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Rule #1

Pacers Digest is intended to be a place to discuss basketball without having to deal with the kinds of behaviors or attitudes that distract people from sticking with the discussion of the topics at hand. These unwanted distractions can come in many forms, and admittedly it can sometimes be tricky to pin down each and every kind that can rear its ugly head, but we feel that the following examples and explanations cover at least a good portion of that ground and should at least give people a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we actively discourage:

"Anyone who __________ is a liar / a fool / an idiot / a blind homer / has their head buried in the sand / a blind hater / doesn't know basketball / doesn't watch the games"

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"Remember when PosterX said OldCommentY that no longer looks good? "

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We also dissuade passive aggressive behavior. This can be various things, but common examples include statements that are basically meant to imply someone is either stupid or otherwise incapable of holding a rational conversation. This can include (but is not limited to) laughing at someone's conclusions rather than offering an honest rebuttal, asking people what game they were watching, or another common problem is Poster X will say "that player isn't that bad" and then Poster Y will say something akin to "LOL you think that player is good". We're not going to tolerate those kinds of comments out of respect for the community at large and for the sake of trying to just have an honest conversation.

Now, does the above cover absolutely every single kind of distraction that is unwanted? Probably not, but you should by now have a good idea of the general types of things we will be discouraging. The above examples are meant to give you a good feel for / idea of what we're looking for. If something new or different than the above happens to come along and results in the same problem (that being, any other attitude or behavior that ultimately distracts from actually just discussing the topic at hand, or that is otherwise disrespectful to other posters), we can and we will take action to curb this as well, so please don't take this to mean that if you managed to technically avoid saying something exactly like one of the above examples that you are then somehow off the hook.

That all having been said, our goal is to do so in a generally kind and respectful way, and that doesn't mean the moment we see something we don't like that somebody is going to be suspended or banned, either. It just means that at the very least we will probably say something about it, quite possibly snipping out the distracting parts of the post in question while leaving alone the parts that are actually just discussing the topics, and in the event of a repeating or excessive problem, then we will start issuing infractions to try to further discourage further repeat problems, and if it just never seems to improve, then finally suspensions or bans will come into play. We would prefer it never went that far, and most of the time for most of our posters, it won't ever have to.

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Also please be aware that you will not be given a pass simply by claiming that you were 'only joking,' because quite honestly, when someone really is just joking, for one thing most people tend to pick up on the joke, including the person or group that is the target of the joke, and for another thing, in the event where an honest joke gets taken seriously and it upsets or angers someone, the person who is truly 'only joking' will quite commonly go out of his / her way to apologize and will try to mend fences. People who are dishonest about their statements being 'jokes' do not do so, and in turn that becomes a clear sign of what is really going on. It's nothing new.

In any case, quite frankly, the overall quality and health of the entire forum's community is more important than any one troublesome user will ever be, regardless of exactly how a problem is exhibiting itself, and if it comes down to us having to make a choice between you versus the greater health and happiness of the entire community, the community of this forum will win every time.

Lastly, there are also some posters, who are generally great contributors and do not otherwise cause any problems, who sometimes feel it's their place to provoke or to otherwise 'mess with' that small minority of people described in the last paragraph, and while we possibly might understand why you might feel you WANT to do something like that, the truth is we can't actually tolerate that kind of behavior from you any more than we can tolerate the behavior from them. So if we feel that you are trying to provoke those other posters into doing or saying something that will get themselves into trouble, then we will start to view you as a problem as well, because of the same reason as before: The overall health of the forum comes first, and trying to stir the pot with someone like that doesn't help, it just makes it worse. Some will simply disagree with this philosophy, but if so, then so be it because ultimately we have to do what we think is best so long as it's up to us.

If you see a problem that we haven't addressed, the best and most appropriate course for a forum member to take here is to look over to the left of the post in question. See underneath that poster's name, avatar, and other info, down where there's a little triangle with an exclamation point (!) in it? Click that. That allows you to report the post to the admins so we can definitely notice it and give it a look to see what we feel we should do about it. Beyond that, obviously it's human nature sometimes to want to speak up to the poster in question who has bothered you, but we would ask that you try to refrain from doing so because quite often what happens is two or more posters all start going back and forth about the original offending post, and suddenly the entire thread is off topic or otherwise derailed. So while the urge to police it yourself is understandable, it's best to just report it to us and let us handle it. Thank you!

All of the above is going to be subject to a case by case basis, but generally and broadly speaking, this should give everyone a pretty good idea of how things will typically / most often be handled.

Rule #2

If the actions of an administrator inspire you to make a comment, criticism, or express a concern about it, there is a wrong place and a couple of right places to do so.

The wrong place is to do so in the original thread in which the administrator took action. For example, if a post gets an infraction, or a post gets deleted, or a comment within a larger post gets clipped out, in a thread discussing Paul George, the wrong thing to do is to distract from the discussion of Paul George by adding your off topic thoughts on what the administrator did.

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If this is done the wrong way, those comments will be deleted, and if it's a repeating problem then it may also receive an infraction as well.

Rule #3

If a poster is bothering you, and an administrator has not or will not deal with that poster to the extent that you would prefer, you have a powerful tool at your disposal, one that has recently been upgraded and is now better than ever: The ability to ignore a user.

When you ignore a user, you will unfortunately still see some hints of their existence (nothing we can do about that), however, it does the following key things:

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To utilize this feature, from any page on Pacers Digest, scroll to the top of the page, look to the top right where it says 'Settings' and click that. From the settings page, look to the left side of the page where it says 'My Settings', and look down from there until you see 'Edit Ignore List' and click that. From here, it will say 'Add a Member to Your List...' Beneath that, click in the text box to the right of 'User Name', type in or copy & paste the username of the poster you are ignoring, and once their name is in the box, look over to the far right and click the 'Okay' button. All done!

Rule #4

Regarding infractions, currently they carry a value of one point each, and that point will expire in 31 days. If at any point a poster is carrying three points at the same time, that poster will be suspended until the oldest of the three points expires.

Rule #5

When you share or paste content or articles from another website, you must include the URL/link back to where you found it, who wrote it, and what website it's from. Said content will be removed if this doesn't happen.

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If I copy and paste an article from the Indianapolis Star website, I would post something like this:

http://www.linktothearticlegoeshere.com/article
Title of the Article
Author's Name
Indianapolis Star

Rule #6

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The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on NBA.com.

Rule #7

Provocative statements in a signature, or as an avatar, or as the 'tagline' beneath a poster's username (where it says 'Member' or 'Administrator' by default, if it is not altered) are an unwanted distraction that will more than likely be removed on sight. There can be shades of gray to this, but in general this could be something political or religious that is likely going to provoke or upset people, or otherwise something that is mean-spirited at the expense of a poster, a group of people, or a population.

It may or may not go without saying, but this goes for threads and posts as well, particularly when it's not made on the off-topic board (Market Square).

We do make exceptions if we feel the content is both innocuous and unlikely to cause social problems on the forum (such as wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter), and we also also make exceptions if such topics come up with regards to a sports figure (such as the Lance Stephenson situation bringing up discussions of domestic abuse and the law, or when Jason Collins came out as gay and how that lead to some discussion about gay rights).

However, once the discussion seems to be more/mostly about the political issues instead of the sports figure or his specific situation, the thread is usually closed.

Rule #8

We prefer self-restraint and/or modesty when making jokes or off topic comments in a sports discussion thread. They can be fun, but sometimes they derail or distract from a topic, and we don't want to see that happen. If we feel it is a problem, we will either delete or move those posts from the thread.

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Generally speaking, we try to be a "PG-13" rated board, and we don't want to see sexual content or similarly suggestive content. Vulgarity is a more muddled issue, though again we prefer things to lean more towards "PG-13" than "R". If we feel things have gone too far, we will step in.

Rule #10

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Rule #11

Do not advertise anything without talking about it with the administrators first. This includes advertising with your signature, with your avatar, through private messaging, and/or by making a thread or post.
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"We have a Deal, Are you in?" Inside the Clippers pursuit of Kawhi and PG.

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  • "We have a Deal, Are you in?" Inside the Clippers pursuit of Kawhi and PG.

    I love these types of articles. Well worth the read. Magic did in the Lakers again.

    https://theathletic.com/1086977/2019...d-paul-george/

    By Jovan Buha and Sam Amick

    After all the ugly headlines from the Donald Sterling saga in April 2014 to Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion buy-in to all the calculated roster risks, the fate of the L.A. Clippers suddenly hinged on five take-your-breath-away minutes.

    As the Clippers saw it, they were ready to prove themselves worthy of Kawhi Leonard’s trust, ready to make a move to honor his No. 1 priority: winning.

    Trust has been central to Leonard his entire NBA career. His sour ending in San Antonio was the result of trust having eroded, and his sweet Toronto experience helped to rebuild his willingness to trust again.

    Leonard showed with the Raptors that he could lead the way on a title team without a fellow top-10 player, but how wise would that approach be if the 28-year-old wanted to continue producing at an elite level for as long as possible?

    Getting a running mate like Paul George, the Clippers had been informed by Leonard’s camp, would be the key to landing Leonard.

    Ballmer pushed for a Leonard-and-George pairing as soon as he realized it was possible in early July. He’s not only 100 percent owner and probably the team’s most passionate fan but also a guiding force inside the front office’s strategy sessions.

    Following a deliberate two-year rebuilding process, Ballmer felt it was time to shift to contention mode, especially given that Leonard’s and George’s Southern California roots represented such a special subplot in this L.A. basketball story.

    At around 10:30 p.m. PT on Friday, July 5, the Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder concluded their 48-plus-hour negotiation and agreed on the framework of a deal: George for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, five first-round picks (two from Miami) and two pick swaps. Then came the furious five-minute finish.

    The Clippers, at the goal line, told Thunder general manager Sam Presti that they were in — so long as Leonard was in, too.

    Hold on, please.

    President of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, who handled the communication during the trade negotiations, made the call to Leonard and his uncle and trusted confidant, Dennis Robertson, to confirm that this was indeed what Leonard wanted.

    We have a deal ready with the Thunder for Paul George. We can pull the trigger right now. Are you in?

    He was in.

    The Clippers quickly informed Presti the deal was on. And in a matter of five intense and meaningful minutes, the Clippers’ future — and the greater NBA landscape — dramatically shifted. It was one of the most impressive offseason coups in NBA history.

    Four days before the Clippers landed Leonard and George, they hosted a nearly three-hour meeting with Leonard inside coach Doc Rivers’ home in Malibu. Some key progress was made that Monday afternoon. Ballmer, Rivers, Frank and famed adviser Jerry West had been there on behalf of the Clippers, with Leonard, Robertson and agent Mitch Frankel the main part of the group being courted.

    The Clippers pitched Leonard on multiple points, including the way the franchise had conducted its business over the past two years; Ballmer’s competitiveness and willingness to spend any amount necessary to win; Rivers’ coaching; the humble nature of the organization’s power players; their player services and player-centric environment; the benefit of being understated in Los Angeles; the front office’s shrewd decision-making and long-term plan; and the new arena the team plans to have built in Inglewood.

    These are the types of questions Leonard and his inner circle asked, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania: What does the future look like to you? What does my future with your organization look like? How will your franchise shape the next phase of my career?

    There is a perception that in-person meetings are the first and last chance to persuade a player, but that wasn’t the case with Leonard and the Clippers. The two sides spoke every day of free agency — ranging from two to three conversations a day — about roster hypotheticals and other questions that naturally arose. The Clippers never felt they were in the dark during the process.

    The Malibu sitdown was more about getting some face time and familiarity among all of the people who could become partners very soon.

    Leonard could connect with his possible coach in Rivers, whose championship résumé, ability to connect with players and dynamic personality had everything to do with Ballmer’s decision to retain him these past few seasons. Leonard could get to know Ballmer for himself, witnessing the former Microsoft CEO’s epic energy up close. He would also have a chance to hear from Frank, the Clippers’ front-office leader who had been a total stranger to him before all of this.

    It became clear that the personalities and sensibilities of Leonard and the Clippers’ primary influencers aligned. The meeting went well, to be sure, but so many variables remained.

    Chief among them: The Clippers had surmised early in free agency that they likely needed a co-star to secure Leonard. They understood that Leonard, who had rested 22 games during the 2018-19 season, spawning the term “load management,” likely needed the right teammate to help ease the burden. By Monday’s meeting, time was running out before Leonard’s self-imposed deadline — the end of the week — to decide his future.

    Leonard was upfront that his decision would come down to the organization he believed presented him the best competitive window for the rest of his prime. The conversation at Rivers’ house centered on winning above all else — over money and geography and culture and accolades. Playing close to his home of Riverside, while a significant factor, was secondary to winning championships.

    In a competitive sense, the Clippers trailed the Raptors and the Lakers on paper, even though the Clippers believed they could still contend for championships by only adding Leonard to a core that won 48 games and pushed a healthy Golden State Warriors squad to six games in the 2019 postseason.

    The Lakers had the LeBron James-Anthony Davis duo that could guarantee title contention if Leonard joined, and the Raptors’ formula — while probably not sustainable for the long haul — was proven. Leonard’s trip on the Raptors’ private plane to Toronto and back to Southern California a day later raised the Clippers’ concerns. So, too, did Danny Green’s decision to wait out Leonard’s outcome. The Clippers felt there was a legitimate chance Leonard was staying in Toronto.

    The Clippers brass decided that, instead of hoping Leonard would take a leap of faith and choose them, believing that they could then trade for another star later in the summer or by the 2020 trade deadline, the franchise would cash in most of the assets it had been accumulating since 2017 and demonstrate to Leonard that it was serious about building a sustainable contender around him.

    The code of silence was an unspoken rule.

    But Leonard and his representatives made it clear: We have a way we handle business, and we expect the same. Leonard and his camp asked questions and received responses. Details shared in meetings, private and personal information on both sides, were to remain within the group. Leonard promised that to each team and expected the same, sources told Charania.

    From their multiple conversations throughout the process, it was clear to the Clippers that trust, privacy and respect were important components of a productive partnership for Leonard.

    “If you **** this up, you’re done, you’re out,” one front-office executive involved in the process explained to The Athletic. “They didn’t say that, but that was the message. It was basically, ‘Look, we would appreciate discretion.’ Which means, ‘Keep your ****ing mouth shut.’”

    For the Clippers’ purposes, this was not a problem — secrecy was their preferred style long before this well-known request had been made.

    Remember: The Clippers blindsided the league by trading away Blake Griffin in 2018 and Tobias Harris in 2019. There were no leaks ahead of either deal. The Clippers’ front office operates in the shadows, similar to the way Leonard and his camp have conducted his business since he entered the league in 2011.

    The Lakers, whom many around the league presumed were in the lead for Leonard’s services before he chose the Clippers, famously function on the opposite end of the spectrum, at least in an informal way.

    Magic Johnson, the Lakers legend who abruptly resigned as president of basketball operations in late May and proceeded to torch owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka on national television weeks later, thought it wise to broadcast that Robertson had called to pick his brain about the purple-and-gold before free agency had even begun.

    “I truly believe that when Magic started telling the media about the meeting he had with Kawhi and Dennis, that sealed the fate of the Lakers,” a person involved in the process told The Athletic. “I think that right there was when Dennis and Kawhi decided we can’t trust the Lakers as an organization. And that was it. I think that was it for them.”

    Though that act alone didn’t eliminate the Lakers — Leonard still met and communicated with them before his decision — Johnson’s leakage certainly didn’t help his former employer’s pitch.

    On a fundamental level, the idea of forming a Big Three with James and Davis didn’t appeal to Leonard’s core sensibilities. He forged his legacy taking down super teams — like the 2014 Miami Heat and the 2019 Golden State Warriors — rather than joining them.

    “Elite players like Kawhi earn their stripes, and he was not going to be a guy who joins a so-called ‘super team,’” one source close to the situation told Charania. “Now, if a super team forms around him, there is nothing he can control. The Clippers were the best long-term fit.”

    As the NBA rumor mill rampantly churned, with multiple league insiders and media personalities placing the Clippers a distant third in the Leonard sweepstakes, the Clippers never felt compelled to respond or alter the public narrative.

    Instead, they doubled down on their silence, ghosting the media and going off the grid. They were fine sitting back and obeying Leonard’s wishes, letting the media speculate and provide information from his meetings with the Lakers and the Raptors.

