Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank had dinner on Tuesday night in Los Angeles with free agent center Kyle O’Quinn, a source tells Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). While the two sides haven’t agreed to a deal at this point, they’ll continue to talk, Turner adds.
O’Quinn, 28, is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-best 7.1 PPG and 6.1 RPG in 77 games for the Knicks. The big man turned down a $4.26MM player option for 2018/19, preferring to test the open market rather than locking in another season in New York.
O’Quinn is an interesting target for the Clippers, who already have a pair of veteran centers – Marcin Gortat and Boban Marjanovic – on their roster, with youngster Montrezl Harrell still in the mix as a restricted free agent.
Gortat and Marjanovic are entering the final year of their respective contracts, so the Clips could view O’Quinn and/or Harrell as longer-term options at center, though the club will likely be reluctant to compromise its 2019 cap flexibility much for either player. Currently, L.A. doesn’t project to have more than about $40MM in guaranteed money on its books next summer, making the team a potential player for a max free agent or two.
Philadelphia and New Orleans have been mentioned as potential suitors for O’Quinn as well, though the Pelicans’ interest was reported before they reached a deal with Julius Randle, so it’s not clear if they’re still eyeing the former Knick. The Sixers have no cap room remaining for now, but could make a play for O’Quinn with their $4.45MM room exception.