each team will play five games from July 4-10 on the Orlando Magic’s practice  court at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., with a championship game to be played on the final day.

The event will not be open to the public because of space limitations but games will be televised by NBA TV.

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Chris Paul named to All-NBA second team, Griffin and Jordan to third

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo by Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Point guard Chris Paul on Thursday was named to the All-NBA second team and forward Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan were named to the third team.

It’s the first time in franchise history three Clippers have made All-NBA in the same season and it’s the first time since 2004-05 when Phoenix did it that a team landed three players on the respective teams.

This is the second time Paul has been named to the second team; he made the first team the previous three seasons. Paul averaged 19.1 points and a league-high 10.2 assists. He made the All-Star team for the eighth consecutive season.

Griffin led the Clippers in scoring with a 21.9 scoring average during the regular season; he averaged a career-low 7.6 rebounds, but a career-high in assists at 5.3 per game. Griffin had been named to the second team the previous three seasons and this is his first time on the third team. He made his fifth All-Star game appearance in succession.

Jordan averaged a league-best 15.0 rebounds as well as 11.5 points and 2.2 blocks. This is his first selection to an All-NBA team.

 

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DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul named to NBA’s All-Defensive first team

Paul, Jordan Named First Team All-Defense

Chris Paul, left, and DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday were named to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Guard Chris Paul and center DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday were named to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team.

Paul received 67 first-place votes and was voted to the first team for the fourth consecutive season, fifth overall in his 10-year career.

This was Jordan’s first such honor. He received 84 first-place votes. Jordan led the league in rebounds during the regular season with a 15.0 average. He also led in defensive rebounds at 10.1 per game and was fourth in blocks with a 2.23 average.

Paul was second in the league in total steals with 156. His 1.9 per-game average was fifth.

Joining Paul and Jordan on the first team were forwards Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors and guard Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies.

The second team is made up of forwards Tim Duncan of San Antonio and Anthony Davis of New Orleans, center Andrew Bogut of Golden State and guards Jimmy Butler of Chicago and John Wall of Washington.

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Doc Rivers hopeful he can convince son Austin to return to Clippers’ nest

 

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Clippers guard Austin Rivers had his share of good games in the playoffs, and he had some where he did not play well. All told, he averaged 8.4 points and 1.1 assists in 14 games. He was terrific in a Game 4 victory at San Antonio in the first round, when he scored 16 points on 7 of 8 from the field. He also played key roles in two of the three victories over the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals won in seven games by the Rockets. He scored 17 points in a Game 1 victory at Houston and came through with a whopping 25 points on 10 of 13 shooting in a Game 3 victory at Staples Center, during which he had the fans there chanting, “Austin Rivers, Austin Rivers.”

His father, Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers, said Tuesday he’d love to re-sign his son for next season. He knows it won’t be easy because the Clippers can’t offer him as much money as other teams.

But he does want him back, regardless of some of the heat the younger Rivers took when he did not play well. It’s during those times that perhaps people don’t remember that he’s just 22 and won’t be 23 until August 1.

“Yeah, people who want to criticize him don’t,” the elder Rivers said. “That’s the way I always look at them. He’s young and he clearly helped us, I think we all have to agree with that. And I think he loved it here.

“I even think he liked the coach at times. You know, it’ll be interesting. I really want him back and I think it would be great to have him back and I think he’s a great fit for this team. But business is business and it’ll be an interesting thing this summer.”

Austin Rivers averaged 7.1 points and 1.7 assists during 41 regular-season games with the Clippers after being traded to the team in mid-January. After the 25-point performance in Game 3 against the Rockets, Rivers scored 12, eight, five and two points over the last four games of the series and shot a combined 11 of 32 (34.3 percent).

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