While the Lakers up the Staples Center hallway busied themselves restocking their roster on Tuesday, the second day of NBA free agency, all remained quiet on the Clippers’ front after Nicolas Batum agreed Monday to re-sign with the team on a two-year deal.
There was one report Tuesday that L.A. native DeMar DeRozan planned to meet with the Clippers, via Yahoo’s Chris Haynes. But that quickly was made null by the news about an hour later that DeRozan agreed to a sign-and-trade that will move him from San Antonio to Chicago, where he’ll reunite with former USC teammate Nikola Vucevic on a three-year, $85 million deal that was well more than the Clippers could have offered.
Otherwise, by the evening, there were no other public developments regarding the Clippers’ efforts to either sign new players or to re-sign their own free agents, including five-time All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard or veteran guard Reggie Jackson.
The maximum deal the Clippers can offer Leonard this offseason is for four years and $176 million. More likely, the Moreno Valley native would be inclined to agree to a two-year contract with a second-year player option – which would allow him to opt out after next season and then sign a five-year deal worth about $235 million.
Leonard, 30, is going to be sidelined indefinitely while he recovers from July 13 surgery to repair a torn right anterior cruciate ligament that he suffered on June 14, in Game 5 of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
The Clippers can sign Jackson – who has early Bird rights – for a maximum of four years, $47 million. Jackson, 31, helped the Clippers reach the Western Conference finals for the first time last season by elevating his game in the postseason, when he averaged 17.8 points and 3.4 assists and shot 48.4% from the field and 40.8% from 3-point range.
Lawrence Frank, the team’s president of basketball operations, made it clear last week that re-signing both players is a priority. The team’s other free agents are DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Amir Coffey.
The Clippers also have a taxpayer mid-level exception worth about $5.9 million to help them woo other free agents who are still available as the free agency frenzy begins, maybe, to fizzle.
Yahoo Sources: Free agent star DeMar DeRozan plans to meet with the Los Angeles Clippers today. https://t.co/S2UkvpUjiK
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 3, 2021
The Bulls are finalizing a sign-and-trade deal to acquire the Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2021
Only pic I could find . But 12 years later on same team again! Welcome to the squad brother!!! @DeMar_DeRozan Let’s do this!!!! @chicagobulls pic.twitter.com/1QtAkBcNwr
— Nikola Vucevic (@NikolaVucevic) August 3, 2021
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