The Clippers had tried to trade a package of Dudley and a first round pick multiple times this offseason in the hopes of acquiring a swing man and/or a big man and will get both in the deal from Milwaukee.
Delfino missed last season after suffering a fractured bone in his right foot during the 2013 playoffs with the Houston Rockets. He signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract with the Bucks last offseason and was hoping to return last season before needing additional surgery.
The 31-year-old shooting guard/small forward averaged 10.6 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Rockets during the 2012-13 season but was a regular starter the previous three seasons with the Bucks where he started 159 games and made 178 appearances.
Raduljica, 26, is a 7-foot, 250-pound center who averaged 3.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 48 games, including two starts, last season.
The Clippers had high hopes for Dudley after trading Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler in a three-team deal that netted them J.J. Redick and Dudley last summer. Dudley, however, struggled and had the worst shooting season of his career.
The scene came as no surprise to the Dallas Mavericks owner, whose enthusiastic exhibitions had been unique among the NBA’s owners.
“I’ve known Steve for a long time, going back into my twenties, and he’s always been this way,” Cuban said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “The Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Mosley” last week. “So this isn’t Steve Ballmer getting hyped just for the Clippers. This is just the way he is. He’s going to be great for the league.
“You know, in reality, I already know, knowing him, he’s going to be a lot calmer than I am. He’s great hyping people up in a sales environment, but it’ll be interesting to see him during a game. I hope he’s crazy, but I’m not expecting it.”
Ballmer, who paid $2 billion to buy the Clippers from disgraced former owner Donald Sterling, has been welcomed into the NBA ownership fraternity. That wasn’t the case when Cuban brought the Mavs in 2000 and showed up to games acting like a maniac in T-shirts and jeans.
“I just wish he would have been around to give those speeches when I first came in, seen the response by all the old-timers when I came in,” Cuban said. “When we were in Reunion Arena, I used to run up and down the aisles trying to exhort people to cheer and to stand up. I mean literally, I was running up and down the aisles I was so pumped up and so excited.
“I remember going into a board of governors meeting and one of the old-school guys -- I won’t name him; he’s since passed away -- said, ‘You haven’t done shinola in this league. You need to sit the eff down and shut the eff up. I never want to see you or hear from you again.' And David Stern literally had to tell him to calm down. Then he said something else, and I said, ‘Well, such and such ...’ and [Mavs CEO/president Terdema Ussery] taps me on the shoulder and said, ‘You just got his name wrong.’ It would have been interesting to see what it’s like just to have Steve’s energy.”
THE LAST TIME a tank rolled through an American city, some 17 months ago, David Ortiz took the microphone at Fenway Park nearly a week later and, with an expletive and a roar, became a national symbol of defiance. The Boston Strong movement was born, followed by T-shirts and avatars and rhetoric. Permission to speak was granted to Ortiz, because he affirmed the acceptable narrative: We were fighting a war on terror, where the putative enemy -- foreign in mentality if not in complete citizenship -- was universally agreed upon. There was no risk to be associated with his words; the columns of good and evil were easily established.
A year later, in Ferguson, Missouri, armored vehicles again cruised American streets, but this time the guns of law enforcement were not targeting a teenage fugitive and his older brother after a lethal bombing. This time they were targeting fellow American citizens after the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown by a member of the Ferguson police department. In the wake of curfews, arrests, tear gas and rubber bullets, the St. Louis Rams offered tickets to the youth of Ferguson; the Washington football players held their hands up as they emerged from the tunnel before their preseason game against the Browns, adopting the "hands up, don't shoot" symbol of protest in solidarity with a community roiling; Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew made the same gesture after a preseason touchdown run. But save for a searing essay in Time by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the athlete's voice has been largely silent.
It's the dog days of summer, a time for reflection on what transpired and conjecture of what will occur in the NBA. It's also a time for proclamations both wild and inane, whether that's James Harden declaring he's the best player in the NBA or Stephen Curry opining that he and Klay Thompson would make the best duo in the '90s arcade game NBA Jam.
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LOS ANGELES -- The Clippers have been in Los Angeles for 30 years, but for the first time since they moved north from San Diego in 1984, they finally feel like a team Los Angeles can embrace.
And for the first time in the past three decades, Clippers fans can be proud to put on their team's gear without making apologies for their lousy owner or their lousy history or the lousy product on the court.
