Los Angeles Clippers Offseason Tracker: Latest Trade Rumors, Free-Agency News

Ehran Khan@@ekhansworldContributor IIIJune 25, 2012

Los Angeles Clippers Offseason Tracker: Latest Trade Rumors, Free-Agency News

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    The Los Angeles Clippers ended the 2012 NBA season on a low note, getting swept out of the second round of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs.

    Coming off the best season in franchise history, the Clips will look to take the next step towards contending for a title in 2013.

    That journey begins this offseason, as the organization attempts to improve the team around returning All-NBA performers Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

    Keep it tuned right here for the latest scoop on all the rumors surrounding the Clippers this offseason.

LAC Acquires Willie Green Via Sign-and-Trade

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    According to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Hawks have parted ways with scoring guard Willie Green. In return, the Hawks receive the rights to Greek center Sofoklis Schortsanitis.

    A player who may not even join the Atlanta Hawks.

    Schortsanitis signed a three-year contract with Athens club Panathinaikos earlier this month so chances are he won’t be joining Atlanta’s roster. The value for the Hawks in the deal is gaining a trade exception in the amount of Green’s first-year salary with the Clippers, which wasn’t immediately known.

    This pads a solid offseason by the Hawks, as they've cleared plenty of cap space for a major offseason campaign in 2013. This also adds to a series of moves that have made the Atlanta Hawks a much younger team than they were a year ago.

    As for the Clippers, this is yet another move that bolsters their solid perimeter. Green's 7.6 points per game on an average of just 17.4 minutes would certainly be welcomed.

    -- Report via B/R's NBA Trade Rumors tracker

Ronny Turiaf Joins the Clippers

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    According to Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Clippers have signed center Ronny Turiaf.

    This is yet another move that the Clippers have made to recreate their second unit, as they throw Turiaf into the pack with Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and Ryan Hollins. Turiaf is coming off of a season in which he 12 postseason games during the Miami Heat's postseason run.

    His energy and size played key roles as the Heat took home the title. Clearly, LAC is hoping for the same outcome and contributions.

Ryan Hollins Headed to Los Angeles Clippers

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    Update: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof

    The Los Angeles Clippers have announced the signing of free-agent center Ryan Hollins, according to NBA.com.

    The Los Angeles Clippers today signed free agent center Ryan Hollins. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

    The six-year NBA veteran averaged 3.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 39 games played last season for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. In 17 games played during the Celtics’ 2012 Playoff run, Hollins tallied 1.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per contest.

    It's safe to say that Hollins won't be exploding into newfound stardom with the Clippers, but he does provide nice depth to an already deep roster.

    -End of update-

    Entering the 2012 period of free agency, one of the quiet concerns in Los Angeles was the lack of depth in the Clippers' front court. Specifically, their current situation at the center position.

    In an attempt to add depth beyond the athletically gifted but fundamentally-inept DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers have reportedly looked to another athletic big. Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com has the story.

    The Los Angeles Clippers will sign Ryan Hollins, according to Hollins' agent @tramasar.

    — Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 19, 2012

    Ryan Hollins spent the 2012 season split between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers. He started eight games and averaged 10 minutes per game in 17 playoff appearances with the Celtics.

    The Clippers will likely demand more from Hollins as they pad their weakest position.

Grant Hill In, Ryan Gomes out

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    Update: Wednesday, July 18 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Los Angeles Clippers have officially signed Grant Hill. The terms of the deal have not yet been revealed, per team policy.

    -- Report via B/R's Free Agent Tracker

     

    Update: Wednesday, July 18 -- Joel C. Cordes

    With the Phoenix Suns unwilling to acquire Ryan Gomes as part of Grant Hill's move to the Clippers, the L.A. Times reports them as having used their amnesty clause on Gomes' small $4 million per year contract.

    In order to use their bi-annual exception on Hill, the Clippers needed to get back under the salary cap. While Gomes provided a big body at either forward position, he's proven himself to be no more than a backup at this point in his career.