    Honoring Leonard’s request was the easy part. Finding him a co-star proved more complex.

    On that day that forever changed a once-laughable franchise, the front office was in a familiar, and temporary, station that had been its work home since May 1: Rented corporate space in El Segundo, about a quarter-mile from the Lakers’ headquarters, because, well, upgrades and renovations at the Playa Vista practice facility were causing a bit of dust.

    This was the place where they executed their offseason playbook, where long days and short nights became the norm for this front office that might be the deepest and most talented in the league.

    In the days leading up to Leonard’s decision, their core group — Frank, general manager Michael Winger, assistant general managers Mark Hughes and Trent Redden, and executive director of research and identity Lee Jenkins — had barely slept.

    That included a 48-hour period in which the front office strategized seemingly every avenue possible to improve its roster around Leonard. On the final few nights before his announcement, the group would call it quits in the office around 2 a.m., then be back before 7 a.m.

    But considering all that was at stake, the wheels would keep turning when the group headed home. Good luck reaching an REM state with this kind of opportunity in the balance.

    As the Clippers surveyed the NBA scene, it wasn’t yet clear whom they could pair with the 2019 Finals MVP. They analyzed and studied every roster and star player in the league, attempting to find out who would best fit alongside Leonard, both on the hardwood and from a personality standpoint.

    The Clippers inquired about Washington’s Bradley Beal and Houston’s James Harden, according to league sources, but neither star was available.

    As The Athletic previously reported, Leonard had an interest in joining forces with Jimmy Butler on the Clippers and, according to ESPN, also reached out to Kevin Durant about teaming up in Los Angeles.

    Enter Paul George.

    Around the time of the draft, Russell Westbrook and George both communicated their discontent to the Thunder and expressed interest in the franchise possibly making significant changes, league sources told The Athletic. There had been frustration yet again at season’s end, with the Westbrook-George pairing falling short in the first round of the playoffs for a second time. It would only be natural that all options were considered.

    The Thunder worked on quelling their duo’s concerns over the subsequent days and thought matters had been resolved — if only temporarily — by the start of free agency on June 30.

    Oklahoma City moved forward with Westbrook and George as the foundation of its roster, and its free-agency pursuits — the agreement/non-agreement of Alec Burks and the addition of Mike Muscala — appeared to be evidence that it was adding to a playoff-level core. (After the Thunder sent George to the Clippers, they granted Burks’ wishes and let him sign with Golden State.)

    But on July 3, the Clippers received word that George wanted out of Oklahoma City and Leonard had been recruiting George to ask for a trade to team up with him and the Clippers. There are conflicting accounts on Leonard’s involvement in recruiting George. For the record, it should be stated that a source told Charania that it is “not accurate” that Leonard recruited George to demand a trade and come to the Clippers.

    George sensed this was a special opportunity to head back home to Southern California, collaborate with one of the game’s best players in Leonard, contend for championships and join a like-minded organization in the Clippers. His endorsement was crucial — and, after talking with Leonard, he was on board.

    Leonard knew that this approach — having another elite star by his side to help compete for championships — was the most sustainable path to long-term success. He didn’t just want a superstar teammate, though. He wanted someone he could rely on and trust to help ease the burden on both ends. George more than fit that bill.

    The scenario of trading for George, as one person involved in the Clippers’ process made clear, was “nowhere in our journal.” That hardly mattered, of course. The Clippers pursued the move that seemed too good to be true — adding another versatile two-way force in the middle of his prime, who also shared a similar temperament and team-first attitude with Leonard.

    When George went to the Thunder and informed them that he wanted to go to the Clippers, it changed everything for Oklahoma City. He was the domino. From there, Westbrook and his agent, Thad Foucher, engaged in discussions with Presti about what it all meant. Eight days later — and six days after the report of George being traded to the Clippers — Westbrook had been dealt to Houston.

    Yet one rival team indicated to The Athletic that the Thunder were willing to discuss the prospect of trading Westbrook leading into the draft, with that revelation seen as a sign that they were considering changes even before George made his move.

    Presti took the initial trade call from Frank regarding George — as good a sign as any that this opportunity was real, considering his tendency to be brutally candid in those times when he has no interest in discussing players who aren’t available. Before long, with the Clippers well aware that this unique pairing between Leonard and George meant they’d have to pay the freight for two free agents, all the puzzle pieces were aligning perfectly.

    Hours before the Clippers acquired Leonard and George, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake began in nearby Ridgecrest, a fitting precursor.

    When the Clippers’ front office formed late in the summer of 2017, it envisioned methodically building to contention. Realistically, that meant a four- to five-year plan. The Clippers circled the summer of 2021 as the earliest they would become players in the free-agency derby. In the meantime, they would overhaul every aspect of the organization, organically establish a culture, and accrue assets and roster flexibility.

    There had been considerable progress since Ballmer purchased the team in 2014, but the franchise still needed to develop at a rate consistent with the league’s top franchises. It was a process that grinders like Frank and Winger looked forward to.

    But Leonard’s trade demand out of San Antonio in the summer of 2018 changed the Clippers’ priorities — and, eventually, the franchise’s trajectory. He was the type of franchise-altering player the organization believed they’d need years to acquire. And, even though most of the media speculation centered on Leonard and the Lakers, Leonard had always kept an eye toward the Clippers, a source told Charania.

