Los Angeles Clippers: Trey Thompkins

Clippers waive Trey Thompkins

March, 14, 2013
3/14/13
2:04
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers waived forward Trey Thompkins, the team announced Thursday.

Thompkins was the 37th overall selection of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Clippers out of Georgia, and averaged 2.4 points and 1.0 rebounds in 24 games during his rookie season. He did not appear in a game this season because of a left knee bone bruise.

"We want to thank Trey for his contribution to the Clippers,” Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. “Unfortunately, he was never able to truly showcase his talents this season due to injuries. We wish him all the best and believe he has a bright future."

The Clippers roster currently stands at 14.

Clippers' family continues to grow

February, 27, 2013
2/27/13
12:11
AM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Twitter hasn't been around very long, but if it were around during the Los Angeles Clippers' early years, chances are players wouldn't be running to their computers and phones after games to praise the team they played for.

In fact, it might have been fertile ground for some good #ShotsFired moments.

[+] EnlargeLos Angeles Clippers
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe Clippers have shown they are as much like a family as any team in the NBA.
You might have had Ron Harper comparing his time with the Clippers to being in jail. You could have had Danny Ferry tweeting that he would never play for the Clippers while he hid in Italy. And you might even have had Shaun Livingston tweeting about rehabbing his knee in a public health club next to senior citizens.

Thankfully for the Clippers, Twitter's rise into the social consciousness has coincided with the Clippers' rise in respectability and few public forums have done a better job of showcasing the Clippers' newfound admiration quite like Twitter.

On Monday, Jamal Crawford was in Seattle for the birth of his daughter, London. He would also be forced to miss Tuesday's game to be with his wife before rejoining the team in Indianapolis on Thursday.

Before Tuesday's game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Clippers forward Trey Thompkins tweeted a picture of the Clippers' entire team, coaches and training staff and sent it to Crawford with the message: "Show love all the way to London #ClipFam."

In the picture, all the Clippers are gathered at center court of the team's training facility with Chris Paul and Caron Butler holding a hand-written sign that read, "Welcome to the Clippers family London!"

Soon after the photo was tweeted, Crawford tweeted back, "Clippers organization from top to bottom is the best, never wanna play anywhere else. #honestmoment #family"

It might have been just another tweet for any other team, but not for the Clippers. Here was a player going out of his way to say the Clippers' organization was the best he has ever been associated with and he never wanted to play anywhere else.

It's a culture change that Paul helped usher in when he arrived in Los Angeles before last season. He wanted players to know each others' families, he wanted them to attend their children's birthday parties and act as extended family members.

Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan basically serve as honorary uncles to their teammates' kids now after games as children run around the locker room, developing new handshakes and make-believe dunks.

Crawford swears the atmosphere has helped him have one of the better seasons of his career.

"This is the most fun I've had playing basketball," Crawford said. "I've never been a part of a team like this where it's a real family."

(Read full post)

Report cards: Jordan

June, 1, 2012
6/01/12
6:22
AM PT
Here is the 12th player capsule in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season. The series runs until next week, examining every player who finished the season on the roster as well as the head coach.

We started with Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, quickly moved on to Ryan Gomes and Bobby Simmons and continued with Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, Reggie Evans, Eric Bledsoe, Nick Young, Mo Williams and Caron Butler. Now, we do DeAndre Jordan.

2011-2012 contributions: Was Jordan's 2011-2012 campaign what the Clippers envisioned when they matched Golden State's four-year, $43 million offer sheet to him last December? No. Was it a complete and outright disappointment? Not that, either. The question is which of those it's closer to, and an argument can be made for both. The same on-again, off-again defensive struggles he had his first three NBA seasons were plain to see again this season, and it's hard to name something he got better at, other than free-throw shooting -- which was still poor at 53 percent. One definite positive: He has proven to be an effective rebounder, and that didn't change either, as his per-minute rebound rate was actually better than Blake Griffin's. But he pulled a gradual disappearing act all season, with his points per game declining each month. And then he went the first 10 playoff games without finishing in double digits in points or rebounds a single time.

2012-2013 prediction: Jordan is a Clipper to stay. Going forward, it's vital to the franchise's success that he learns how to become at least a serviceable offensive player in non-dunk situations. Developing reliable post moves has been a focus in his first four years, but that effort has yet to result in anything tangible. Luckily, he's still just 23 and has time to learn. Also, if Jordan can get his free-throw rate to flirt with 60 percent, then Vinny Del Negro could actually keep him on the court late in games. And an $11 million man should be able to play 3o effective minutes per game, which Jordan has yet to do for extended stretches of his NBA career. Plus, it'll help his per-game numbers look a little better.