    He can shoot a little bit and is a decent rebounder, but probably won't garner more than a minimum contract at his next stop.

    It's expected that Hill will be backup Caron Butler at small forward. With all of Butler's health problems during the past few years, it's likely Hill will find more than a few starts this season as well.

    Update: Tuesday, July 17 -- Joel C. Cordes

    In a stunning turn of events, Grant Hill has reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers. Long-rumored to be going to that "other" L.A. team, it was assumed Hill would follow good friend Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns to the Lakers.

    Instead, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that has gone to their cross-town rivals:

    Free agent Grant Hill has reached agreement on a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tells Y!

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 17, 2012

    He will join a Clippers team looking to capitalize on its trip to the Playoffs' second round last season.

    It's unclear whether the savvy vet, known especially now for his defense and three-point shooting, will be the starter or Caron Butler's backup at small forward. Still, on a team that's loading up with veterans like Chris Paul, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups and Jamal Crawford, Hill will be another experienced contributor.

    Hill's deal will be for two years, despite the fact that he will be 40 when the season begins.

Clippers Sign Jamal Crawford

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    UPDATE: Jamal Crawford has agreed to a four-year, $25 million deal to join the Clippers, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

    The Clippers are one of several teams expected to pursue Jamal Crawford, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, should the 12-year NBA vet opt out of the final year of his contract with the Trailblazers.

    It's not clear yet whether Crawford will opt for free agency. Portland's preference is to move him in a trade, which will net them something in return.

    If Crawford does become available, he may be a perfect fit for the Clippers as a bench scorer in the event that Mo Williams leaves L.A.

Chauncey Billups Remains a Clipper

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    Update: Friday, July 13

    The Los Angeles Clippers will hold on to point guard Chauncey Billups for at least another season, ensuring that a backcourt of Chris Paul, newly inked Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe has some added depth.

    According to the Los Angeles Times' Broderick Turner, Billups could make over $4 million with incentives:

    Billups, who played in just 20 games last season with the Clippers before suffering a season-ending left Achilles tendon surgery, will sign a one-year deal that could be worth up to $4.3 million if he reaches bonuses, the executives said.

    Though the 35-year-old only saw limited action last season, he proved to be a versatile guard capable of spending the majority of his time at the 2. That could mean he'll take on a sixth-man role this year, sharing minutes at both guard positions with Chris Paul or Jamal Crawford takes a seat. 

    Billups is still a fine shooter, but he also contributes a wealth of veteran experience and leadership that should continue to prove valuable to young front-court players like Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. 

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Free Agent tracker.

    - End of Update -

    Chauncey Billups, who the Clippers picked up off waivers after he was amnestied by the Knicks, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

    The 35-year-old Billups recently told the Denver Post that he "liked Clipperland." Billups was very positive about his experience as a Clipper.

    "I liked the movement," Billups said. "I thought before I got hurt we really had fun and were playing great."

    However, Billups firmly stated that his mind was not made up as to whether he would return to L.A. next season.

    "[O]f course I would be crazy not to entertain any other offers that I might have. That's the fun of being a free agent."

Blake Grififn Extends, Chris Paul Declines

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    According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Clippers' two stars have opted to go in different directions.

    Blake Griffin, the unspoken King of the Dunk, has decided to sign a five-year extension worth $95 million.

    Blake Griffin and the Clippers have formally agreed on his five-year, approximately $95 million deal, league sources say.

    — Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 10, 2012

    Chris Paul, meanwhile, declined an opportunity to sign a three-year extension worth $60 million.

    Let the Tinseltown drama begin.

    In all likelihood, the 27-year-old Paul simply wants to cash in on what may be his last chance to earn a max contract. This doesn't rule out the possibility of his re-signing with the Los Angeles Clippers, as he's never shared grievances over his whereabouts.

    Just keep an eye on the Atlanta Hawks.