    Once it became clear the Clippers were a viable prospect for Leonard, they pursued him as brazenly as a team has pursued a free agent in the modern free-agent era. That included Frank scouting him in person — rare for a president of basketball operations — Ballmer flying up to Toronto to watch him playduring the Clippers’ lone appearance at Scotiabank Arena, and Rivers’ $50,000 tampering fine from the league for comparing Leonard to Michael Jordan on an ESPN broadcast during the NBA Finals.

    Frankly, the haul the Clippers gave up for George — and Leonard — proves how much they wanted to get a deal done.

    From the Clippers’ perspective, the package looks worse if viewed only as the vehicle for acquiring George. But without George, there might have been no Leonard. Had the Clippers done a three-team sign-and-trade with the Raptors and Thunder to acquire Leonard and George, sending half of those assets to Toronto and the remaining half to Oklahoma City, the optics of the trade would be much different.

    The most difficult concession was parting with Gilgeous-Alexander, their prized sophomore point guard who had become a beacon of hope for the organization. He’s the type of young tantalizing talent every smart front office loves — and a non-negotiable inclusion for the Thunder. The Clippers believe he is a future All-Star and were “heartbroken” when they uttered his name on the trade call, as one person involved in the process put it. They didn’t want to trade him.

    The Clippers, who have “flow charts out the wazoo,” as Frank joked on draft night, examined every possible outcome over the next few seasons. Was it worth it to give up Gilgeous-Alexander and multiple first-round picks, potentially mortgaging their future if things didn’t work out with Leonard and George? Was deviating from their long-term plan for these two players a sensible risk?

    The question the Clippers eventually settled on: Could they possibly conceive of a better pairing than Leonard and George in the near term?

    After scanning every scenario of every star who’d realistically become available over the next few seasons, they couldn’t think of a better duo. They had to strike in the moment or forever regret a missed opportunity.

    The Clippers knew the 2020 free-agent class will be uninspiring. The 2021 class has multiple All-NBA and All-Star players, but barring an addition like Giannis Antetokounmpo, they didn’t see a possible combination that could sniff the two-way talent of Leonard and George. The Clippers believe Leonard is the best player in basketball, and they view George as a top-five talent.

    The acquisitions, of course, aren’t without short- and long-term risk.

    Leonard and George both have a checkered recent injury history, with George enduring two shoulder procedures this offseason that could keep him out to start the season, and Leonard’s right quad injury lingering from San Antonio to Toronto (and causing a left knee issue in the playoffs). Also, both superstars can opt out and test free agency in 2021, meaning that, in a doomsday scenario, the Clippers could lose both after just two seasons and not have Gilgeous-Alexander or their draft picks as a security blanket heading into the mid-2020s.

    But the Clippers were aware, when negotiating with Leonard, that he would sign a two-plus-one deal. It makes the most financial sense and gives him leverage if things go south. There have been no promises made, but the Clippers envision having him and George through the rest of their primes — and, hopefully, the rest of their careers.

    Ultimately, these two moves were validation for everything the front office and organization had been building towards for three summers — for the controversial Griffin and Harris trades, which were ridiculed by those who doubted the Clippers could ever enter the ranks of legitimate NBA destinations and questioned the franchise’s loyalty. This was validation for making a bunch of smart moves around the periphery and building the right way, for prioritizing the black top over the big top.

    While negotiating with Oklahoma City, the Clippers worried there was a chance Leonard could change his mind at any moment and stay put in Toronto. You never know until you know in free agency. That’s what made those moments in between agreeing to the George deal and Leonard’s confirmation so nerve-wracking.

    The Clippers could have stood pat, passed on trading for George, kept Gilgeous-Alexander, hoarded their assets and still possibly landed Leonard. That will always be one of the all-time what-ifs.

    But the Clippers sought to eliminate the uncertainty around Leonard’s decision. They wanted to go above and beyond to earn his trust, showing that when they say they will do something for him — like, say, construct a championship roster — they mean it.

    You want Paul George? We’ll move the moon to get him for you.

    We’ll re-sign Patrick Beverley, JaMychal Green, Ivica Zubac and Rodney McGruder, and trade for Moe Harkless, designing what many across the NBA believe is the league’s best roster.

    “Trust us,” the Clippers told Leonard — not with their words, but their actions.

    And, at the end of the most important five minutes in franchise history, he did.

    — Shams Charania contributed to the reporting in this story.


  • #2
    First off great article, thanks for posting that.

    Second of all I am probably the only person in the world who thinks the Thunder got hosed on this deal The likelihood of ever drafting a player of Paul George's caliber is unlikely and what happens if in the future the Thunder have a worse record than the Clippers? Those draft swaps mean absolutely nothing. Miami's pick looked good but it appears that Pat Riley is preparing to make a move to get another player to go along with Butler so those picks might not even be lottery picks now. Sure SG-A is a good prospect, but how good is he really?

    To me I'd have told Paul George tough, you have three more years on your contract so you do NOT get to pick and choose what you want or where you want. Then I would have went high bid shopping and I'm telling you for Paul George they would have gotten a better deal. Possibly Boston or someone in the East. Hell I would have sent him to Toronto just to burn his *** but that's just me. Yes whatever team would have to put up with a disgruntled Paul but just like in OKC he got over it once he found out he wasn't going to L.A. What is he going to do sit for 3 years?

    Also if there ever is concrete proof that Leonard or his camp blatantly recruited Paul that might be the one thing that tips the owners over the edge. Those high end guys tend to take messing with people under contract seriously.

    From a Pacers perspective I'm glad Leonard is out of the east but nothing would make me happier than all of his load management games caused them to be below 500. Remember Toronto went like 17-4 or something close to that. While the Clippers are good I wonder if they can still win at that pace?


