The Clippers were on the verge of a significant roster shake-up late Tuesday night, signing veteran swing man Dahntay Jones to a 10-day contract and hoping their pursuit of young guard Austin Rivers reaches a happy ending Wednesday.
The team had expected to sign small forward Darius Miller earlier Tuesday before changing directions and signing Jones, who last played in the NBA with Atlanta during the 2012-13 season.
Jones, 34, has career averages of 5.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 10 seasons.
Jones could help the Clippers find a reliable backup to starting small forward Matt Barnes.
Second-year forward Reggie Bullock and veteran Chris Douglas-Roberts have made a negligible impact, though Douglas-Roberts missed more than a month with a strained Achilles’ tendon.
The Clippers were also hoping to land Rivers,
the son of Clippers Coach Doc Rivers who was recently traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the
Boston Celtics, and were believed to be engaging the Phoenix Suns, among other teams, in talks to take on
the $1.8 million in salary the Clippers would need to unload to complete such a trade.
The Clippers could move underachieving point guard Jordan Farmar or Douglas-Roberts in a trade to acquire Rivers.
Center DeAndre Jordan called the Clippers’ 104-90 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday a “road” game because of continual “Let’s go, Heat!” chants resonating inside Staples Center.
“It would have been nice to get two victories in Miami this year,” Jordan said after the game, alluding to the Clippers’ November triumph over the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena, “but whatever. It didn’t happen.”
It wasn’t the first time this season the Clippers felt like visitors on their home court.
There were widespread “Let’s go, Bulls!” chants inside Staples Center in November during the Chicago Bulls’ victory over the Clippers.
“Obviously, you’d prefer it to be the other way around,” Clippers forward-center Spencer Hawes said, “but you’re in L.A., it’s a city of a lot of transplants.
“There are a lot of people from everywhere here that come out and support their team.”
Same but different
The Clippers have the same 25-13 record they had at this point last season on the way to a franchise-record 57 victories. So why does their season feel like a disappointment to many observers?
“I guess it’s expectations now,” point guard Chris Paul said.
“I think we’re probably a lot more concerned too, because we expect a lot out of ourselves. We don’t expect to lose any” games.
CLIPPERS AT PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Where: Moda Center.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket, ESPN; Radio: 980, 1330.
Records: Clippers 25-13; Trail Blazers 30-8.
Record vs. Trail Blazers: 1-0.
Update: Portland was the first NBA team to notch 30 victories this season, in large part because of a league-leading defense that is allowing only 96.4 points per game. “Last year, they were a great offensive team and they struggled defensively,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. “This year, they’re a great offensive team and they’re very, very good defensively, so they’ve improved from within. They looked at their team, they didn’t make a lot of big changes and decided, ‘Guys, if we want to win, we have to be better in this,’ and they’ve done it.” The Trail Blazers have continued to win even with center Robin Lopez sidelined because of a broken right hand.
Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch