4:22pm: Garnett has not ruled out accepting a trade to Los Angeles, a source tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. The Clippers, who began their efforts to land Garnett with the Bledsoe-Butler package more than two weeks ago, have always been willing to increase their price, Deveney writes.
3:42pm: Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe hears the teams have not discussed Garnett, and that the Clippers don't want to approach the luxury tax line (Twitter link). The Clippers are about $1MM shy of the $70.307MM tax threshold, but acquiring Garnett for Jordan and Bledsoe would save the team money. The other version of the deal, sending out Green, Turiaf and Butler, would likely make the Clippers a taxpayer.
2:51pm: Though Garnett has said he won't waive his no-trade clause under any circumstances, the Clippers are confident they can persuade him to come to L.A. if the Celtics tell him it's a deal they want to make, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
SATURDAY, 10:45am: Sean Deveney of the Sporting News tweets that the Clippers' primary incentive to do the trade is Del Negro's belief that Jordan isn't a championship-caliber center. He writes that the team discussed the possibility of trading for Anderson Varejao before the Cavs' big man's season-ending injury.
FRIDAY, 12:53am: Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro would be willing to do the deal, but the team's front office is "totally against the move," according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. Clippers executives would prefer to send out Willie Green, Ronny Turiaf and Caron Butler for Garnett (Twitter links).
12:11am: The Celtics and Clippers have been in consistent contact about a trade that would send Kevin Garnett to L.A. for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan, report Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Factions within both teams are debating whether the deal would be the best course of action. This appears to be the latest incarnation of a proposal that would have sent Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Boston for Garnett.
After that rumor surfaced a couple of weeks ago, we heard that Garnett would not waive his no-trade clause unless he was dealt to L.A., which is close to his home in Malibu, Calif., and also unless the Celtics also traded Paul Pierce. While no Pierce trade appears imminent, sources tell Wojnarowski and Spears that Garnett's close relationship with Clippers guard Chauncey Billups could help coax him into accepting the swap.
The Clippers have been reluctant to deal Bledsoe without knowing what Chris Paul will do in free agency this summer, but the team's front office is becoming increasingly confident Paul will re-sign, according to the Yahoo! report. Many within the organization believe Garnett would strengthen the team's title hopes, which explains the team's pursuit. It appears that the Clippers initiated talks of the earlier Garnett-Bledsoe-Butler proposal.
Wojnarowski and Spears point out that acquiring Bledsoe would allow the Celtics to deal away Rajon Rondo without getting a point guard in return, and earlier tonight a report surfaced about a potential Rondo/Dwight Howard swap. As I wrote then, it appears Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is aggressively pursuing his options as Thursday's trade deadline nears. Ainge has reportedly been looking for something to get "really, really excited about" in any deal for Garnett, and it's unclear whether Bledsoe and Jordan would be enough to satisfy that requirement.
From a salary perspective, the deal works out well for the Celtics. It would only add $674,432K to the team's salary, leaving about $2MM under Boston's $74.307MM hard cap, plenty of room to pursue another player to fill out the team's injury-depleted roster. Jordan's four-year, $43MM contract includes a 15% trade kicker, but because it was signed after the league's current CBA went into effect, the Clippers would have to absorb the extra money if they trade their center, and not the team that acquires him.
The latest news and notes from Los Angeles on Sunday evening:
Earlier today, Earl Bloom of the Orange County Register touched on several aspects of the Clippers' offseason. While their summer has certainly been dwarfed by that of their Staples Center co-tenants, the Lakers, who added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, the Clips have certainly made some significant moves. Which of the Clippers' new acquisitions do you think will have the biggest impact? Vote in the poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.
5:30pm: The Clippers have officially signed Turiaf, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine.
THURSDAY, 12:22am: The Clippers have reached a contract agreement with Ronny Turiaf for the coming season, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Turiaf's deal with the Clips will be for one year, and will pay him the veteran's minimum -- for a player with Turiaf's seven years of experience, the minimum salary is $1,146,337.
