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Clippers sign Xavier Munford and Dorell Wright to training camp roster

The Clippers announced their 2016-17 training camp roster today. The team signed free agents Dorell Wright and Xavier Munford to complete the roster with 17 players.

Munford, a 2016 D-League All-Star, spent last season with the Bakersfield Jam and the Memphis Grizzlies. Undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft out of Rhode Island, Munford appeared in 51 games for Bakersfield in 2014-15, averaging 11.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game.

Wright, the 19th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, has spent 12 seasons in the NBA with Miami, Golden State, Philadelphia and Portland. In 549 career games (222 starts), the Los Angeles native has averages of 8.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Wright spent last season in the Chinese Basketball Association playing for the Beikong Fly Dragons before signing with the Heat to close the season. In 37 games for the Dragons, he averaged 24.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

Wright’s best statistical NBA season was in 2010-11 as a member of the Warriors when he averaged career-highs of 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds. 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 82 games (all starts).

The Clippers’ training camp roster currently stands at 17 players.

The Los Angeles D-Fenders on Monday have named Coby Karl as head coach. He replaces Casey Owens, who takes over as an assistant coach and advance scout on the Los Angeles Lakers staff.

“We are excited to welcome Coby back to the D-Fenders family as our new head coach,” Buss said. “His extensive experience as both a player and coach in this league is something we’re very happy to bring to the organization as we look to build on a season of success.”

“It is an honor to be back with the Lakers organization, the team that gave me my first job and allowed me to realize my dream of playing in the NBA,” Karl said. “My goal going forward will be to foster an environment and culture that permits our players and staff to fulfill their dreams. Our pursuit will focus on excellence, both as individuals and as members of the Los Angeles D-Fenders organization.”

Karl returns to the D-Fenders organization after appearing in 17 games for the team during the 2007-08 season while on assignment from the Lakers. On February 19, 2008, Karl became the second player in NBA Development League history to play in an NBADL and NBA game in the same day, following former Lakers guard Jordan Farmar. As a player, Karl saw action with the Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors of the NBA, as well as with the D-Fenders, Reno Bighorns, and Idaho Stampede of the NBADL. He most recently served as an assistant coach on the Westchester Knicks staff during the 2015-16 season at the conclusion of his playing career.

Karl, the son of NBA veteran coach George Karl, began his coaching career by spending last season as an assistant coach with the Westchester Knicks. While in the Empire State, he helped the Knicks earn their first playoff berth in franchise history as Westchester improved from 10-40 in 2014-15 to 28-22 during the 2015-16 campaign.

Undrafted in 2007, Karl was invited to participate in training camp with the Lakers, making the Opening Day 15-man roster as a free agent. Karl would go on to play professionally for eight seasons before retiring in 2015.

Along with his domestic experience, Karl also knows the international game, having played professionally in Spain, Italy, and Germany.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers still isn’t positive that Paul Pierce will play next season. More should be known later this month, as training camps approach. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Doc Rivers unsure if Paul Pierce will keep playing

“If I don’t think they can play, then I tell them that. But I think Paul can play,” Rivers said. “I don’t know how much he’ll play, but he can play. I’ve always thought it’s easy for someone else to tell you to retire; I think that’s something that the player has to come to by himself.”

Rivers reaffirmed that, should Pierce choose to retire, he’ll encourage him to sign a one-day contract with the Boston Celtics in order to retire as a member of the Celtics organization.

This isn’t some important milestone; rather, we just find it interesting to mention the travel miles an NBA team undergoes over the course of a season. Because we don’t always see such a number. Here’s the OC Register reporting:

Once the Clippers navigate a schedule that will have them traveling more than 54,000 miles, they’ll likely head to the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. But with Paul and Griffin possessing the ability to opt out of their deals next summer and with J.J. Redick’s contract expiring, the team’s future could be seriously altered.

What happens this season will play a major role in shaping what comes next.

All-Star weekend is Feb. 17-19 in a city yet to be determined. The NBA took the event out of Charlotte because of its objections to a North Carolina that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people. New Orleans is the favorite to get the game.

Clippers sign Alan Anderson

Clippers sign Alan Anderson

The Clippers have signed guard Alan Anderson.

Anderson brings intensity on both ends of the floor. He should help the Clippers’ bench.

Anderson, 33, spent last season with the Washington Wizards, where he averaged 5.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 13 games. The seven-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 300 games (66 starts) with the Charlotte Bobcats, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets and Wizards.

