NBA PM: Jordan Expects CP3 to Re-Sign
The Los Angeles Clippers are coming off one of the best seasons in franchise history, advancing to the second round past the Grizzlies with a Game 7 win in Memphis.
By the time the team reached the second round, both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were banged up and the Clippers were over-matched by the San Antonio Spurs.
The team has since looked to bolster their lineup with the additions of Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford and Grant Hill.
“I’m excited,” said center DeAndre Jordan as he watched the Clippers’ summer team in Las Vegas.
“We added some great veteran pieces to our team; guys that know how to win,” said DeAndre. “With our team being so young last year and not having a lot of playoff experience, it was good for us to get out there and get that playoff experience. Now next year, there’s no excuses. We’re definitely going to try and reach our goal.”
The Clippers had three starters (Randy Foye, Griffin and Jordan) without a single game of playoff experience. With the return of Chauncey Billups (recovering from a torn Achilles’), three savvy new players and the Memphis/San Antonio series fresh in their minds . . . the Clippers expect to win the Western Conference.
Jordan looks forward to the edge Crawford is going to give the team.
“Jamal is going to be great, whether he starts or comes off the bench,” said DJ. “He’s going to be a spark for us. He’s instant offense. He’s quick enough and he’s athletic enough to play some great defense, the way we play up and down. He’s going to fit our team perfectly. I just can’t wait to get into the gym with him.”
While Griffin took a contract extension, Paul has indicated he’ll wait until next offseason when he can sign a five year deal (as opposed to a three-year extension). Jordan is confident that the team’s star point guard will stay with the team.
“I don’t even think about Chris leaving,” said Jordan. “He’s devoted to this team. He helped recruit Jamal [Crawford]. He’s really all in with this team. That doesn’t even cross my mind – that he won’t be with us.”
Given LAC will be able to pay him more than any team, and the Clippers have shown the willingness to invest in their roster, the overall sense around the team is that Paul will eventually re-sign. It’s just in his best interest financially to wait.
Is Cleveland on Bynum’s List?
With news breaking late Wednesday that Dwight Howard is willing to commit long-term with the Los Angeles Lakers, if traded by the Orlando Magic, the question shifts to “how?”
Can the Lakers make a deal with the Magic directly? That’s not an easy answer given it’s unclear if Andrew Bynum, the key asset to be given up by the Lakers, is willing to sign with Orlando long-term.
Equally do the Magic want to invest a max deal into Andrew given the team is embarking on a major rebuild? Put aside questions about Bynum’s knees and/or attitude, the Magic may prefer starting over and building through the draft without a major, initial financial commitment.
To that end, it’s important to Orlando to move off of the existing long-term contracts on the books including Jason Richards ($18.6 million over three), Glen Davis ($19.4 million also over three), Chris Duhon (only $1.5 million guaranteed in 2013/14) and Hedo Turkoglu ($11.8 million this coming season but only $6 million of his $12 million guaranteed next season).
The Magic want to bring in prospects and draft picks. They were willing to reinvest in Jameer Nelson ($8.6 million per year for two followed by a third year of partially guaranteed money, listed overall at $8 million) because a solid, veteran point guard can do wonders to help develop a young team.
The Lakers can offer Bynum and possibly take back Richardson but LA has little to no picks to put on the table. It would probably take a third team for Howard to land in Los Angeles.
Both the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers have been linked in talks. Bynum has been rumored to like both cities as possible long-term destinations.
The Rockets may be more willing to go out on a limb but the Cavaliers want to know up front what Andrew has in mind.
According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, Bynum’s agent David Lee is “baffled” by a report that had Cleveland on Andrew’s list.
It’s not specifically that’s he is or isn’t open to playing for the Cavaliers, Lee noted there’s no one in Bynum’s camp to leak such a story. To date, according to Lloyd, Lee and the Cavaliers have not had any discussions about Andrew and his future.
Lee wouldn’t tip his hand but Lloyd left the conversation with the “distinct impression Bynum is not interested in coming here long term.”
That doesn’t mean he’s correct. Bynum has been linked to Byron Scott and Kyrie Irving and may long to be a Cavalier, but nothing appears to be imminent on that front.
Houston has plenty of assets that might work three-way with the Lakers and Magic but they’re still going through the process on their Omer Asik offer sheet. Once that’s resolved, the table will be set . . . if there’s a deal to be done.
The Cavaliers could end up the answer but it’s going to take significant assurances from Bynum’s people that he’s there to stay and that’s yet to happen.
Wesley Johnson’s First Summer League
Minnesota Timberwolves guard/forward Wesley Johnson sat out his first Summer League. Last year the lockout shut down summer play. Now Johnson is in Las Vegas looking to develop his game and make a big jump going into his third season.
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