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Peck View Post
      First off great article, thanks for posting that.

      Second of all I am probably the only person in the world who thinks the Thunder got hosed on this deal The likelihood of ever drafting a player of Paul George's caliber is unlikely and what happens if in the future the Thunder have a worse record than the Clippers? Those draft swaps mean absolutely nothing. Miami's pick looked good but it appears that Pat Riley is preparing to make a move to get another player to go along with Butler so those picks might not even be lottery picks now. Sure SG-A is a good prospect, but how good is he really?

      To me I'd have told Paul George tough, you have three more years on your contract so you do NOT get to pick and choose what you want or where you want. Then I would have went high bid shopping and I'm telling you for Paul George they would have gotten a better deal. Possibly Boston or someone in the East. Hell I would have sent him to Toronto just to burn his *** but that's just me. Yes whatever team would have to put up with a disgruntled Paul but just like in OKC he got over it once he found out he wasn't going to L.A. What is he going to do sit for 3 years?

      Also if there ever is concrete proof that Leonard or his camp blatantly recruited Paul that might be the one thing that tips the owners over the edge. Those high end guys tend to take messing with people under contract seriously.

      From a Pacers perspective I'm glad Leonard is out of the east but nothing would make me happier than all of his load management games caused them to be below 500. Remember Toronto went like 17-4 or something close to that. While the Clippers are good I wonder if they can still win at that pace?
      Meh...OKC looks they were wanting to make some moves themselves. Personally, I think that's a solid haul, and the picks can always be used to acquire other players.


      Remember when we could have gotten 1-2 solid players and a possible Top 3 draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by trading away Paul George?

      Comment


      • #4
        Gilgeous-Alexander just seems so overrated to me, all I see is a taller George Hill and that's meh to me.


        The picks are move valuable IF they use them to trade for somebody even though OKC is very good at drafting.
        @WhatTheFFacts: Studies show that sarcasm enhances the ability of the human mind to solve complex problems!

        Comment


        • #5
          Would much rather see the Lakers, Rockets, or Nuggets in The Finals than these guys.

          Comment


          • #6
            The code of silence was an unspoken rule.

            But Leonard and his representatives made it clear: We have a way we handle business, and we expect the same. Leonard and his camp asked questions and received responses. Details shared in meetings, private and personal information on both sides, were to remain within the group. Leonard promised that to each team and expected the same, sources told Charania.

            From their multiple conversations throughout the process, it was clear to the Clippers that trust, privacy and respect were important components of a productive partnership for Leonard.

            “If you **** this up, you’re done, you’re out,” one front-office executive involved in the process explained to The Athletic. “They didn’t say that, but that was the message. It was basically, ‘Look, we would appreciate discretion.’ Which means, ‘Keep your ****ing mouth shut.’


            For the Clippers’ purposes, this was not a problem — secrecy was their preferred style long before this well-known request had been made.

            Remember: The Clippers blindsided the league by trading away Blake Griffin in 2018 and Tobias Harris in 2019. There were no leaks ahead of either deal. The Clippers’ front office operates in the shadows, similar to the way Leonard and his camp have conducted his business since he entered the league in 2011.

            The Lakers, whom many around the league presumed were in the lead for Leonard’s services before he chose the Clippers, famously function on the opposite end of the spectrum, at least in an informal way.

            Magic Johnson, the Lakers legend who abruptly resigned as president of basketball operations in late May and proceeded to torch owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka on national television weeks later, thought it wise to broadcast that Robertson had called to pick his brain about the purple-and-gold before free agency had even begun.

            “I truly believe that when Magic started telling the media about the meeting he had with Kawhi and Dennis, that sealed the fate of the Lakers,” a person involved in the process told The Athletic. “I think that right there was when Dennis and Kawhi decided we can’t trust the Lakers as an organization. And that was it. I think that was it for them.”


            Though that act alone didn’t eliminate the Lakers — Leonard still met and communicated with them before his decision — Johnson’s leakage certainly didn’t help his former employer’s pitch.
            My cousin and friend that are Laker fans were refreshing the Lakers SubReddit for the entire week while Kawhi was making his decision.

            During this time, they pointed me to some "apparent" Lakers Insider poster ( from LakersBall.com that informed them of some past major trades ) on the Lakers SubReddit that somehow got a hold of leaked email communications between the Lakers Owners and Kurt Rambis. It detail what the Kawhi's demands and conditions were to the Ownership ( stuff like direct access to Buss family, control over bringing in his own entourage, etc....basically the standard Superstar demands to the Organization ).

            After a day of the information being posted, the poster went silent and nothing else came out. During this time, the rumors started coming out that Kawhi's camp was not happy about the Leak. Of course, ...this could be a coincidence and everything posted could have been fake. But ( if true ) this does offer some more insight into how poorly the Lakers FO and Ownership operates. The glitz and glamour of the Lakers is both a blessing and a curse.

            In the end, it sounds like the Lakers were Plan C all along. But it sounds like the Lakers FO inability to keep their s*** to themselves didn't help at all.

            BTW.....If you are bored and interested in some "rumored" inside Info on the Lakers FO and how it's operated over the last couple of years, read the following:

            https://www.reddit.com/r/lakers/comm...der_who_posts/

            Apparently, this was from the Basketball Insider post on the Lakers SubReddit ( yeah, I know ) detailing how messed up the Lakers Organization is when it comes to being run over the last couple of years. I don't know if it's true, but it's an interesting read.
            Last edited by CableKC; 07-23-2019, 01:03 PM.
            Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Peck View Post
              First off great article, thanks for posting that.