Odom Returning

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    Thursday, June 28

    Marc Stein and Chad Ford of ESPN.com are reporting that the Utah Jazz have expressed interest in bringing Mo Williams back to Salt Lake City as part of a three-team Lamar Odom trade.

    Williams is the financial key to the Clippers being able to acquire Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks, as their salaries are both in the $8 million range.

    The Dallas Morning News reports this is a done deal. It now appears Mo Williams is opting in to the final year of his contract.

    AP is reporting that Mo Williams will pick up his option, making the Odom to the Clippers deal a reality.

    — Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) June 29, 2012

    - Information provided by Bleacher Report's Lamar Odom Trade Tracker.

    Wednesday, June 27

    The Clippers are talking to the Mavericks about a potential trade for Lamar Odom.

    Marc Stein reports that any deal sending Odom to L.A. would be contingent upon the Clippers finding a third team to take on the $8.5 million salary of Mo Williams.

    Dallas does not want to take back any salary in an Odom trade.

    Monday, June 25

    The Clippers, of course, drafted Odom with the No. 4 overall pick in 1999. 

    After an incredibly disappointing season with the Mavericks last year, it appears that Odom is intent on returning to the Clippers.

    According to RadarOnline, Odom's agent is already in talks with the team about the 32-year-old coming back to L.A.

    Though Odom is coming off the worst season of his career by far, he's just one year removed from being the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year. Coming back to the city in which he thrived could restore his formidable game.

Clippers to Re-Sign Bobby Simmons?

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    According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Clippers could be interested in re-signing forward Bobby Simmons. Turner speculates that he would be offered a one year deal worth $1.23 million.

    This follows a season in which Simmons averaged 14.9 minutes per game in 28 appearances. The 2005 Most Improved Player of the Year may not be a statistical guru, but he's certainly a respectable option on the second unit.

    More will be posted as this story progresses.

Clippers Want Darko?

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    Update: Wednesday, July 18 -- Joel C. Cordes

    We're at that point in the free agency period where most of the good stuff is gone, especially when it comes to big men.

    Darko Milicic had a solid start to his 2012 season, but then got hurt and returned to his pouting, underachieving ways once Nikola Pekovic took his starting center spot for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Things got so bad that Coach Rick Adelman banished him to the end of the bench for most of the season's second half, even opting to play the corpse of Brad Miller instead.

    Yet, Milicic's seven-foot frame and shot-blocking still intrigues more than one team according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears:

    Frontrunners for free agent center Darko Milicic are Boston, Brooklyn and LA Clippers, league source tells Y! Sports.

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 14, 2012

    Darko's alternated between passive and awful during his decade in the NBA. It was rumored (wished?) that he was returning to Europe after this season, but he may get yet another shot on his sixth team. He WILL be on a minimum contract this time...

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Boston Celtics offseason tracker.

Clippers Involved in Dwight Howard Trade Talks

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    According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as the fourth team involved in a potential Dwight Howard to Brooklyn trade. In return, the Clippers would receive shooting guard MarShon Brooks, the 25th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft.

    Ford has the news.

     

    Just going up on ESPN. Clipoers will be 4th team in D Howard deal. They would take back MarShon Brooks in return for a lottery protected 1st

    — Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) July 9, 2012

     

    While we can never predict the outcome of Dwight Howard trade talks, this is the furthest we've ever seen the Dwight Howard trade talks reach. All teams involved will benefit from this trade with the Clippers landing what they've needed since trading Eric Gordon: a legitimate 2.

Clippers Want Marcus Camby Back?

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    Update: Sunday, July 8 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Add the Los Angeles Clippers to the growing list of teams who are interested in veteran NBA center, Marcus Camby:

    Add the Clippers to teams interested in Rockets free agent C Marcus Camby, a source said. Nets to set up meeting. NY & MIA still interested.

