A day after receiving news of Kawhi Leonard’s meniscus injury, we now have a press conference from Lawrence Frank, the head of basketball operations for the Clippers, to review. Below are some key takeaways from Lawrence Frank’s press conference.

Ty Lue Affirmed

There’s no way Ty Lue was going to get fired at this press conference. Still, it’s notable that both Frank and Lue said that Ty would be back next year. That could absolutely still change, but my confidence in Lue returning went from a 40% to a 60% over the past couple days.

Kawhi Injury Clarity

We learned a couple things. First, the Clippers knew about Kawhi’s meniscus tear after Game 2 – which means they purposely mislead the public and more or less lied in their initial response to it by calling him “day to day”. Sure, all of the subtext and doom and gloom in the press conferences at the time indicated something worse than just a minor knee injury or sprain, but still. The Clippers don’t have to be 100% honest in their public communications, but trying to do gamesmanship in keeping a Kawhi return open was silly, in my opinion. Just be honest.

Second, the Clippers are very confident that Kawhi will be ready to start next season. They don’t know whether he will need surgery or just rehab, but the Clippers think he’ll be available all of the 2024 season. That’s great news, though again, things can change.

Russell Westbrook Praise

One area where Ty and Frank seem completely in alignment is on Russell Westbrook, who they sang the praises of, almost more for attitude and leadership than on court play. I don’t want to say too much about Russ, who is a complicated figure, but I will say some of the comments worry me a bit.

Some Confusion

There were a few points that came up that I was puzzled or irritated by. First up, a bit about Marcus, Nico, and RoCo, which is just wrong – Ty Lue absolutely could have played all of them, both in the regular season to balance minutes loads, and in the playoffs. Also, Ty played the worst of them the most minutes, and while that’s not something that needs to be discussed in this setting, it was an issue.

Second, Lawrence talked about Terance, saying that Ty did a good job with him this year. Nearly all fans would disagree. Terance tweeted “LMAO” about 30 minutes after this, and while he backtracked by saying he was tweeting about soccer, the coincidence in timing from someone who does not tweet much is suspect. We will never know, and I try not to traffic in this kind of stuff, but I would guess Mann was legit tweeting about Lawrence Frank’s press conference. Regardless, Ty’s misuse of Terance this year was awful.

Third, Lawrence somewhat contradicted himself, saying that he liked the roster and wanted to build around size (kind of), skill (kind of), high IQ (no), and toughness (yes), but then hinted that the Clippers had too much depth. Does he like the Clippers roster or not? Well, that’s the big question.

Overall Thoughts

I wasn’t expecting any breaking news, or for Lawrence Frank’s press conference to trash any current players or coaches, but the overall vibe was not great to me. The main theme seemed to be “running it back”, which, well, I don’t think is the right move. Staying with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard makes sense, but the roster needs adjusting, and wanting to bring back Mason Plumlee, Russell Westbrook, and Eric Gordon, all in their mid-30s, is kind of ridiculous. Lots can change between now and free agency, with the rest of the playoffs, lottery, and draft all being huge factors. But the Clippers seem happy-ish with their roster, and I disagree with them.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments