This is and should be the quiet time of the year for every NBA team not named the Cavaliers or Warriors. The NBA Finals start this Thursday. There are some Clipper rumblings and news I managed to gather around the web:
The pre-draft workouts are taking place and the Clippers held a secret workout with a Chinese center prospect I had mentioned in a previous post. Zhou Qi, who stands at 7-foot-2, is a player that might be available to the Clippers at the end of the first round. A guy that’s legitimately over 7 feet tall is a gamble worth taking.
J.J. Redick is the main Clipper making news this offseason, mainly due to all the television and radio appearances he’s making. He was a guest on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” studio show prior to an Eastern Conference Finals game between Cleveland and Toronto. I did like the insight Redick provided. He seems super knowledgable and relayed it to the audience nicely.
Redick also hosted his podcast with his guest being his former coach Stan Van Gundy, Redick has one of the better athlete podcasts out there. They talked about some interesting topics, including what it’s like being president and coach and finding the right players. I was shocked to see that he would have Van Gundy on his podcast. Van Gundy isn’t the most media-available coach, but what’s more surprising is that Van Gundy did a podcast with a former player who was in his doghouse frequently when coached him in Orlando. Redick rode the bench during most of Van Gundy’s tenure as coach. Guess any hard feeling between them have been mended.
A couple of Clippers picked up some end-of-the season awards. DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul were both named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the second straight season. Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, and Avery Bradley were the other players to join Jordan and Paul. So the Clippers have two of the top five defensive players in the NBA, yet they ranked sixth in the defensive efficiency ranking.
This bit of news might be the most puzzling. In the Los Angeles Daily News ranking of the “Top 50 Most Powerful in California Sports”, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer finished ninth on the list. How does the RICHEST owner in sports, who’s worth $21.5 BILLION dollars, barely make the top 10? This is lunacy. Who is conducting these polls? This man should be top-3 at worst.
Finally, the rumor mill is already heating up with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s elimination in Game 7 last night. The Orange County Register proposes a scenario where Kevin Durant and the Clippers should be a fit for one another. Well, I sort of beat the OCR to the punch yesterday when I proposed these more descriptive scenarios. Thanks OC Register, but I have the Durant and Westbrook to the Clippers situation covered.
Clippers news will be heating up soon with the draft and free agency approaching in less than a month. So keep staying tuned to more ClipperBeat coverage.