Los Angeles Clippers

Latest On Kevin Durant

THURSDAY, 7:10am: Stein fills in the rest Durant’s schedule, tweeting that he’ll meet with the Clippers on Friday and the Celtics on Saturday. So KD’s full lineup of meetings will look like this:

  • June 30th: Thunder
  • July 1st: Warriors and Clippers
  • July 2nd: Spurs and Celtics
  • July 3rd: Heat

WEDNESDAY, 11:17am: Durant’s meeting with the Heat will occur on Sunday, according to an ESPN.com report from Broussard and Stein.

11:00am: Kevin Durant‘s schedule for the next several days is beginning to take shape, with a handful of reporters filling in the details on the star forward’s free agent tour. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard (via Twitter), Durant will have his first meeting with his current team, sitting down with the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Thursday.

Once free agency officially begins on Friday, Durant will head to the Hamptons in New York for the rest of his meetings, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Durant will meet with the Warriors on Friday afternoon in the Hamptons. Meanwhile, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that the Spurs’ pitch to the former MVP is scheduled for Saturday.

In addition to meeting with the Thunder, Warriors, and Spurs, Durant also has sit-downs lined up with the Heat, Celtics, and Clippers, and those meetings will take place over the first few days of July, says Broussard (via Twitter). The ESPN reporter adds (via Twitter) that the Knicks are still receiving consideration for a meeting, while the Lakers won’t get one. There’s no mention of the Hawks, who are also trying to “wedge their way” into the Durant sweepstakes, but it doesn’t look like Atlanta will get an audience with KD.

Durant has said that his top priority for his next destination is competing for a championship, and being able to do so immediately. Wojnarowski recently reported that the 27-year-old has plans to go on a publicity tour starting on July 9th, so he’ll likely make a decision before that date.

While a two-year contract with an opt-out after the first year makes the most financial sense for Durant, who could land a much larger max contract in 2017, there have been increased rumblings that he’s not eager to go through the free agent process again in a year, so it’s possible he’ll sign a long-term contract with the team he chooses.

Latest Free Agency News

  • Unrestricted free agent Jamal Crawford has meetings set with the Clippers, Knicks, Magic, Mavericks and Heat for when the free agent signing period kicks off, Brad Turner of The Los Angels Times reports (via Twitter).
  • The Clippers are interested in re-signing unrestricted free agent center Cole Aldrich, but will face competition from the Suns and Magic for the big man’s services, Turner tweets.

Clippers Promote Lawrence Frank

The Clippers and assistant coach Lawrence Frank have reached an agreement that will see him promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations, reporting directly to team president and coach Doc Rivers, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. Frank will be tasked with reorganizing the franchise’s front office, including building out the infrastructure of its scouting, sports science and long-term strategic planning, Wojnarowski notes.

Austin Rivers Seeking $8MM Annually?

  • Austin Rivers intends to speak to the Clippers and a few other teams when free agency opens late on Thursday night, says Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). According to Turner, Rivers may be seeking an annual salary in the neighborhood of $8MM on his next deal.

Paul Pierce Still Undecided About Future

  • Veteran Clippers forward Paul Pierce remains undecided about continuing his playing career next season or retiring, but is expected to make his decision over the next couple of weeks, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times relays (via Twitter). Pierce has two seasons remaining on his current contract and is slated to earn $3,527,920 for his work in 2016/17 if he chooses to suit up for an 18th campaign.

Clippers To Meet With Jamal Crawford

  • Another free agent guard, Jamal Crawford, is anxious, but excited, for free agency to begin, as Dan Woike of The Orange County Register details. Woike reports that Crawford has a meeting scheduled with the Clippers, but is also expected to receive interest from the Knicks and Nets, among other teams. The Heat, Raptors, Mavericks, and Magic may also have interest in Crawford, per Woike.

Six Teams Solidify Meetings With Kevin Durant

8:08pm: Durant will not meet with his hometown Wizards, J. Michael of CSNMidatlantic.com reports. The Wizards have already moved on with their free agency plans, as league sources told Michael that the idea of returning home “doesn’t resonate” with Durant.

MONDAY, 12:41pm: Durant and his representatives have now scheduled meetings with the Celtics, Clippers, and Heat, bringing the total number of meetings on tap for KD to six, reports ESPN’s Chris Broussard. A meeting with the Knicks also remains in play, but hasn’t yet been confirmed.