After winning a ring with the Heat, Turiaf decided to opt out of the second year of his contract. While his performance with Miami wasn't exceptional, the second-year player option had been included in his deal as an "insurance policy." Presumably, the belief was that the big man could earn a larger or longer guarantee on the open market, though it seems that wasn't the case.
As Hoops Rumors' Free Agent Tracker shows, Turiaf is the fifth free agent to sign with the Clippers this summer. In addition to fellow big man Ryan Hollins, Turiaf joins Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, and Chauncey Billups as the club's offseason free agent additions. Los Angeles also acquired Lamar Odom from the Mavericks in a June trade.
While it's always a little dangerous to read too much into Summer League results, it's still worth looking back at the month's top performers in Orlando and Las Vegas. A pair of SBNation.com scribes have done just that, with Mike Prada ranking the drafted rookies, from Damian Lillard to Fab Melo, while Scott Schroeder lists a few of the top "veterans," including Josh Selby, Tobias Harris, and Markieff Morris.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the Association:
Greg Stiemsma and agent Mike Naiditch have been patiently awaiting an offer from the Timberwolves while the team deals with other priorities, but that's about to change, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Naiditch said Stiemsma's willing to give the Wolves a discount, but suggested that won't be the case unless an offer is made today (Twitter link).
Stiemsma would like to play near his native Wisconsin, as Zgoda notes, and with the Bucks never a serious contender for him, Minnesota represents his closest option (Twitter link). Last night Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com reported that an unidentified team has made a significant offer, noting that it's not the Wolves. It's not the Celtics, either, since they're limited to offering the biannual exception of $1.957MM and appear likely to withdraw their qualifying offer, making Stiemsma an unrestricted free agent.
Stiemsma seems likely to sign for more than $2MM per year, and could fit into a team's $3MM mini mid-level exception or the $2.5MM room exception. A team with cap room could sign him, too, of course. He could wind up with the Cavs, who might be after frontcourt help following the loss of free agent Antawn Jamison and their unsuccessful amnesty waiver claim of Luis Scola, but that's just my speculation. If the Wolves don't sign him, Zgoda suggests Ronny Turiaf might be next in line for the team (Twitter link).
It's been another busy day of NBA free agency, and no team has been busier than the Nets, who've either signed, re-signed, acquired or traded 13 players today, according to the count of New York Times reporter Howard Beck (Twitter link). Many of those moves came as the team finalized earlier deals, like the swap for Joe Johnson, but some of the news was fresh, like the four-year extension for Brook Lopez. It doesn't appear GM Billy King and company are finished, either, as they're reportedly discussing a sign-and-trade deal for Antawn Jamison. We have plenty more on the moves to come here:
Ronny Turiaf will not exercise his option to remain with the Heat, choosing instead to become an unrestricted free agent, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Had Turiaf picked up his option, he would have been under contract for another year at $1.2MM.
Turiaf was traded from the Wizards to the Nuggets at the deadline for salary-matching purposes in the JaVale McGee/Nene deal. After Denver released him, the 29-year-old signed with Miami for the team's playoff run, inking a contract that included a player option as an "insurance policy." While Turiaf wasn't overly productive in the regular season or playoffs with Miami, he at least showed he was healthy, which should earn him more than a $1.2MM guarantee on the open market.
The draft is today's primary focus, but once the 60th pick has been made, all eyes will turn to free agency, which begins Sunday. So, there will be plenty of news on that front as well. Zach Lowe of SI.com ranks the top 10 free agent point guards, and Deron Williams, No. 1 on that list, let it be known via Twitter that he played golf today with Jason Kidd, No. 8 in Lowe's ranking. Whether that means the two will be signing together with the Nets, the Mavs, or they won't be signing at all is open to interpretation, of course. Here's more from around the league:
Chuck Myron also contributed to this post.