              Second of all I am probably the only person in the world who thinks the Thunder got hosed on this deal The likelihood of ever drafting a player of Paul George's caliber is unlikely and what happens if in the future the Thunder have a worse record than the Clippers? Those draft swaps mean absolutely nothing. Miami's pick looked good but it appears that Pat Riley is preparing to make a move to get another player to go along with Butler so those picks might not even be lottery picks now. Sure SG-A is a good prospect, but how good is he really?

              To me I'd have told Paul George tough, you have three more years on your contract so you do NOT get to pick and choose what you want or where you want. Then I would have went high bid shopping and I'm telling you for Paul George they would have gotten a better deal. Possibly Boston or someone in the East. Hell I would have sent him to Toronto just to burn his *** but that's just me. Yes whatever team would have to put up with a disgruntled Paul but just like in OKC he got over it once he found out he wasn't going to L.A. What is he going to do sit for 3 years?

              Also if there ever is concrete proof that Leonard or his camp blatantly recruited Paul that might be the one thing that tips the owners over the edge. Those high end guys tend to take messing with people under contract seriously.

              From a Pacers perspective I'm glad Leonard is out of the east but nothing would make me happier than all of his load management games caused them to be below 500. Remember Toronto went like 17-4 or something close to that. While the Clippers are good I wonder if they can still win at that pace?
              First, PG has a player option on the third year of his deal so he essentially only has 2 years left. I would love to hear an option of what you think a better offer from another team would have been.

              Second, it feels like people tend to go to one extreme or the other on the draft picks. It either is everything or it's absolutely nothing. The truth is we don't know. It could be that Kawhi and PG both leave in 2 years and the Thunder get 5 extra top 10 picks out of the Clippers between the picks and pick swaps in addition to the Miami picks and it's the biggest home run ever. It could be that Kawhi and PG stay and are still good and healthy every single year into their mid-30's and all those picks are in the 20's.

              I think overall, the average though of all the different scenarios we list would give the Thunder a great deal overall.

              I'll pose the question to you, what would be the minimum amount the Thunder would need to get in draft picks to make it worth it? How many lottery picks, how many picks in the teens?

              The fact that the Thunder couldn't really win the title and had no path to improve for the rest of PG's deal was a big factor in this too. You don't often throw away a chance at the title with a great player even for a great offer, but the Thunder didn't really have that.

              Comment


              • #8
                I will be rooting against the Clippers all year. I expect LeBron to be a factor out there and would love to see the Lakers beat them.
                Vnzla81: Yep pretty much, they cut him because they were going to get "their guy" they couldn't get option 1,2,3,4,5 then they went to Lance he said "no thanks" and they had no other choice but to get Lance 2.0 for three times the cost.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Peck View Post
                  First off great article, thanks for posting that.

                  Second of all I am probably the only person in the world who thinks the Thunder got hosed on this deal The likelihood of ever drafting a player of Paul George's caliber is unlikely and what happens if in the future the Thunder have a worse record than the Clippers? Those draft swaps mean absolutely nothing. Miami's pick looked good but it appears that Pat Riley is preparing to make a move to get another player to go along with Butler so those picks might not even be lottery picks now. Sure SG-A is a good prospect, but how good is he really?

                  To me I'd have told Paul George tough, you have three more years on your contract so you do NOT get to pick and choose what you want or where you want. Then I would have went high bid shopping and I'm telling you for Paul George they would have gotten a better deal. Possibly Boston or someone in the East. Hell I would have sent him to Toronto just to burn his *** but that's just me. Yes whatever team would have to put up with a disgruntled Paul but just like in OKC he got over it once he found out he wasn't going to L.A. What is he going to do sit for 3 years?

                  Also if there ever is concrete proof that Leonard or his camp blatantly recruited Paul that might be the one thing that tips the owners over the edge. Those high end guys tend to take messing with people under contract seriously.

                  From a Pacers perspective I'm glad Leonard is out of the east but nothing would make me happier than all of his load management games caused them to be below 500. Remember Toronto went like 17-4 or something close to that. While the Clippers are good I wonder if they can still win at that pace?
                  A paragraph from Zach Lowe's article today, https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...tershed-moment, (the bold is mine):

                  Under the terms of an NBA contract, a team agrees to pay a player in exchange for basketball services -- with the understanding that the team can trade that player whenever it wants. The best players trading themselves reverses that dynamic. Trade requests don't tilt the playing field out of balance. They even it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shags View Post

                    A paragraph from Zach Lowe's article today, https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...tershed-moment, (the bold is mine):

                    Under the terms of an NBA contract, a team agrees to pay a player in exchange for basketball services -- with the understanding that the team can trade that player whenever it wants. The best players trading themselves reverses that dynamic. Trade requests don't tilt the playing field out of balance. They even it.
                    I'd agree that a general trade request evens the field, but a trade request to a specific team that is then made public DOES tilt the field - it damages the team's investment in that player.in a way that has no equivalent harm to the player in a team-driven trade.
                    BillS

                    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
                    Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shags View Post

                      A paragraph from Zach Lowe's article today, https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...tershed-moment, (the bold is mine):

                      Under the terms of an NBA contract, a team agrees to pay a player in exchange for basketball services -- with the understanding that the team can trade that player whenever it wants. The best players trading themselves reverses that dynamic. Trade requests don't tilt the playing field out of balance. They even it.
                      Is there a clause where the player can request a trade at any time during the terms of the contract?


                      Remember when we could have gotten 1-2 solid players and a possible Top 3 draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by trading away Paul George?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Peck View Post
                        First off great article, thanks for posting that.

