2:53pm: The deal is official, the team announced.
11:58am: The Clippers and free agent big man Ekpe Udoh have reached agreement on a one-year deal, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). It’ll be fully guaranteed for the minimum salary, a source tells Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The four-year veteran’s $981,084 pay will count for the $915,243 two-year veteran’s minimum on the team’s books since the contract will only cover one season, and the league will pick up the rest.
Udoh met with the Clippers last week, as USA Today’s Sam Amick reported. His visit took place the same day the team sent Jared Dudley to Milwaukee for Miroslav Raduljica and Carlos Delfino, whose salaries could be more easily waived and stretched to create room under the hard cap for Udoh and others. The release of Dudley and Raduljica on Friday left the Clippers will 11 players, and Monday they added DeAndre Liggins on what’s presumably a non-guaranteed camp deal. The Clips are also apparently close to deals with Chris Douglas-Roberts and Hedo Turkoglu, and they have just enough cap flexibility and room on the roster to sign them both to guaranteed deals for the minimum. The club also seems to have interest in Ray Allen, but signing him would probably necessitate waiving Liggins, the only Clipper without a fully guaranteed deal, before opening night.
The Clippers appear to be circling back to Udoh after he was reportedly close to a deal with the team in July before Glen Davis re-signed. The Heat were also considering Udoh, a Chris Luchey client, but the Bucks seemed to have little interest in keeping him, declining to make a qualifying offer in June and renouncing his rights the next month. He was in and out of the lineup last season, averaging 19.1 minutes per game despite starting 14 contests. The 6’10” Udoh put up 3.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per appearance.