8:57pm: The team is discussing a run at LeBron but won’t trade Griffin for him, tweeted Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com earlier tonight. Shelburne points to the many times that Rivers has assured the Clippers big man that he’s “untouchable.”
5:07pm Clippers president of basketball operations Doc Rivers would be open to dealing Blake Griffin in a sign-and-trade package to land LeBron James, several NBA officials told Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Griffin is slated to earn $17.6MM in 2014/15; according to Turner, Jared Dudley or Matt Barnes could be included along with Griffin in a deal, presumably to give LeBron a contract starting at above $20MM annually. Dudley and Barnes are on the books for $4.25MM and roughly $3.39MM respectively next season. The team wouldn’t mind including DeAndre Jordan or Jamal Crawford as an additional piece, but also understands that it would be difficult to do so.
Turner includes that the Clippers also haven’t ruled out making a run at Carmelo Anthony this summer, but didn’t specify if Los Angeles would be open to offering the same package to New York. According to one NBA official, Steve Ballmer – whose $2 billion offer to buy the Clippers is not official yet – would agree to paying the luxury tax if the team were to land James or Anthony.