The Minneapolis native has spent time playing in the NBA Development League, Europe and China during his career. Anderson holds D-League career averages of 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 44 games (24 starts) with the Tulsa 66ers, New Mexico Thunderbirds and Canton Charge. In 2009-10, he captured the Euroleague Championship with Regal FC Barcelona and the following season, he was voted MVP of the Spanish Cup.

The Michigan State graduate boasted averages of 9.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists over his four-year career where he helped lead the Spartans to the NCAA Tournament Final Four in 2005.

Clippers sign Raymond Felton

Clippers sign Raymond Felton

The Clippers have added another backup for Chris Paul and signed veteran guard Raymond Felton.

The Clippers start Paul and J.J. Redick in the backcourt, and have Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford as reserves. Felton adds additional depth to that mix.

Felton, 32, joins L.A. after spending last season with the Mavericks, where he averaged 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 80 games (31 starts). The South Carolina native appeared in five playoff games (four starts) for the Mavericks last season, averaging 15.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists.

The 11-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 12.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 776 games (646 starts) with the Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and Mavericks. He was named NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2006.

Felton was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats with the 5th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft from the University of North Carolina, where he became the first player in Tar Heels history to total 1,000 points, 600 assists, 300 rebounds, 150 steals and 100 3-pointers. In three years at UNC, Felton averaged 12.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.9 assists.

Clippers sign Brandon Bass

Clippers sign Brandon Bass

The Clippers have signed power forward Brandon Bass.

Bass, 31, joins the Clippers after spending last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he averaged 7.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 66 games (zero starts).

The 11-year NBA veteran has played in 706 career games (283 starts) with the New Orleans/OKC Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics and Lakers, averaging 8.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists.

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana native has appeared in 58 playoff contests (35 starts) with Dallas, Orlando and Boston, averaging 8.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in 24.2 minutes.

Originally drafted by the Hornets with the 33rd overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft out of Louisiana State University, Bass finished his career as LSU’s third all-time leading shot blocker (104) while ranking eighth in the SEC in blocked shots. He spent two years at LSU, averaging 15.1 points 8.2 rebounds and 1.76 blocks in 34.2 minutes per game in 59 career games.

Clippers waive Branden Dawson

Clippers waive Branden Dawson

The Clippers have waived forward Branden Dawson.

According to the Orange County Register, “Dawson’s $874,636 contract for the upcoming season wasn’t guaranteed, and waiving him saves the Clippers’ tax dollars they owe the NBA.”

Dawson, 23, was selected with the 56th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans and acquired by the Clippers in a draft night trade in exchange for cash considerations.

The former Michigan State standout appeared in six games with the Clippers in 2015-16, averaging 0.8 points and 0.7 rebounds in 4.8 minutes.

Dawson also spent time in the NBA Development League and played in a total of 29 games for the Erie Bayhawks, Bakersfield Jam and Grand Rapids Drive averaging 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 21.1 minutes.

The L.A. Clippers today acquired forward Devyn Marble and a 2020 second round pick from the Orlando Magic in exchange for guard CJ Wilcox and cash considerations. The trade also creates a $1.2 million trade exception for the Clippers.

And then, the Clippers waived Marble. Today.

And with that, the Devyn Marble Clippers era has ended.

Wilcox, 25, was selected by the Clippers with the 28th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of the University of Washington and appeared in 44 games with the Clippers over two seasons, averaging 2.5 points, 0.4 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 6.1 minutes. The 6-foot-5-inch guard averaged 17.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in five D-League stints with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Bakersfield Jam and Canton Charge.

Marble, selected with the 56th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, averaged 2.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.4 assists last season with Orlando. In 44 career games (seven starts) over two years, Marble holds career averages of 2.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.7 assists. He was acquired by the Magic, along with Evan Fournier, from Denver in exchange for Arron Afflalo on June 26, 2014.

Clippers sign rookie Diamond Stone

Clippers sign rookie Diamond Stone

The Clippers have signed center Diamond Stone.

And yes, that is an excellent name.

Stone, selected with the 40th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his lone season at Maryland. Named AP Big Ten Newcomer of the Year, the 6-foot-11 inch center established the Maryland freshman record and all-time XFinity Center mark with 39 points vs. Penn State on 12/30/15. Stone was a member of the gold-medal winning 2014 USA U-17 World Championship Team and was chosen to the FIBA U-17 World Championship All-Tournament Team after averaging 13.4 points and 9.7 rebounds over seven games. He earned a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and led the USA U-16 Team to a 5-0 record.

