Los Angeles Clippers

And-Ones: Drummond, Farmar, Mekel

The Pistons could reap greater cap flexibility for next summer if they wait until then to sign Andre Drummond as a restricted free agent instead of giving him an extension this summer, but the team will leave that choice to the Jeff Schwartz client, writes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Drummond reportedly wants an extension, so it would seem it’s a strong bet he’ll end up with one before the October 31st rookie scale extension deadline. Here’s more from around the NBA and related circles:

  • Jordan Farmar has signed with Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv, the team announced (hat tip to David Pick of Eurobasket.com). Agent Tony Dutt searched for NBA deals for the point guard who spent part of last season with the Clippers, but found nothing, as Pick hears (Twitter link).
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv management pushed for the deal with Farmar, while the coaches were higher on former Mavs and Pelicans point guard Gal Mekel, according to Pick, who earlier reported that Mekel and the team had a verbal agreement on a three-year deal with NBA out clauses (Twitter links). However, fellow Israeli team Hapoel Jerusalem is still pursuing Mekel, who remains in talks with teams from the NBA and Europe, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss clarified in a radio appearance on KPCC-FM last week that this past year was the first on brother Jim Buss‘ three-year window to guide the team to at least the Western Conference Finals, as Baxter Holmes of ESPNLosAngeles.com details. Jim Buss would resign his job as executive VP of basketball operations if the Lakers aren’t back to that point by the end of the 2016/17 season, his sister said.
  • The Lakers, Heat, Knicks, Suns and Pelicans have expressed interest in Jordan Hamilton, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). The Timberwolves elected not to retain the right to match offers for him when they decided against making a qualifying offer.
  • Serge Ibaka failed to meet an incentive worth $100K this past season, so his cap hit for the Thunder for this coming season shrinks by that amount, to $12.25MM, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). That’s unlikely to matter for the Thunder, who are expected to be well above the cap and exceed the tax line. Ibaka’s salary for tax purposes will be determined based on the bonuses that he either triggers or doesn’t trigger this coming season, whereas last season’s figures only affect his cap number.
  • The Nuggets are hiring German national team coach Chris Fleming, former Magic assistant Wes Unseld Jr., and Kings assistants Ryan Bowen and Micah Nori as assistants to new head coach Michael Malone, reports Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post. They’ll join Bulls assistant Ed Pinckney, who’s also reportedly joining the Nuggets as an assistant.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Stoudemire, Hollins, Rivers

The agreement to trade for Roy Hibbert caps another dismal free agent season for the Lakers, according to Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times. L.A. passed on Jahlil Okafor in the draft  because team officials were confident they could land a big man through free agency, he writes. But LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe all chose to go elsewhere. Bresnahan notes that the pattern of free agents turning down the Lakers began with Dwight Howard two years ago and has included Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol.

There’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • Outside of money, the Lakers don’t have much to offer free agents, writes J.A. Adande of ESPN.com. That was evidenced by the team’s disastrous first presentation to Aldridge, which reportedly focused more on the off-court advantages of Los Angeles than on basketball matters, Adande claims. Teams need to have good players to attract great players, he states, and the Lakers are struggling to reach the first step.
  • Amar’e Stoudemire was expected to speak with Clippers President of Basketball Operations Doc Rivers Saturday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  The forward has interest in several teams, including the Clippers, Mavericks and Pacers, Wojnarowski adds. The Clippers have roughly $2.2MM in exception space left to sign a player beyond the league minimum.
  • The Clippers have had conversations about bringing Ryan Hollins back, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Hollins played for Doc Rivers when he coached in Boston as well as in his first season as the coach of the Clippers.
  • Austin Rivers will probably be a late signing for the Clippers, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Los Angeles has limited Bird Rights on the free agent guard and can offer up to $3,110,796MM per season, which Washburn speculates will be the best he receives in a shrinking market.
  • Justin Holiday is unlikely to return to the Warriors, Washburn writes in the same story. The free agent guard will probably leave the defending champs to seek more playing time.
  • In addition to the Kings‘ max offer, Tobias Harris also received interest from the Celtics, Pistons, Pelicans and Grizzlies, among others, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets. The Lakers and Knicks were not among the teams to reach out to Harris, Kennedy adds (Twitter link).

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Magic To Sign C.J. Watson

8:20pm: The final season is partially guaranteed for $1MM, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports.

