With one of the most appealing situations in the league this offseason, here are five free agent targets for the Los Angeles Clippers.
After trading their three best players (Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin) either before or during the 2017-18 season, the Los Angeles Clippers seemed headed toward a significant reset bordering on a rebuild. But they overachieved this past season, winning 48 games and taking the Golden State Warriors to six games in a first-round playoff series.
The Clippers have one of the best coaches in the NBA in Doc Rivers, an owner who is enthusiastic and seemingly willing to spend to whatever extent is necessary in Steve Ballmer and north of $56 million in projected cap space this offseason. As noted by Hoops Rumors there’s a path to having $78.2 million in cap space, primarily by trading Danilo Gallinari and not taking back any substantial guaranteed salary. That would be more than enough to sign two max salary free agents.
Add in the dysfunction of the Lakers, and any free agent who’s broadly considering Los Angeles seems likely to strongly consider the Clippers.
Rumors are attaching them to virtually all the big names that will be out there on some level, but here are five 2019 free agent targets for the Clippers.
5. Kevin Durant
Durant leaving Golden State feels like a foregone conclusion, even as a fairly significant “if” in some ways, with multiple indications the New York Knicks are his preferred destination. But Marc Stein of the New York Times placed the Clippers as an “equally dangerous threat” to the Knicks in luring Durant away from the Warriors.
Durant probably doesn’t know what he wants to do right now, as he works his way back from injury in the NBA Finals. He could consider the Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers or almost anyone else with the cap space or the willingness to sign him, and the Clippers will be somewhere in that mix.