Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
The Los Angeles Clippers are focused on their postseason series with the Golden State Warriors, but they are rapidly becoming one of the most intriguing potential destinations for free agents this summer.
“L.A. is a desired place of living—guys like to be there during the offseason. And they have stuff that sets them apart from like the Lakers: continuity, cohesiveness. They have an owner who will do whatever it takes that’s possible.
“They have a nice blend of young talent with guys who are role players and excelling and thriving in their roles. If you’re a star and you come in, they already have guys who know their roles. In other situations, you try to bring in role players and have to deal with role allocation and adjustments. I think any star would be a seamless fit with the Clippers.”
Buha’s story is framed around Kevin Durant as an object of desire for the Clippers—who project to have more than $50 million in cap space—if he opts out of his deal with the Warriors.
The New York Knicks have been the most frequently mentioned landing spot for Durant should he leave Golden State. The Athletic’s Frank Isola noted NBA executives and agents are so confident Durant and Kyrie Irving will end up with the Knicks that both players “are debating on who will sign” first to look like the leader.
The Clippers’ success in 2018-19 seems to have raised their profile a great deal. They went 48-34 during the regular season with a core of talent that includes four players aged 25 or under (Montrezl Harrell, Landry Shamet, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Ivica Zubac).
There’s also a strong foundation in place. Doc Rivers is in his sixth season as head coach. Owner Steve Ballmer has made bold moves, including trading Blake Griffin six months after giving him a five-year extension, to give the team financial flexibility without going into full tank mode.
The Lakers lost Magic Johnson as team president when he abruptly resigned before the season finale April 9. They then parted ways with head coach Luke Walton, who went 98-148 in three seasons.