The violation of NBA rules against third-party endorsement offers in a pitch the Clippers made to DeAndre Jordan this summer was unintentional, owner Steve Ballmer wrote in an internal memo he sent to members of the Clippers organization that Dan Woike of the Orange County Register obtained. The league fined the Clippers $250K, reportedly for offering Jordan a endorsement deal with Lexus that would pay the center $200K annually.
“As I shared with everyone on day one of purchasing the Team, being part of the Clippers family means operating with the highest integrity,” Ballmer wrote in part. “We believed we were doing this the right way, and any circumvention was inadvertent. In our effort to support our players in every way possible, we as an organization must be diligent in complying with the CBA.”
See more from around the Pacific Division:
- Metta World Peace told TMZ Sports that he’s unaware if the Lakers are thinking about signing him, as reports indicate. The 15-year NBA veteran who turns 36 in November nonetheless expressed interest in joining the team.
- The four-year, $52MM extension deal Michael Kidd-Gilchrist reportedly has with the Hornets will affect extension negotiations between the Warriors and Harrison Barnes, opines Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. Kidd-Gilchrist has a decent chance to prove more valuable than Barnes in the long run, but the playoff success and durability of Barnes leads Kawakami to second the belief of TNT’s David Aldridge that Barnes and agent Jeff Wechsler will target salaries of at least $15MM (Twitter link). Kawakami suggests $14MM a year as a settling point but believes the threat of a $17-18MM offer sheet from another team looms if the Warriors let him enter restricted free agency next summer.
- Kawakami suggests in the same piece that market price for Festus Ezeli would be between $9-11MM. GM Bob Myers recently told Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com that the Warriors would consider the idea of an extension for the backup center, and the team would indeed sign Ezeli to an extension if he’s willing to do so at an agreeable price, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported this week.