Yet despite the Clippers’ steadfast support of Griffin in the aftermath of an embarrassing incident that could imperil their title chances, there’s a growing feeling among rival executives that the team’s posture could change dramatically if the Clippers endure another disappointing postseason outcome this spring. Since they paired Chris Paul with Griffin in 2011 and lured Doc Rivers from Boston in 2013, the Clippers have yet to advance past the second round of the playoffs. Owner Steve Ballmer has gone deep into the luxury tax again this season, and there’s a belief among rival teams that falling short in the playoffs again could lead to a major roster shakeup this summer.
May 13, 2021 | 6:30 am EDT Update
Whispers in Memphis are the Grizzlies aren’t yet sold on their 2018 lottery pick, 6-foot-11 power forward/center Jaren Jackson Jr. They’re concerned about his durability. In late April, Jackson, 21, made his return from an extended absence after he tore the meniscus in his left knee last August while playing in the NBA bubble. Jackson has started just two of the nine games he has played this season and he has taken periodic games off for “injury management.’’ Jackson is averaging 14.6 points in 23 minutes per game.
Sources also said Knicks general manager Scott Perry loved Jackson’s athleticism coming out of Michigan State as the draft’s youngest player when Memphis selected him fourth overall. Jackson, who threw down a vicious dunk and made two 3-pointers in front of Knicks senior vice president William Wesley during the Knicks’ 118-104 win in Memphis on May 3, will enter the final $9.1 million year of his four-year contract next season. If he doesn’t sign an extension this fall, his future bears watching. Could Jackson play a small-ball 5 role with Julius Randle?
Bobby Marks: With the New York Knicks clinching a playoff spot, Julius Randle has now earned a $945K bonus. Randle also received a $945K bonus for being selected to the All-Star game. The Randle cap hit for 2021-22 is now adjusted to $21.78M.
Mike Trudell: Kuz on any concern about LeBron: “No. He knows himself, he knows his body better than anyone. I don’t really care if he comes back and he plays, Indiana, Pelicans (and shoots 45 times to get a rhythm) … We’re not worried about no chemistry issues because of the way he plays.”