In five games with the Clippers Summer League team, Stone averaged 10.4 points and 5.6 rebounds.

Clippers sign rookie Brice Johnson

Clippers sign rookie Brice Johnson

The Clippers have signed rookie forward Brice Johnson.

All players selected in the first round of the draft are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they want to begin their NBA career right away. So, this signing is standard and was expected.

Johnson, selected with the 25th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, was a consensus First Team All-American at the University of North Carolina his senior season. The 6-foot-10 inch Johnson averaged 17.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 40 games (all starts), helping lead the Tar Heels to the NCAA National Championship Game. He led the ACC and was fifth in the nation with a UNC-record 23 double-doubles. Johnson had career averages of 11.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 148 career games (80 starts) in his four years in Chapel Hill.

The South Carolina native averaged 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Clippers Summer League team in Orlando over five games.

Clippers sign Marreese Speights

Clippers sign Marreese Speights

The Clippers have signed free agent center/power forward Marreese Speights.

Nicknamed “Mo Buckets,” Speights is useful as a scorer in limited minutes.

Speights, 28, averaged 7.1 points and 3.3 rebounds in 11.6 minutes of play over 72 games for the Golden State Warriors while connecting on a career-high 24 three-pointers last season. Speights was a key member of the Warriors’ 2014-15 NBA Championship team, averaging a career-high 10.4 points and 4.3 rebounds. The former 16th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers has career averages of 7.8 points and 4.1 rebounds over 571 games (73 starts) with Philadelphia, Memphis, Cleveland and Golden State.

Speights, 6-foot-10 inches, spent two years at the University of Florida, helping lead the Gators to the 2007-08 NCAA Championship. The St. Petersburg, Florida native is one of 42 players in basketball history to win both an NCAA Championship and an NBA Championship.

The L.A. Clippers have re-signed free agents Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson, Luc Mbah A Moute and Austin Rivers.

Crawford’s deal is reportedly a $42 million dollar contract over three years.

Johnson’s deal is reportedly an $18 million dollar contract over three years.

jamal Crawford

Crawford, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year, averaged 14.2 points and 2.3 assists last season for the Clippers in 79 games (five starts). In his fourth season with the Clippers, he ranked second in the NBA in free throw shooting (.904) and scored in double figures 58 times. One of the most explosive bench scorers in NBA history and the only three-time winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award, Crawford ranks 89th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (17,076 points) and is 7th on the NBA’s all-time three-pointers list (1,933 three-pointers). Crawford, 36, has averaged 15.5 points and 3.6 assists in 1,100 career games (432 starts) with Chicago, New York, Golden State, Atlanta, Portland and the Clippers.

Clippers will keep Luc Mbah a Moute

Mbah a Moute started a lot yet played few minutes last season

Forward Luc Mbah a Moute played five season for the Bucks, then played for the Timberwolves, Kings, Sixers, then the Clippers last season. He started 61 of the 75 games he played for LAC, but that’s deceptive — he played a mere 17.0 minutes per game, averaging 3.1 points an 2.3 rebounds. Still, the Clippers like him enough to bring him back for 2016-17. Here’s the OC Register:

Clippers will keep Luc Mbah a Moute

The Clippers and free agent Luc Mbah a Moute have agreed to a deal to bring back the versatile, veteran forward for the next two seasons.

According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal is worth $4.5 million with Mbah a Moute having an option for the second year. The Clippers were able to keep him by using their bi-annual exception.

Four days into free agency and the Clippers seem to be mostly wrapped up, with a replacement for departed center Cole Aldrich the only glaring item on the agenda.

Jamal Crawford returning to Clippers

Jamal Crawford returning to Clippers

Jamal Crawford is 36 years old, past his prime and in the golden years of his career, but still able to score. This past regular season for the Clippers he averaged 14.2 ppg on 40.4% shooting. The squad apparently thinks he has enough game left to bring him back on a multi-year deal.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the deal is for $42 million over three years, with the third year a partial guarantee. Overall, that’s $14 million per season.

That’s a bigger and longer contract than we expected Crawford to receive at this point in his career. Even with the new cap and higher salaries taken into account. It seemed more likely that he’s receive a one or at most two-year deal. But, people like having Jamal around. So, he’ll remain with the LAC.