                        Second of all I am probably the only person in the world who thinks the Thunder got hosed on this deal The likelihood of ever drafting a player of Paul George's caliber is unlikely and what happens if in the future the Thunder have a worse record than the Clippers? Those draft swaps mean absolutely nothing. Miami's pick looked good but it appears that Pat Riley is preparing to make a move to get another player to go along with Butler so those picks might not even be lottery picks now. Sure SG-A is a good prospect, but how good is he really?

                        To me I'd have told Paul George tough, you have three more years on your contract so you do NOT get to pick and choose what you want or where you want. Then I would have went high bid shopping and I'm telling you for Paul George they would have gotten a better deal. Possibly Boston or someone in the East. Hell I would have sent him to Toronto just to burn his *** but that's just me. Yes whatever team would have to put up with a disgruntled Paul but just like in OKC he got over it once he found out he wasn't going to L.A. What is he going to do sit for 3 years?

                        Also if there ever is concrete proof that Leonard or his camp blatantly recruited Paul that might be the one thing that tips the owners over the edge. Those high end guys tend to take messing with people under contract seriously.

                        From a Pacers perspective I'm glad Leonard is out of the east but nothing would make me happier than all of his load management games caused them to be below 500. Remember Toronto went like 17-4 or something close to that. While the Clippers are good I wonder if they can still win at that pace?
                        OKC was definitely hosed. If OKC knew that Leonard wanted to play with PG, instead of accommodating Paul's request, why not tell Leonard's people that Kawhi is more than welcome to play in OKC with Paul. I don't understand why teams continue to make trades which strengthens their enemy. Same thing happened with the Lakers/NO trade. Lakers approached NO with a trade proposal wanting NO"s best player. Lakers were willing to trade everybody on the roster, but their own best player. If I was NO, and knew that LA wanted AD, I would have said it would have to include LeBron James. How is this such a difficult concept to grasp for these lousy GM's.
                        Being unable to close out a game in which you have a comfortable lead in the 4th Q = Pulling a Frank Vogel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pacergeek View Post

                          OKC was definitely hosed. If OKC knew that Leonard wanted to play with PG, instead of accommodating Paul's request, why not tell Leonard's people that Kawhi is more than welcome to play in OKC with Paul. I don't understand why teams continue to make trades which strengthens their enemy. Same thing happened with the Lakers/NO trade. Lakers approached NO with a trade proposal wanting NO"s best player. Lakers were willing to trade everybody on the roster, but their own best player. If I was NO, and knew that LA wanted AD, I would have said it would have to include LeBron James. How is this such a difficult concept to grasp for these lousy GM's.
                          OKC was never going to get Kawhi to even consider them. Besides OKC would of had to trade Russell and others to even get the cap space to sign Kawhi.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pacergeek View Post

                            OKC was definitely hosed. If OKC knew that Leonard wanted to play with PG, instead of accommodating Paul's request, why not tell Leonard's people that Kawhi is more than welcome to play in OKC with Paul. I don't understand why teams continue to make trades which strengthens their enemy. Same thing happened with the Lakers/NO trade. Lakers approached NO with a trade proposal wanting NO"s best player. Lakers were willing to trade everybody on the roster, but their own best player. If I was NO, and knew that LA wanted AD, I would have said it would have to include LeBron James. How is this such a difficult concept to grasp for these lousy GM's.
                            Ummmmmm....that would be stupid as hell. Trade Lebron for AD when Lebron wanted AD? You can if you want to, but don't be surprised if Lebron mysteriously started having cases of soreness or "signs" of wear and tear. Also, Kawhi didn't want to play for OKC, so it's a moot point. Beyond that...there's really not much teams can do when a player demands a trade, but try to get the best value they. Indiana got lucky, because OKC wanted to take a chance on Paul George, so Indiana was able to ship him out of the conference. Spurs got lucky, because the Raptors wanted to take a chance on KL, so they were able to trade him out of the conference. There are only a handful of teams that can make "all-in" moves at any given time in the NBA for a disgruntled player.

                            EDIT: In my personal opinion, I thought all the receiving teams got descent hauls overall. You can almost argue that Indiana didn't get ENOUGH for Paul George given what teams gotten recently for their star players. Granted, we wasn't trading away MVP-level Paul George at the time.
                            Last edited by ksuttonjr76; 07-24-2019, 10:19 AM.


                            Remember when we could have gotten 1-2 solid players and a possible Top 3 draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by trading away Paul George?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was just thinking too...when Paul George requested a trade, LA wasn't a good team. Hard to fleece a team that probably wasn't going to go playoffs anyways. Magic *****ed up by assuming that Indiana couldn't anything for Paul George, and that Indiana would be "forced" to take their garbage trade. In hindsight, Magic should have upped the ante to get Paul George and gave up that d*mn draft pick....I think that was the year Lonzo Ball got drafted, but I'm pretty sure they had some Top 5 pick at the time.

                              EDIT: Yup...Magic was on some BS....

                              The Lakers reportedly packaged the 27th pick with the 28th pick along with either Jordan Clarkson or Julius Randle hoping to land George.

                              The Lakers had the # 2 pick in the draft at the time.

                              Indiana could have launched a young movement with LA's young talent and the # 2 pick. That trade should have been DLO, Ingram, Randle, and ALL their draft picks for that year in hindsight.
                              Last edited by ksuttonjr76; 07-24-2019, 10:34 AM.


                              Remember when we could have gotten 1-2 solid players and a possible Top 3 draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by trading away Paul George?

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