Grade: C+

Report cards: Young

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
11:57
AM PT
Here is the ninth player capsule in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season. The series runs until next Tuesday, examining every player who finished the season on the roster as well as the head coach.

We started with rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, moved on to small forwards Ryan Gomes and Bobby Simmons and then Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, Reggie Evans and Eric Bledsoe. Now, we do the last of the bench players: Nick Young.

2011-2012 contributions: Young did not play well in his first few weeks with the Clippers this year, once he was acquired for next-to-nothing at the trade deadline. Then he began to bounce back in April and peaked with a 19-point performance in an end-of-year win over Oklahoma City. He then matched that output in Game 1 of the first-round series against Memphis and hit several other big shots in the 10 remaining playoff games -- while memorably dealing with significant pain from impacted wisdom teeth that he has since had removed. Young still shot better than 50 percent from the field in only two of the 22 regular-season games he played for the Clips.

2012-2013 prediction: Young is probably the most likely Clipper free agent to be brought back next season, partially because he played well toward the end of his brief tenure last season and partially because he actually fits their long-term needs fairly well. But his contract demands are an unknown, and he's proven to be a bit of a loose cannon when it comes to free agency. Few could have predicted a year ago that Young would end up re-signing with Washington after the lockout for just one year and $3.5 million, but that's exactly what he did. If he does come back to the Clippers, he probably steps into a starting role alongside Chris Paul in the backcourt -- because if the Clips are paying him enough to return, then they're not going to be able to bring in much else at his spot.

Grade: C+

Report cards: Bledsoe

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
11:57
AM PT
Here is the eighth player capsule in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season. The series runs until next Tuesday, examining every player who finished the season on the roster as well as the head coach.

We started with rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, moved on to small forwards Ryan Gomes and Bobby Simmons and then Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin and Reggie Evans. Now, we do Eric Bledsoe.

2011-2012 contributions: Bledsoe missed the first month of the season while recovering from an offseason meniscus tear and didn't even get into the rotation until March, but he was very productive in the final month and in the playoffs. In fact, Bledsoe was arguably the Clippers' third or fourth most important player in their playoff run, when he consistently came in and injected energy to the rest of the club during his limited minutes. He finished the team's 11 playoff games with averages of 7.9 points, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals, but those numbers don't do his production justice. Bledsoe was, to put it simply, a postseason revelation.

2012-2013 prediction: He's a key piece to the puzzle going forward, and it'll be interesting to see how his role changes over this offseason depending on what the Clippers do around him. His status will change significantly based on whether or not Mo Williams chooses to return next season. Ideally, Bledsoe would be a 20-25 minute per-game guard next season, serving as Paul's direct backup but also sharing the court with him at times. But if Williams comes back, that'll be different.

Grade: B+

Report cards: Foye

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
3:44
AM PT
Here is the 11th player capsule in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season. The series runs until next week, examining every player who finished the season on the roster as well as the head coach.

We started with Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, quickly moved on to Ryan Gomes and Bobby Simmons and continued with Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, Reggie Evans, Eric Bledsoe, Nick Young and Mo Williams. Now, we start the starting lineup with Randy Foye.

2011-2012 contributions: Well, he definitely did better than last year. After a disappointing 2010-2011 season, Foye proved to actually be a useful player when thrust into a starting role in 2011-2012, hitting 39 percent of his 3-point shots to rank in the top 40 in the NBA. His defense still left a lot to be desired, and there are inherent problems in the way he plays offense: i.e., he doesn't maximize the things he's best at, and he's arguably getting worse at playing to his strengths. Foye is a superb foul shooter, yet he attempted only 85 free throws all season -- good for by far the lowest per-minute rate of his career -- and missed just 12 of them. Part of that is because his role changed into more of a spot-up shooter once Chris Paul arrived in Clipperland, but part of it is also because he just didn't drive into the lane very much.

2012-2013 prediction: It's highly unlikely that Foye will be back with the Clippers next season. He just finished up a two-year, $8.5 million deal, and there's no reason the team would want to bring him back for anything around that money. It's hard to predict what kind of contract he'll fetch on the open market, but at least he put up a better season this year for his financial sake. If he does re-up with the Clippers, it'll likely be (1) a surprise and (2) a short-term, low-value deal struck late in the free-agency process when other opportunities have dried up.

Grade: B-

Report cards: Evans

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
11:25
AM PT
Here is the seventh player capsule in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season. The series runs until next Tuesday, examining every player who finished the season on the roster as well as the head coach.

We started with rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, moved on to small forwards Ryan Gomes and Bobby Simmons and then Chauncey Billups and forward Kenyon Martin. Now, we do Reggie Evans.

2011-2012 contributions: Evans did exactly what the Clippers asked him to do last season -- which isn't necessarily to say that he played particularly well. He just did what he's done each of his 10 seasons in the NBA: rebound well and do everything else poorly. The man simply cannot shoot. But, hey, he still rebounded at an impressive rate of 16.9 boards per 48 minutes, almost exactly matching his career averages. A crazy stat: He made 34 field goals the entire season, meaning he had eight times as many rebounds as made shots.

2012-2013 prediction: There's a reason Evans has bounced around the league so much despite being so good at something, and it's not because he's a bad locker room guy. (The young Clippers, Thompkins and Leslie, looked up to him this season.) It's because he's hard to hide on the court, especially on offense. And the truth is he's not a fantastic defensive player either, when you move him away from the glass. The next team Evans signs with will be the sixth of his career, and yes, that means we're predicting he's not going to be a Clipper next season. The team simply doesn't need both Evans and Martin, and Martin brings more to the table than Evans does.

Grade: C+

Report cards: Martin

May, 28, 2012
5/28/12
10:31
AM PT
Here is the fifth player capsule in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season. The series runs until Tuesday, examining every player who finished the season on the roster as well as the head coach.

We started with rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, moved on to small forwards Ryan Gomes and Bobby Simmons and then did guard Chauncey Billups. Now, we grade forward Kenyon Martin.

Kenyon Martin

2011-2012 contributions: Martin was a late addition to the mix as a February signee because he signed a deal in China during the lockout, but he ended up playing a fairly large role in the Clippers' end of-year rotation. He finished the year averaging 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds and kept producing at a similar rate in the postseason -- albeit in fewer minutes. Martin wasn't really a perfect fit with the rest of the Clippers' roster: They needed a 7-foot big man with offensive skills and they got an undersized four-man with a declining offensive game but nice defensive and rebounding acumen. Still, he was at times effective, and he did produce two big-time performances in the final two games of the Memphis series and just played well overall in the playoffs.

2012-2013 prediction: Where does Martin fit in with the Clippers' roster of the future? He doesn't, really. But he does make some sense for next season, simply because he's a better option than anybody else the team could get for the veteran's minimum. They can use the non-Bird exception on him and pay him around $3 million, without having to worry about the cap at all. For that reason, he's probably the second most likely of the Clippers free agents to come back next season, after Nick Young. As long as Neil Olshey pairs Martin with a capable backup center and not someone like Reggie Evans, then bringing him back will probably be applauded.

Grade: B

Clipper report cards: Billups

May, 27, 2012
5/27/12
3:30
PM PT
Here is the fifth player capsule in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season. The series runs until Tuesday, examining every player who finished the season on the roster as well as the head coach.

We started with rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie and moved on to small forwards Ryan Gomes and Bobby Simmons. Next is guard Chauncey Billups.

Chauncey Billups

2011-2012 contributions: Billups, an unexpected and unorthodox offseason pickup, was the Clippers' third scorer and a key playmaker -- for the season's first 20 games, after which he tore his Achilles tendon on the road against Orlando and missed the final two-thirds of the year. When he was healthy, he was doing everything well except two-point field-goal shooting, and that was bound to bounce back up at some point. He finished averaging 15 points and four assists per game, nice numbers for someone adjusting to a new position on the fly. His most memorable moment as a Clipper was probably the game-winner he hit against Dallas at home in January, in a game that Chris Paul missed due to injury.

2012-2013 prediction: Good question. Billups is almost certain to miss a significant portion of the upcoming season while recovering from the torn Achilles, so his status is a complete unknown. He has maintained since the injury that he will play again in the NBA, and there's no real reason to doubt him. There is reason, however, to wonder when that comeback will be and where exactly it'll occur. A lot of that will have to do with his salary requests, and, as the Clippers pursue a more traditionally-sized two-guard this offseason, it's unlikely that Billups will be back in a Clipper uniform.

Grade: Incomplete

Report cards: Gomes and Simmons

May, 25, 2012
5/25/12
1:25
PM PT
Here are the third and fourth player capsules in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season.

