Clippers fans hear team’s brass break down trades, paint picture of success ahead

August 26, 2020

first_img“Yeah, of course we want to make the playoffs,” Frank said, to a smattering of applause. “If you look at the guys we’ve added, even though the faces have changed, the personality (of the team) has stayed the same.“It is going to be a huge challenge, of course. And it’s not just (losing) Tobias, but the continuity. When you take six guys away and put five new guys in there, you can’t make up for the continuity and the chemistry that’s formed. But I think the makeup of our group, we have a lot of good players and we are gonna be competitive.“It’s not gonna be easy, (but) when you make a move like we made, there’s going to be some short-term pain. For some organizations, when they make moves like this, it’s four years of pain, it’s four years of 15 wins, 18 wins, 15 wins, 19 wins so you can get the first pick, the first pick, the third pick, the fifth pick. …“We’re still gonna do everything we can to make the playoffs, but we’re honest, we’re realistic, there could be some short-term pain, but what we’re hoping is we’re able to then have a long run.” Frank continued his rehearsal of the rest of the pitch, listing off what the Clippers believe are their other most appealing attributes: Steve Ballmer, “the best owner in sports”; Jerry West, “the master architect”; Doc Rivers, “the championship coach”; and a sturdy foundation of young and veteran players.A bout of the flu kept West, Clippers consultant and basketball icon, from joining Friday’s discussion, at which Frank and General Manager Michael Winger were eager to talk about their efforts to “thread the needle that Steve is asking us to thread between competing and having a sustainable contender at some point in the near future,” as Winger put it. They spent about 40 minutes on stage with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, who moderated.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.All of this week’s movement leading up to the trade deadline – when the Clippers said goodbye to six players, hello to five new players and stocked four draft picks – was done with that balance in mind, according to Winger and Frank.That included the blockbuster deal that sent leading scorer Tobias Harris, as well as Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott, to the Philadelphia 76ers for three players and four draft picks.“Our intent going in was never to trade Tobias,” Frank said. “But … it was a very, very unique opportunity.” LOS ANGELES — Lawrence Frank asked the fans filling the Belasco Theater to imagine themselves as an elite free agent on the receiving end of a pitch from the Clippers this summer.“We got the best city in the NBA, right?” asked Frank, the team’s president of basketball operations. “The thing we offer, in this city, is you get all the benefits without the drama.”The group of approximately 750 fans on hand cheered in approval of that distinction, obviously made with L.A.’s other NBA team – and the upcoming high-profile free agency period – in mind.It was all part of the third edition of “The Playbook,” a behind-the-curtain discussion about the inner-workings of the Clippers for season ticket holders and sponsors. But it was done, Frank assured the fans, some of whom groaned at the initial mention of the Harris trade, with the intention of moving toward the goal of becoming a sustainable contender.That doesn’t mean they’ve given up on this season, said Frank, acknowledging that the flurry of roster changes won’t make a playoff push easier.If the Clippers – who, at 30-26, are holding on to the eighth spot in the Western Conference – qualify for the postseason, they’ll lose their first-round pick in this June’s draft to the Boston Celtics. If they miss the playoffs, they’ll get to use the pick this summer and Boston will wait to see if it receives the pick the following season.Related Articles What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Not only did the Clippers acquire Landry Shamet, a promising young guard; Wilson Chandler, a veteran forward they long had coveted; and Mike Muscala, whom they dealt to the Lakers for center Ivica Zubac, but they also nabbed a rare unprotected first-round pick in 2021, via Miami.“There’s only two unprotected first-round picks in circulation,” Frank said, “and we were able to receive one of them.”Also, Frank explained, Harris has played so well entering free agency this offseason that it created “a lot of unpredictability about our ability to retain him.”Still, as much sense as it made to make the move, actually making it was no fun, Winger and Frank agreed.“Gut-wrenching,” Winger said.“Beyond gut-wrenching,” Frank concurred. “Look, trading Tobias, it sucks. Trading people sucks.” For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *