Newsletter: Clippers! Tensions run high on trade deadline day
Hi, my name is Broderick Turner, and welcome back to the Los Angeles Times’ Clippers newsletter.
The angst among the rank-and-file in the NBA can be palpable when a trade deadline looms, leaving players worried about their next destination.
They still must perform, not knowing if they will stay with their own team or be shipped to another.
Unless he has a no-trade clause — few NBA players do — the player usually has no say-so in where he goes.
The Clippers have had several players in this predicament, their names having been thrown around as trade fodder.
DeAndre Jordan has been mentioned most often as the next Clipper to be on the move. Teams like Cleveland, Portland and Washington have expressed interest in the center.
Avery Bradley, whom the Clippers just acquired from the Detroit Pistons in the Blake Griffin trade, was linked in trade rumors about going to Oklahoma City.
Lou Williams, who just signed a three-year extension with the Clippers, is happily no longer on the market. But he has been traded before and knows how it feels to be sent to another team.
The trade deadline is noon Pacific time today.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t a little weird,” Williams said. “Uncertainty just makes people uneasy. I don’t know what our situation is. I’ve just allowed myself to just play basketball and worry about the aspect of basketball of everything. We’ll see what happens.”
Clippers assistant coach Mike Woodson had to run practice Wednesday because coach Doc Rivers was out sick.
Woodson has been a head coach in the NBA with the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks and he knows the best way for players to approach trade rumors.
“It’s part of the business, and as players you’ve still got to play,” Woodson said. “We’ve got a nice group of guys on our ballclub and we’ve been playing pretty good basketball here of late and those guys just got to continue to play basketball and getting better. That’s what it’s about.”
Woodson told the story about when he was traded while on a promotional cruise for the team he was playing for.
He said he just wants to be a sounding board for the Clippers.
“I’m sure, when your name is mentioned, it’s on your mind,” Woodson said. “But again, you can’t get around it. You can’t skirt from it. It’s what it is. It’s part of the business, man. Guys get traded and some players are not happy. So what are you going to do? You go home and you pack up and you go to your next destination. That’s what it’s about.”
Each player, Woodson said, handles the rumors in his own way.
Some, it doesn’t bother. Others, it’s an issue.
“It affects guys in different ways,” Woodson said. “Sure, you can see it. As coaches, we notice things. But, again, from a coaching standpoint, it’s our job to continue to coach and get players to play at a high level and do what is asked of them.”
In case you missed it
Clippers give Lou Williams a three-year contract extension
Clippers focus on improving as they await the return of Austin Rivers
Clippers picturing one-two punch from forwards Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris
(All times Pacific)
Friday at Detroit, 4 p.m., ESPN
Saturday at Philadelphia, 4 p.m.
Monday at Brooklyn, 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday at Boston, 5 p.m.
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