Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro and general manager Neil Olshey addressed the media about the team's deadline-day trade for Nick Young prior to Thursday's game against Phoenix. We posted video from Del Negro's press conference earlier; here is video from Olshey's, followed by selected quotes from both men's meeting with the media, with Del Negro's comments up first and Olshey's second.
(Del Negro, on how the deal came together in a last-second fashion) I wouldn't say it's last-second. It's something that Neil's been working on and we've been discussing, but it just kind of came together yesterday a little bit and moreso this morning, when the whole deal came together. Neil worked hard and got it organized and it was something that I supported and (team president) Andy (Roeser) supported and Mr. (Donald) Sterling supported. We just felt like it was the right thing to do right now. We gave up a second-round pick...It gets us a big two-guard.
(On his impressions of Young) He just gives us more size in the backcourt. He's a proven scorer in the league and he's explosive. He can take you inside or outside. How it's all going to come together with the chemistry of the team and everything, time will tell. But just to get a player of his caliber on the roster, is very positive and I'm looking forward to working with him. I think he will give us some help.
(On whether he'll start) Yeah. I don't know how it's all going to come together, the timing of it in terms of when and how. He's gotta learn the plays and that takes time, and there's not much practice time. We'll have to do that between games and just make it work as quick as possible. The chemistry of a team and rhythm of a team is very important, and I have a lot of confidence in all our guys. Randy (Foye)'s done a great job for us and Eric Bledsoe's coming into his own a little bit -- he's feeling better health-wise -- and he's getting more of an opportunity. Obviously we lost Chauncey (Billups), so we'll probably go back to more of that rotation with Nick.
(On how he'll manage the backcourt minutes) If you can add quality players to your roster, then you have to do it. It's part of the business. We're trying to win, and the best guys that give you the best opportunity to do that are going to be out there. it's just part of the business. Hopefully Nick does that, but I also have confidence in the guys that we have here now. Of course that's the biggest issue, managing the personalities and managing the minutes and trying to make it all work in terms of chemistry...I'm not sure there's a perfect gameplan for it right now other than get him in here and get him situated and see how it progresses.
(Olshey, on what he sees as Young's likely impact on the team) With Chauncey, it was what he did on the court and off the court. I think with Nick, it's gonna be what he does on the court. We've been looking for a traditional 6-6, 6-7 two-guard that can defend those guys on the opposition, the bigger guards...You can't hide your point guard on a 6-7 guy that scores like he breathes. Nick is a multi-dimensional scorer who can score in pick-and-rolls, isolations, off screens, catch-and-shoot. He's one of the best catch-and-shoot players in the league. And for all the talk about him as a defender, what people don't realize is in isolation situations on the ball, Nick Young's in the top 10 percent in the league as a defender. We're excited. It adds depth to our bench, in terms of -- if we move guys down in the rotation, we can go deeper into our bench, which we're going to need. We're playing six games in eight days, we're playing 10 in 14, it's just not going to end between now and the end of the season.
(On if he's worried about having too many guards among whom to distribute minutes) It's a good problem to have. Look, this is the same question that was asked of Vinny at the press conference when we got CP -- How are we going to play all these guards? And he said it was a good problem to have, and it is, especially in this season. Guards win games. Nights when you don't have energy, you gotta defend at the point of attack, you gotta push the ball and you gotta make plays. We had some guys lagging a little bit, playing too many minutes. And I think we have different guys. E-Bled is a totally different player than Mo Williams, Mo Williams is different than Randy Foye and I do think the one thing that Nick brings -- and I don't want to speak for Vinny because I'm not coaching the team -- but Nick, as a 6-6 guard...Vinny loves to play three guards and two bigs. But when the guards are 6-foot, 6-foot and 6-foot-1, how do you do it? But when you're in a situation now where you can put Mo or Chris out there with Nick Young and Randy Foye, that's totally different. Now, that's no different than it was last year with Eric Gordon and Randy Foye, big strong guards you can switch on the perimeter who can guard the same player and be in the attack mode on offense.
(On whether he had any back-up plans if the deal for Young didn't come through) Look, Chris Paul came here to win a championship. That's our goal. We're not messing around, we're right at the luxury tax and we're gonna use every available resource. But we weren't going to do a short-term fix that wasn't going to be a permanent solution for us in terms of the path toward a championship. We had some other deals going, some fallback options -- and I don't want to discuss those players because they didn't get moved. But, at the end of the day, we were looking for either a short-term solution or a long-term fix. We didn't have the long-term fix in terms of somebody under contract (for a long time), but we did get Nick Young, who's totally open to wanting to be here. And we're gonna have some tools to bring him back if it works out.