8:57am: The Magic and Watson have reached an agreement on a three-year, $15MM deal, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (on Twitter).

Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

12:09am: The Magic are nearing an agreement with unrestricted free agent C.J. Watson, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). It’s unclear as to the length and amount of the arrangement the two sides are discussing, though the guard is intent on securing a deal for the mid-level exception, as J. Michael of CSNWashington.com relayed earlier this week. Watson would provide backcourt depth behind Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton.

Watson, 31, appeared in 57 contests for the Pacers during the 2014/15 season, averaging 10.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 24.9 minutes per night, and owned a slash line of .434/.400/.826. His career numbers are 7.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 2.5 APG, while shooting .425/.383/.806.

The Wizards, Clippers, and Mavericks were all reported to have interest in Watson. The point guard had expressed a desire to return to the Pacers back in April, saying, ”Hopefully I’ll be back here. I like it in Indy. I love the team and the atmosphere of the city. We’ll see what happens. It’s not really in my hands. So we’ll see.

Pacific Notes: McGee, Crawford, Hibbert, Cousins

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers plans to talk to free agent center JaVale McGee today, reports Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo Sports. L.A. is seeking a replacement for DeAndre Jordan, who announced Friday that he will sign a four-year deal with the Mavericks. The Clippers have approximately $2.2MM in exception space available over the league minimum salary of $1.4MM, according to Wojnarowski. McGee, 27, has been a free agent since being waived by the Sixers in March.

There’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers may try to trade Jamal Crawford in their quest for a new center, according to speculation from one executive who spoke with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Crawford will make $5.675MM next season.
  • It’s unlikely that the Clippers can swing a three-team deal to land Roy Hibbert, according to Broderick Turner and Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times. There have been discussions about a trade that would send a newly signed Jordan to Dallas, a newly signed Monta Ellis to the Pacers and Hibbert to Los Angeles. However, it seems unlikely that Dallas would agree to help a potential rival for a playoff spot.
  • The Lakers haven’t tried to reopen trade talks for Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, tweets Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. He notes that Sacramento isn’t interested in dealing Cousins, despite reported discussions between the teams last month.
  • The Kings‘ reported interest in Denver guard Ty Lawson was exaggerated, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). Trade rumors surrounding Lawson have intensified since the Nuggets drafted Emmanuel Mudiay. Free agent point guard Rajon Rondo announced Friday that he intends to sign with Sacramento.

Mavericks Rumors: Lin, Jordan, Cuban, Nowitzki

Free agent Jeremy Lin is considering the Mavericks despite the team’s limited remaining cap space, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. Although Lin could likely command a higher salary elsewhere, his desire to play for a contender and his friendship with Chandler Parsons from their days as teammates in Houston could be enough to bring him to Dallas. If the Mavericks get a commitment from Lin, Stein notes, they could waive Raymond Felton and stretch his contract to create a $2.6MM salary slot.

There’s more from Dallas on a holiday weekend:

  • The expected signings of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews confirm that Dallas is still a free agent destination, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Sefko contends the two additions make the Mavericks relevant again and hints that a “very functional” point guard may be joining the team soon, possibly referring to Lin.
  • Owner Mark Cuban described his new center as “Shaq-like” and said he plans to give Jordan a significant role in the team’s offense, according to Melissa Rohlin of The Los Angeles Times. Not being a regular part of the offense was reportedly one of the things that made Jordan want to leave the Clippers. “We see him as ‘Shaq-like’ but never having been given the opportunity,” Cuban said in a radio interview on “The Ticket.” “We told him if he came to the Mavs, he would be a focal point. He would grow into being a franchise player.” Jordan averaged a career-high 11.5 points per game last season and shot a league-best 71% from the floor, but complained that he was never given a large enough role in L.A.
  • Although Parsons served as lead recruiter, the relationship between Cuban and agent Dan Fegan was key to getting Jordan to Dallas, tweets Zach Lowe of Grantland.com.
  • Jordan was impressed that Dirk Nowitzki cut short a family vacation to represent the Mavericks in their meeting, tweets Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. No Clippers players attended their team’s meeting with Jordan.

Pacers, Mavs, Clippers Discuss Trade For Hibbert

The Pacers have contacted the Mavericks about a possible sign-and-trade deal involving center Roy Hibbert, Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter link). The proposed deal would also include the Clippers, Turner notes. In the proposed deal, Indiana would send Hibbert to Dallas in exchange for Monta Ellis, who would then ship Hibbert to the Clippers in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, Turner relays (on Twitter). A source within the Mavericks’ organization doubts that the team would agree to such a transaction, since Dallas has no desire to help the Clippers improve their roster, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com relays (via Twitter). Indiana is also exploring other trade options involving the center, MacMahon adds.