The shirts handed out to fans at the team's rally to introduce Steve Ballmer as the new Clippers owner read, "It's A New Day." But it seems more like a long overdue rebirth of a franchise.
Four months after the darkest period in the history of a franchise littered with dark periods, the Clippers finally have a reason to celebrate and rejoice in a new beginning.
Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers said he has witnessed a transformation of the faithful.
Nearly 5,000 fans showed up to Staples Center on Monday afternoon for a rally to welcome Ballmer, who ran through the crowd after being introduced to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" and high-fived and chest-bumped everyone in sight before jumping around on stage. It was a scene reminiscent of his viral videos on YouTube and something Clippers fans will get used to seeing on game days.
"I like to sit near the action," said Ballmer, who will be courtside at Clippers games. "It's more fun. That was the No. 1 piece of input I got last night at dinner with Doc, some of the coaches and players. We were all debating where the best place is to sit. Of course, none of them have to sit there, just me."
LOS ANGELES -- Sweating, clapping and shouting until he was nearly hoarse, Steve Ballmer introduced himself to Los Angeles Clippers fans at a rally on Monday celebrating his new ownership of the NBA team.
The former Microsoft CEO made his way through the crowd inside Staples Center to Eminem's "Lose Yourself," exchanging high-fives and chest-bumping as he took the stage in front of 4,500 fans.
Ballmer paid a record $2 billion for the team in a sale that was confirmed by a judge last week. The name of disgraced former owner Donald Sterling, who controlled the team for 33 years before being banned for life by the NBA for racist remarks, was never uttered during the event.
"We're looking forward," Ballmer proclaimed, having removed his blue Clippers hat. "Everything is about looking forward."
Ballmer's fervor was in stark contrast to Sterling, who never spoke to the media and was famously frugal when it came to spending on the team during decades of losing -- despite having amassed a fortune through real estate.
"Today is about this other guy who just happened to have two billion dollars in his pocket," coach Doc Rivers joked on stage. "I asked him are you sure it went through and he said, 'I know my bank account is minus two billion so I know something went through.' "
Ballmer gave out his email address during the televised rally and was quick to assure fans he won't move the team to Seattle, where he's lived for 34 years. He was nearly an NBA owner last year before league owners chose to keep the Kings in Sacramento, rather than allow them to be sold to a group that included Ballmer and moved to Seattle.
"I love Los Angeles," he said. "Yes, I live in Seattle. We're not moving the Clippers to Seattle for a hundred reasons."
Ballmer used a microphone, but his booming voice easily filled the arena without it. He prowled the stage and gestured to make his points in the enthusiastic style he was known for among Microsoft employees.
"We're going to be bold. Bold means taking chances," he said. "We're going to be optimistic. We're going to be hard-core. Nothing gets in our way, boom! The hard-core Clippers, that's us."
Do you know the last NBA champion that had its point guard lead the team in wins above replacement player (WARP)? It was the 1990 Detroit Pistons, led by Isiah Thomas. Perhaps it's no coincidence that teams like Phil Jackson's Bulls and Lakers, which decentralize the playmaking role, have dominated the annual title chase. Nevertheless, 20 of next season's top 50 players by projected WARP are point guards. Championship trends aside, it's a point guard's league.
Starting Monday with point guards, over the next week we'll rank players by position according to forecast WARP, which is perfect for this kind of exercise because it accounts for a player's efficiency, volume of production and team context. This also means that injury and age played a part in the rankings, so notable veteran point guards who suffered injuries last season, like Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Tony Parker, are absent from the top 10. (A complete explanation can be found at the bottom of this page; last year's point guard rankings can be found here.)
Here are the projected top 10 point guards for the 2014-15 NBA season, followed by the next five and an overview of why some notable PGs fell outside the top 10.
PG | SG | SF | PF | C
Projected 2014-15 WARP: 17.8 | Win%: 73 percent
Paul topped these rankings last season and, really, why would things have changed? His 14.2 WARP was held down by the 20 games he missed, but still ranked eighth in the league. Over the last three years, his 48.2 WARP ranks in the 99th percentile. Paul still hasn't enjoyed the magical kind of playoff run that would be the icing on the cake of a historically great career. He'll be 30 by the end of the coming season, but given Paul's floor-based skill set, there is no real need to start talking shrinking windows of opportunity. Paul does it all, he does it consistently and he does it on both ends of the floor.
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