The grades started with rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. We continue here with small forwards Ryan Gomes and Bobby Simmons.

Ryan Gomes

2011-2012 contributions: Gomes had his worst season as a professional this year, playing in fewer than half of the Clips' 66 regular-season contests and scoring in double digits only one time. The last time he played in a game was mid-March and the last time he played meaningful minutes was mid-February. Incidentally, that was also when he made a crucial mistake on an inbounds pass against the San Antonio Spurs and arguably cost the Clippers a big win against their eventual second-round opponents. Gomes lost his spot in the rotation to a guy on a 10-day contract, which we'll get to in more detail later, but that's never a good sign in the NBA.

2012-2013 prediction: Gomes, a fantastic locker-room guy, appears to have the best chance of any Clipper to be amnestied because of his contract situation. He has one more year remaining on his deal at $4 million, and his only real discernible value at this point would be as an expiring contract to add on to a trade. It's ironic -- last November he joked on Twitter that the amnesty clause in the new CBA could play a role in his future with the club after his poor debut season with the Clips in 2010-2011. That's no longer a laughing matter. If he stays with the team, it's unlikely he'll be anything more than an end-of-the-bench guy.

Grade: D

Bobby Simmons

2011-2012 contributions: Simmons did more than expected for this season's Clippers, which isn't necessarily saying much considering he was nowhere near the team's radar at the start of the year. With Simmons averaging 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in the D-League in February, Neil Olshey picked him up off the scrap heap. He performed well defensively in the 32 games he appeared in from then on but really struggled shooting the ball -- making only 20 of his 60 field-goal attempts. He did start a playoff game for only the sixth time in his career and logged 32 playoff minutes.

2012-2013 prediction: It's unlikely that the 31-year-old Simmons will be brought back next season, because the Clippers are likely to seek out swingmen who better complement Caron Butler this offseason. He did prove this year that he's good enough to stick in the league on one side of the ball, at least.

Grade: C+

Clippers report cards: Thompkins & Leslie

May, 24, 2012
5/24/12
9:51
PM PT
The first run of “Lob City” may not have ended the way some within the Los Angeles Clippers organization would have liked but everyone understands its still a work in progress. With half the roster up for new contracts in the coming weeks and months, there’s also a good chance the team will have new look next season.

Before we look too far into the future though, let's look back at the Clippers’ roster last season and see how it graded out and how it will look moving forward.

We start off the grades with Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, the two rookies the Clippers drafted out of Georgia in the second round last year. Thompkins and Leslie were born two months apart, were selected 10 picks apart and sat one locker apart from each other. They had so much common, they even shared the same lack of playing time this season.

Trey Thompkins

2011-12 contributions: No one on the Clippers was a bigger consistent cheerleader on the bench than Thompkins, who could usually be found draped over the back of DeAndre Jordan or another teammate after a big dunk late in the game. He appeared in 23 games during the season and averaged 2.4 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.0 minutes. His best game was during the Clippers’ 107-81 win over the Washington Wizards on Feb. 4 when he had 2 points, 7 rebounds and 1 blocked shot while playing the entire fourth quarter.

2012-13 prediction: Thompkins figures into the Clippers’ future plans fairly prominently as general manager Neil Olshey said the team would be in the market for a “stretch four” and Thompkins fits the bill in case they can't find one in free agency. He’s a versatile forward who can play inside and outside. He has a nice jump shot and was a consistent three-point shooter in practice. If the Clippers can’t land someone outside the current roster to fill that "stretch four" position, Thompkins could see himself in the regular rotation next season.

Grade: Incomplete

Travis Leslie

2011-12 contributions: It was a difficult rookie season for Leslie, who only played in 10 games and was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League for two separate stints before returning to the Clippers at the end of the season. While he didn’t want to be away from his teammates, Leslie made the most of his time in Bakersfield, averaging 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 21.0 minutes. While with the Clippers, Leslie only averaged 1.4 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 4.5 minutes.

2012-13 prediction: Depending on what the Clippers do in free agency, it’s hard to see Leslie getting much more time in the rotation next season. He’s an athletic, albeit undersized shooting guard, who can finish at the basket and has been known to put on highlight reel plays in practice on par with Eric Bledsoe, but the Clippers are already two-deep at both guard positions. Leslie isn’t going anywhere but barring injuries or a trade, he’ll probably be spending a good amount of time on the bench again next season.

Grade: Incomplete

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