Hibbert, who is scheduled to earn $15.514MM next season after exercising his player option, is no longer in the Pacers’ long-term plans, as the team is looking to implement a faster style of play. Indiana had reportedly been aggressive in their attempts to trade Hibbert prior to the 2015 NBA draft. Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird and coach Frank Vogel signaled this spring that they wanted to move on from the 28-year-old.

The big man’s contract has a 15% trade kicker included, and even though the starting salary in his deal was for the max, the kicker still has value, as he’s since accrued seven years of service and is eligible for a max worth roughly 30% of the salary cap instead of just 25%, noted Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The kicker would add more than $2.327MM to his base salary, which the Pacers would be required to pay, though it would count toward his cap hit for whichever team were to take him on.

This potential three-way deal would benefit the Pacers the most financially, as the Mavs have already agreed to a deal with Jordan, and don’t need to free up cap space to accommodate his addition. The Pacers can likewise fit in Ellis’ new deal under their cap figure, but would certainly love to have Hibbert’s player-friendly deal off of its books for next season. As for the Clippers, in the wake of losing Jordan and the team not having sufficient cap space to sign an impact player, agreeing to the trade would allow the franchise to add a starting-caliber big man without requiring additional cap clearing moves. That last point is why the Mavs would be hesitant to agree to such a trade, and Indiana or Los Angeles would likely need to add further compensation for Dallas to consider such a trade, though that is merely my speculation.

Hibbert made 76 appearances for Indiana last season, all as a starter, and averaged 10.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 25.3 minutes per game. His shooting numbers were .446/.000/.824.

Western Notes: West, Matthews, Stoudemire

Serbian big man Miroslav Raduljica is garnering interest from NBA teams, with the Kings being one potential suitor, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando notes (via Twitter). The 27-year-old made a cameo appearance for the Wolves last season on a 10-day deal, averaging 1.6 points and 1.0 rebound in 4.6 minutes per contest over five games. Raduljica is also mulling overseas offers as well, Carchia notes.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Trail Blazers never made a contract offer to free agent Wesley Matthews, who agreed to a four-year pact with the Mavericks on Thursday, Jason Quick of The Oregonian tweets.
  • The Clippers attempted to sign center Kendrick Perkins after he was waived by the Jazz last season, but the big man joined the Cavaliers instead, Arash Markazi of ESPN.com relays (on Twitter). Los Angeles still has interest in the big man, which has likely increased in the wake of losing DeAndre Jordan to Dallas, Markazi adds.
  • There is mutual interest between unrestricted free agent Amar’e Stoudemire and the Clippers, Lakers, Mavericks, Spurs and Suns, Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report tweets.
  • With a void in their frontcourt with the loss of Jordan, the Clippers are showing interest in unrestricted free agent David West, Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com relays (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Seraphin, Stuckey, Antic

The Wizards expect Kevin Seraphin will test the free agent market, and they’ll attempt to find a sign-and-trade partner for the big man, reports J. Michael of CSNWashington.com (Twitter link). Such a sign-and-trade would be structured so that Washington could gain a trade exception, Michael adds (on Twitter).

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Hawks have rescinded their qualifying offer to Pero Antic, making him an unrestricted free agent, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The move was made to maximize the team’s available cap space, Pincus adds. Antic has already signed a two-year deal with Fenerbahce, a Turkish club.
  • Free agent point guard Rodney Stuckey is receiving interest from the Cavaliers, and while talks thus far have been exploratory, the interest is mutual, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group tweets.
  • The Hornets have expressed a willingness to work out a sign-and-trade involving Mo Williams, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports relays (on Twitter).
  • The Lakers have expressed interest in Jason Smith, league sources tell Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
  • The Grizzlies would be amenable to working out a sign-and-trade deal for center Kosta Koufos, Wojnarowski tweets. The Yahoo! scribe mentions the Clippers as a team who should consider trying to work out a deal with Memphis.
  • With the Magic missing out on free agent target Paul Millsap, who re-signed with the Hawks, the team may pass on adding another power forward this summer, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel writes. “We’ll continue to look at the free agents that are available,” Orlando GM Rob Hennigan said. “We’ll continue to look at trade opportunities. We still have quite a bit of cap space. Our tune has not changed. We’ll continue to look for opportunities. And if we feel like the opportunities make really good sense, then we’ll be as aggressive as anyone to try to complete a deal.”
  • When asked specifically about adding a power forward, Hennigan said, “I’m not sure. I think we have enough on the roster as is. It just goes back to those opportunities again. Like I said a few weeks ago, we have to be careful of spending just to spend,” Robbins relays.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

DeAndre Jordan To Sign With Mavs

3:33pm: The deal includes a player option after year three, tweets Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

3:20pm: The Clippers have been told of Jordan’s decision to sign with Dallas, too, reports Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (on Twitter).

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

2:55pm: DeAndre Jordan has told the Mavericks he’s signing with them, sources tell Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). The sought-after center plans to announce the news tonight, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, who adds that it’ll be a four-year, $80MM deal (Twitter links). Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link) reported minutes earlier that the Dan Fegan client was on the verge of accepting an offer from the Mavericks, pegging it at that same four-year, $80MM mark, which appears to represent the max. Dallas has been extremely optimistic, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com tweeted shortly after Stein’s report. It would be a profound disappointment for the Clippers and represent a miss for the Lakers, too. Jordan’s representatives have already told the Knicks they’re out of the running, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

The options for the Clippers are limited, since they couldn’t generate a trade exception for the full value of Jordan’s starting salary even if they could convince the Mavs to work a sign-and-trade, because he’s getting a raise of better than 20%, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). It’s a vestige of the base-year compensation rules that would cap the value of the exception at Jordan’s previous salary of slightly more than $11.44MM. That wouldn’t be enough for the Clippers to trade for David LeeRoy Hibbert or Nene without matching salaries. The Clippers don’t have enough cap flexibility to sign a comparable replacement.

MacMahon first reported Jordan’s extreme interest in signing with Dallas back in April. That was in spite of Jordan’s clear affection for Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers. Still, Jordan made it clear even in the spring that the Clippers weren’t necessarily the favorites as he approached unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career. Jordan was concerned about how the Clippers roster would age over time, and Blake Griffin‘s ability to reach free agency himself in two years, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reported overnight. The center also reportedly didn’t see eye-to-eye with Chris Paul, though there were conflicting reports on just how much of a factor that was. Jordan was also apparently tired of playing third wheel behind Griffin and Paul.

The Clippers nonetheless seemed to impress in their meeting with him Thursday, but so did the Mavs, and owner Mark Cuban and recruiter extraordinaire Chandler Parsons met with Jordan again this morning, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPN.com. Dallas, once the deal becomes official following the July Moratorium, will land the sort of star free agent target it’s missed out on ever since it won the title in 2011. The Mavs will take him into cap space, barring any sign-and-trade developments. Jordan’s deal, put together with the roughly $13MM that Wesley Matthews will reportedly see this coming season on his contract with Dallas, likely closes off the team’s cap flexibility, limiting it to the $2.814MM room exception for outside free agents who want more than the minimum.

DeAndre Jordan Rumors: Friday

DeAndre Jordan appears torn between the Clippers and Mavericks, though he’s ruled out neither the Lakers nor the Knicks, as the last reports from Thursday indicated. We’ll round up today’s latest here, with any new information added to the top throughout the day:

  • Jordan’s representatives have told the Knicks he won’t sign with them, Wojnarowski reports (on Twitter), so Lopez looks like he’ll end up in New York.

1:11pm update:

  • Jordan has narrowed his list to just the Clippers and Mavs, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski, who writes in a story on New York’s tentative deal with Robin Lopez. That Lopez deal still seems tied to Jordan’s decision, however. So, it would appear that the Knicks haven’t abandoned hope, remote as their chances might be. The Clippers are confident, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders hears (Twitter links).

11:11am update:

8:16am update:

  • The Dan Fegan client has concerns about the Clippers‘ roster and doesn’t know that it’ll age well, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link). He’s worried about what will happen when Blake Griffin can opt out of his contract in two years, Shelburne adds.
  • Jordan entered free agency giving the Clippers a slight edge, a league source Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Other reports indicate that it’s a 50-50 proposition now, and Dan Woike of The Orange County Register has heard that it’s been that way for a while (Twitter link).
  • Those around Jordan have downplayed tension between him and Chris Paul, Medina writes in the same piece.