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May 18, 2015 Updates

The Clippers' needs are obvious: more depth at small forward, a better backup big man for Griffin and Jordan, youth, athleticism and defense. It's going to be hard to meaningfully address all those needs with only minimum contracts to offer. The Clippers have interest in Lakers swingman Wes Johnson, according to sources. They also have last year's first-round pick -- small forward C.J. Wilcox -- on their bench. Not exactly needle-moving moves. ESPN.com

The thinking goes something like this: If OKC is genuinely worried Durant will leave in 2016, they have to look to get something in return for him this year. Blake Griffin is from Oklahoma City. The Clippers keep topping out in the second round and might be willing to shake things up. It's a nice theory. Juicy, too. But neither team has ever seriously discussed it. And Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has made it clear to the entire organization that he wants Griffin to be a part of the franchise for his entire career. ESPN.com

The Dallas Mavericks are expected to make a strong push for Jordan, who would essentially be a younger version of the Mavs' current defensive anchor Tyson Chandler. The Lakers would likewise love to steal Jordan away from their Staples Center rival. Portland has enough cap space to re-sign LaMarcus Aldridge and make a max offer to Jordan -- who has a similar but far superior skill set to Robin Lopez -- but he'd just be trading one third-fiddle spot for another in that scenario. No other team can offer Jordan more than four years, $80.7 million. But the 26-year-old center could also decide to sign a two-year deal with a player option on the second year to take advantage of the ballooning salary-cap in 2016. If he were to opt out after that first season, then re-sign for five more seasons, Jordan could make $162.6 million over the next six seasons. ESPN.com

Jordan, who finished sixth in the NBA in WARP, is expected to be offered a max contract of five years for $108.7 million by the Clippers this summer, according to sources. Jordan, 26, could decide to spurn that offer and sign a four-year, $80.7 million deal elsewhere. He also could sign a one-year deal with a player option for the second. If he plays well then he could opt out of the second year and cash in when the cap rises to $90 million. If he does that, he would make $18.9 million next season and then be in line to sign a five-year, $143.7 million max contract the following year. ESPN.com

DeAndre Jordan wouldn't even let a reporter finish a question about his future before interrupting. "I'm not a free agent until July," Jordan said flatly Sunday evening. Los Angeles Times

If Jordan agreed to a maximum five-year contract with the Clippers for an estimated $108.3 million, it would severely restrict the team's ability to upgrade its bench, barring trades. That scenario would leave the Clippers with only the so-called mini-mid-level exception of $3.37 million per year for up to three years plus a slew of veteran's minimum contracts. Los Angeles Times

The difference this time is that the Clippers could wind up losing one of their key cogs – Jordan will be an unrestricted free agent in July, and the Houston-born-and-bred big man has made it clear that he will consider other options. Rivers made it clear that the Clippers will do all they can to keep him, and the fact that they can offer a five-year maximum-salary deal while other teams can only offer four could surely play a part in his decision. USA Today Sports

"You've got to give (Paul) just some more support, you know?" Rivers told USA TODAY Sports. "I think bringing (his son) Austin (Rivers) here (in mid-January) helped us. We've got a 22-year-old (in Austin), and now to me we've got to get another guard who's in the middle age group. So now you're growing with Austin and CJ (Wilcox), and we need another defensive guy too." USA Today Sports

"That belief doesn't change at all," Rivers told Yahoo Sports. "I want to do it with them. I want them to do it together. When I took the job, that's one of the things I told them: We're going to win together, we're going to lose together. There will be no life raft. "It's hard with the contracts. I came here with a great collection of talent, but contractually it's now difficult to make a lot of changes. We aren't going to add any big pieces, but we've got to add the right pieces around those guys." Yahoo! Sports

"I don't think we all came together just to get to the Western Conference finals," Dwight Howard said. "All of us are in pursuit of that ring. We're happy, but none of us are satisfied. We just have that focus about us, and we want to win. It's not going to be easy, and we don't want it to be. We want to fight for it — for what we think is ours." James Harden scored 31 points, Howard had 16 points and 15 rebounds and the Rockets never trailed in a 113-100 victory over the Clippers on Sunday to punch their ticket to the conference finals. It's the ninth time in NBA history that a team has overcome a 3-1 series deficit to win a playoff series. USA Today Sports

“I jump on the court and try to compete,” said Prigioni, whose 38th birthday coincided with the Rockets’ 113-100 victory against the Clippers. “I’m a very unselfish guy and I’m not thinking to score or take shots. I can do a lot of things on the court. … I try to do everything I can to help the team win.” For the Rockets to take Game 7 and steal the series from the Clippers, they needed 31 points from James Harden, 16 points and 15 rebounds from Dwight Howard, and 37 combined points from Josh Smith and Trevor Ariza. They also needed Prigioni, who captured the resiliency and intensity of a squad that refused to cave when nearly every single fan, critic and supporter let go of 2014-15 near the end of the third quarter of Game 6. “Those plays that Pablo made … turn the events of a game and helped us prevail,” said Harden, whose face became animated when Prigioni’s name was mentioned. Houston Chronicle

"I want to fix it," Rivers told USA TODAY Sports. "I want to win. That's why I came here. I knew when I came here that roster-wise it was going to be very difficult. The first thing I did before I took this job, I looked at the roster and we laughed. I was like, 'What the (expletive) can we do with this?' It was more the contracts. But we have to try to do it somehow. I don't know how yet, but something will work out." USA Today Sports

May 17, 2015 Updates


Modern-day Clippers like Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are among the all-time best players in franchise history.


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