Clippers’ return to health with Gallinari, Teodosic could put end to DeAndre Jordan trade chatter – Orange County Register

PLAYA VISTA — Contrary to popular opinion, the Clippers’ season is not over.

They have 60 games to play and there’s every reason to believe they will begin looking more like themselves sooner rather than later, with Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic expected back in the lineup within hours if not days.

Gallinari could play Wednesday for the first time in 14 games, after suffering a strained left glute Nov. 5. If he can’t play against the Minnesota Timberwolves, then it’s anticipated that he’ll be sound enough to return Saturday against the Washington Wizards.

Teodosic is likely to be right behind Gallinari as he attempts a return from a plantar fascia injury to his left foot suffered in the first half of the second game of the season Oct. 21. Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday he expected Teodosic to sit out for only two or three more games.

All of which could slow down a rumor mill that began spinning out of control after Patrick Beverley underwent season-ending knee surgery two weeks ago, Blake Griffin suffered a sprained knee last week that could keep him off the court for up to two months and the Clippers fell to 8-14.

Or not.

DeAndre Jordan’s reported decision to hire a new agent this week increased speculation that the Clippers would trade the veteran center in an attempt to hit the reset button on a season that’s spiraled out of control. Teams have asked the Clippers about a possible deal, according to ESPN.

Lawrence Frank, the Clippers’ team president, spoke to Jordan about a contract extension last summer and the sides agreed to continue talks after they could not complete a new deal. There did not seem to be any sense of urgency to the negotiations as the 2017-18 got underway.

Jordan can opt out of the final season of his contract at season’s end.

Meanwhile, Jordan has stepped up his game with four of the Clippers’ opening-night starters sidelined for extended periods by injuries. Rivers and the coaching and management staffs have no complaints about the play of Jordan, who is averaging 10.5 points and 13.9 rebounds.

Rivers said he doesn’t wish to overburden Jordan with demands for more offense and improved defense and rebounding with the Clippers shorthanded. Rivers doesn’t want Jordan to become frustrated when things go haywire, as they have at points during their three-game losing streak.

“I don’t want to ask him to do more,” Rivers said. “D.J. has a lot on his plate right now.”


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