FRIDAY, 10:44pm: The Warriors, Spurs and Thunder will be the first three teams to land face-to-face recruiting meetings with Kevin Durant, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Stein adds that the meetings will take place next week and more teams are expected to be granted an opportunity to make a pitch. Durant’s representatives are working to solidify meetings with the Celtics, Clippers and Heat in addition to the aforementioned teams, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports.

Both the Warriors and Spurs are planning on having key members of their respective organizations in attendance, Stein adds. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will be among the attendees for Golden State’s pitch, while San Antonio will have Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan among the attendees at its meeting. Sources tell Stein that the Warriors believe their chances of landing Durant have increased as a result of losing to the Cavs in the NBA Finals. Earlier this week, a source suggested to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News that the Warriors appear to be the biggest threat to land the 2013/14 MVP should he leave Oklahoma City.

Durant is expected to have his agent Rich Kleiman and a few family members and friends alongside him during the initial meetings. The meetings are expected to take place in New York, according to Wojnarowski, although teams are still awaiting official word. It was reported last week that the meetings would take place in Los Angeles, where Durant owns a home.

The Knicks and Lakers remain hopeful about getting a meeting, Stein adds. Despite no definite report of a future meeting with Durant, Ian Begley of ESPN.com tweets that the Knicks are expected to get one.

The Rockets are not expected to get serious consideration, as was previously reported, and Stein adds that the Wizards are not optimistic about their chances of landing Durant.

Durant’s top priority for a destination remains competing for a championship and doing it immediately. A source tells Wojnarowski that Durant has plans to go on a publicity tour starting on July 9, and he expects to make a decision before that date.

Clippers Have Interest In DeMar DeRozan

As for DeRozan, he reportedly has no plans to meet with any teams besides the Raptors, and Amick suggests the All-Star guard may even be willing to accept a little less than the max from Toronto if it helps the team accommodate a new deal for Biyombo. If DeRozan does explore the market though, he’ll have no shortage of suitors. Amick lists the Clippers, Warriors, Heat, Knicks, and Magic as clubs with interest in DeRozan.

Latest On Durant

The Lakers and Wizards are not expected to be granted a meeting with Kevin Durant once free agency begins, reports Sam Amick of USA Today. Amick adds that New York is back on Durant’s radar as a result of the Derrick Rose trade. The Knicks are expected to sit down with the 2013/14 MVP, as are the Spurs, Warriors, Celtics, Heat, and Clippers in addition to the Thunder.

Pacific Notes: Rondo, Kupchak, Bender, Clippers

The Kings‘ decision to take big men in the first round of the draft may force them to make an aggressive offer to free agent point guard Rajon Rondo, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento traded down with its first pick and took center Georgios Papagiannis at No. 13, then later added forward Malachi Richardson at No. 22 and forward/center Skal Labissiere at No. 28. The selections leave the Kings with holes on the roster, Jones notes, and could make them desperate to keep Rondo, who led the NBA in assists this season.

There’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • Kings GM/executive Vlade Divac said his team is “set” in the front court after draft night, Jones tweets. Divac adds that he is open to re-signing Rondo.
  • Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak hopes to surround all his young talent with some veteran leaders, posts Baxter Holmes on ESPN Now. L.A. selected Brandon Ingram on Thursday to team with D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson, if he re-signs with the team. “History tells you that a bunch of young guys on the team is probably not a good thing,” Kupchak said. “They look around for leadership or they look around for advice from somebody who’s been through this a couple times, and if there’s nobody to talk to, well, you don’t know how to handle the situation. So I think we will look to add some veteran leadership and hopefully it’s not only leadership but guys who can help us win games.”
  • The Suns feared Dragan Bender wouldn’t be available later if they didn’t take him at No. 4, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix. The Suns thought Denver would take Bender at No. 7, which is why they nabbed him with the fourth pick and waited until No 8 to take Marquese Chriss.
  • Even though they have limited cap room, the Clippers will make an effort to re-sign all their free agents, coach Doc Rivers told Rowan Kavner of NBA.com“To a man, they all want to come back,” Rivers said. “Then there’s business. We’ll see once July 1st comes. It’s going to be interesting the way the cap’s going up. We have three Bird [Rights] guys we have a chance of signing [Jeff Green, Jamal Crawford and Luc Mbah a Moute], but they all may be — not all of them — but they may outprice and we can’t sign all three. But we’re going to try.

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