The Los Angeles Clippers' top free agent target this offseason is Kevin Durant. That's the case for many teams this offseason, and the addition of Durant would immediately make Los Angeles one of the favorites for the 2017 NBA title. But how can the Clippers afford to sign Durant this offseason?
The Clippers currently don't have any cap space, once cap holds for free agents and restricted free agents are factored in. Including the cap holds for players like Jeff Green, the Clippers are actually roughly $22 million over salary cap for this season. The Clippers, of all the teams in the mix for Durant, are in the toughest position with their cap. Trading Blake Griffin would be the easiest route, but the Clippers aren't doing that. The Clippers will need to make a few moves to fit Durant's $25 million max deal in their salary cap. Remember, the Clippers can't go over the salary cap to add Durant.
Renounce The Cap Holds Of All Free Agents
The Clippers have Jeff Green, Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, Cole Aldrich, Jeff Ayres, Wesley Johnson, Luc Mbah a Moute and Pablo Prigioni as free agents this offseason. The Clippers would need to dump the cap hold for each player. Green and Crawford are the most expensive, at nearly $14 and $11 million respectively. Rivers isn't cheap either, at $4 million. They could also dump Branden Dawson's non-guaranteed $874,636 salary. In total, these moves save the Clippers roughly $34 million.
Trade J.J. Redick
Trading Redick gets his roughly $7 million cap hit off the books, although he'd need to go to a team that has the cap space to afford him. That, coupled with the previous moves, gives the Clippers about $42 million in cap space.
Convince Durant To Take Less Than The Max
If the Clippers aren't going to trade Griffin, they'll need to convince Durant to take about $20 million (or so) to be the final member of the Big Four. Paul Pierce could retire and free up another few million, but that's not a sure thing. For Durant to join the Clippers, he'll have to take less than the max.
This would totally gut the Clippers' roster and leave them in need of a new shooting guard. To fill out the rest of the roster, the Clippers would be left with the $2.9 million mid-level exception and the veteran minimum.Back to the Los Angeles Clippers Newsfeed