Kevin Durant’s Thunder were one win away from reaching the 2016 NBA Finals. This offseason, they traded their starting power forward Serge Ibaka away for a starting shooting guard (Victor Oladipo) and some depth. So, Durant should stick with OKC, right? That’s what’s expected to happen. But Durant is taking meetings with other squads. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Clippers trying hard to land Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant and the Los Angeles Clippers met for approximately four hours Friday night in the Hamptons, and sources close to the situation say Durant was “blown away” by the Clippers’ presentation.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, president Doc Rivers, executive vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan were present at the meeting.

According to a source, Durant was incredibly impressed by the vision and direction of the Clippers and made a strong connection with those at the meeting.

Chris Paul did not make it to the meeting but spoke to Durant beforehand and made his pitch over the phone; the two have talked throughout the process, including last week, sources told ESPN.

Coach Kevin Eastman retires

Eastman has 31 years of combined pro and college basketball experience

Coach Kevin Eastman retires

The Clippers have announced the retirement of assistant coach Kevin Eastman, who served as a Clippers coach for two seasons and was an assistant under Clippers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers in Boston for eight years.

“Kevin has one of the best basketball minds I have ever been around,” Rivers said. “After much deliberation, he has decided to move forward with his goals and aspirations to impact the game through speaking and consulting at all levels. Kevin has been an integral part of the Clippers success and culture, and his unparalleled loyalty will be greatly missed. We are thankful for his time and commitment and I am confident he will continue to excel both on and off the court.”

Eastman spent the 2014-15 season as the Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations and has been involved in college and professional basketball for a combined 31 years.

Blake Griffin will not play for 2016 Team USA

Clippers forward Blake Griffin won’t participate in this summer’s USA Basketball Team training camps and exhibition tour. That’s the team that will play in the summer Olympics.

Griffin underwent a bone marrow procedure on his left quad tendon on April 27 and has already begun the rehabilitation process with the expectation that he will be ready for the start of the 2016-17 NBA season.

The five-time NBA All-Star originally injured the quad on December 25, 2015 against the Lakers.

In 35 regular season games this season, Griffin averaged 21.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 33.4 minutes. In four playoff games, he averaged 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford is the winner of the 2015-16 NBA Sixth Man Award for his contributions in a reserve role, the NBA announced today. He becomes the first player to earn the honor three times. The 36-year-old Crawford also breaks his own record, set two years ago, as the oldest winner.

Crawford amassed 51 first-place votes and 341 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Golden State Warriors’ Andre Iguodala finished second with 288 points (33 first-place votes), and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Enes Kanter was third with 182 points (19 first-place votes).

Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. To be eligible for the award, players had to have come off the bench in more games than they started.

Crawford came off the bench in 74 of his 79 appearances and averaged 14.2 points and 2.3 assists in 26.9 minutes in all games, helping the Clippers (53-29) post their fourth straight 50-win season. He recorded 33 games with 15 or more points off the bench, third most in the NBA behind the Denver Nuggets’ Will Barton (38) and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Ryan Anderson (36). As a starter, Crawford scored at least 30 points in four of five games. Crawford also ranked second in the NBA in free throw percentage (90.4).

A 16-year veteran, Crawford previously won the Kia NBA Sixth Man Award in 2009-2010 with the Atlanta Hawks and in 2013-14 with the Clippers. When Crawford was honored for the first time as a Clipper, he joined Kevin McHale, Ricky Pierce and Detlef Schrempf as the only two-time winners. Crawford is the only player to win the award with multiple teams.

The Indiana Pacers’ Frank Vogel and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

Vogel led the Pacers to the best record in the Eastern Conference at 6-1. The Pacers won their final three games and held off the Detroit Pistons for the seventh seed in the East playoffs. Indiana averaged 108 points per game and shot a conference-best 49.3 percent from the field in April. Four of the Pacers’ six wins came by double digits, and their +8.6 scoring differential led the conference.

Rivers guided the Clippers, the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs, to a 6-1 record, tops in the West. The Clippers surrendered 100 or more points just twice in seven games and held opponents to an average of 94.1 points on a league-low 40.6 percent shooting from the field. L.A. posted back-to-back home wins over two West playoff teams, the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies, on April 10 and 12, rounding out a 4-0 month at Staples Center.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, Dallas’ Rick Carlisle, Golden State’s Steve Kerr, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Portland’s Terry Stotts and Toronto’s Dwane Casey.

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