With the NBA trading deadline looming, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Monday night that there is some anxiety inside his locker room.
He has players who are concerned about whether or not they will be traded by Thursday’s deadline.
Rivers said he has talked to his players to see what their mood is, but he didn’t mention any names.
But Rivers didn’t really have to, because the names mentioned in the rumors the most to be moved have been DeAndre Jordan, Lou Williams and Avery Bradley.
“Yeah, you watch the body language. That’s what you do anyway,” Rivers said. “Sometimes you’ll go talk to a guy and a guy will say, ‘Oh, I’m good.’ And that could mean he’s not good or good. You got to read that. Sometimes it’s clear as day.
“I can tell you I’ve seen that over the last three or four days from a couple of guys. It’s obviously weighing on them. You really just want to give them a hug. I’ve been through it. It’s no fun. I think people just look at athletes as if they don’t have feelings and they do. They are emotional and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s part of the business. It’s the no-fun part of the business.”
The Clippers made a trade last week that was spearheaded by Blake Griffin going to the Detroit Pistons for Bradley, Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic.
Rivers said “it’s no fun” for players to hear their names come up in trade talks.
“It’s the worst time of the year, obviously every year,” he said. “Sometimes some years are worse than others. Some years aren’t bad at all because you know you’re not making any moves, or even in the discussions.
“This year there’s been so much talk, I think there’s a lot of angst right now. From a coaching standpoint, you remove the other part that you do, you’re just trying to see if you can mentally get to this game and win the game, because it’s hard. It’s hard to keep your focus when all this stuff, clutter is going on. And we have a lot clutter right now because of it.”
So it’s up to Rivers to try and settle the nerves of his players who are worried about the chatter.
“Guys respond to the talk,” Rivers said. “But still, right when they finish talking to you their agent calls and then they go right back down. I’m really looking forward to Friday.”