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 8, 2012

    Camby has already cancelled his meeting with the Miami Heat, reportedly because he doesn't want to play for the veteran minimum and/or a one-year contract. As it's yet unclear just what kind of money the Clips are willing to offer him, it's still too early to gauge just what their chances are.

    L.A. had very little depth behind DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin last year, having to play undersized with Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin. Bringing Camby back to the Clippers, where he played from 2008-2010, would provide additional experience, shot-blocking and grit.

    Whether Marcus Camby has enough left in the tank to warrant a multi-year and/or midlevel exception contract is highly debatable, but pencil the Clippers in as yet another team interested in the 38-year old.

Eric Bledsoe Still in the Mix?

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    Thursday, June 28

    ESPN LA's Ramona Shelburne reports that the Los Angeles Clippers are not actively shopping young point guard Eric Bledsoe.

    However, they have left the door inched open by basically saying they'll only listen to a really amazing offer.

    With Moe Williams, Chauncey Billups and Nick Young all up for free agency, the Clippers would be wise to keep Bledsoe in their backcourt, regardless of his injury history or need to further develop.

    Bledsoe still has the potential to be this team's starting point guard of the future, so the Clippers are trying to say the right things. However, they're in "win now" mode already, so moving a young piece like Eric Bledsoe could still be an option. For the right price, at least.

Will Blake Griffin Represent the USA in the Olympics?

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    Monday, July 16

    Blake Griffin had successful surgery on his meniscus tear according to the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Thursday, July 12

    Blake Griffin injured his left knee yesterday during a Team USA practice and suffered a meniscus tear according to the L.A. Clippers. He will be held out for the remainder of the Olympics.

    Saturday, July 7

    Per a report via Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Blake Griffin is "a lock" for Team USA.

    Monday, June 25

    With injuries robbing Team USA of key big men Dwight Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge for its Olympic roster, Blake Griffin has a chance to earn a coveted spot on the team.

    FoxSportsFlorida recently reported that Griffin, along with Lamar Odom and Anthony Davis, will work out for Duke and Olympic head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

    In that story, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo states, "On Blake Griffin, we just felt that the sooner we got a chance to look at him, the better for us. ... We want to see how he looks (after his injury)."

    Adding Griffin to the Olympic roster would be quite an honor for the Clippers star. Though he may not see much court time, Olympic exposure of his high-flying game may earn him many more fans worldwide.

New GM in Town

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    Monday, June 25

    It's unlikely that the Clippers will have a new general manager in place by the time the draft rolls around this Thursday, as the search to find Neil Olshey's replacement continues.

    Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times reports that former Nuggets and Nets GM Kiki Vandeweghe interviewed with team president Andy Roeser last week. He may be the front-runner to win the job at this time.

    In the same report, Turner also mentions several other candidates, including Cavs VP of basketball operations David Griffin and Sixers VP of basketball operations Tony DiLeo, both of whom have spoken with Roeser about the opening.

    The Racine Journal-Times is reporting that Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman, former Clippers player personnel director, is also drawing some consideration for the job.

    In the absence of an established GM, current Clippers director of player personnel Gary Sacks will team up with Roeser and head coach Vinny Del Negro to make basketball decisions. Sacks could also become a candidate for the job.

Clippers Draft Rumors

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    Monday, June 25

    Unfortunately for the Clippers, they are without a coveted first-round draft pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

    With the team's only selection coming in at No. 53 overall, the Clips will try to unearth a diamond in the rough.

    Currently, ESPN's draft insider Chad Ford has the Clippers projected to take Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom in his latest mock draft.

    Johnson-Odom had the highest vertical leap at the NBA draft combine and can fill a need for the Clippers at the shooting guard position.

    The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian big man Aleks Maric worked out for the Clippers.

    The 27-year-old Aussie plays his Euroleague ball in Greece for Panathinaikos. Though he hasn't gotten much run with the Greek club over the past two seasons, Maric hopes that a strong Olympic campaign with the Australian national side will validate the faith of any team who drafts him.