The Clippers are still waiting for DeAndre Jordan to decide if he will return next season, but they lost one potential replacement Wednesday when Tyson Chandler reportedly agreed to sign a four-year, $50-million-plus contract with the Phoenix Suns.
The Clippers were expected to engage the Dallas Mavericks in discussions about a sign-and-trade swap of centers involving Chandler had Jordan decided to sign with the Mavericks. Now that possibility has been eliminated with Chandler going to the Suns.
Jordan met with a contingent of team officials and players from the Mavericks on Wednesday and was scheduled to meet with the Lakers later in the day. He will meet with the New York Knicks and the Clippers on Thursday and is expected to make his decision shortly thereafter.
Players cannot officially sign contracts with teams until the league-mandated moratorium period ends July 9.
Another Clippers free agent target fell off their list Wednesday when small forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. agreed to re-sign with the Chicago Bulls for three years and $14.4 million.
But Clippers executives were not twiddling their thumbs while waiting for Jordan’s decision. They reached out to representatives for forwards Wes Johnson, Brandan Wright and Caron Butler, swingman Gerald Green and guard Willie Green. They are also believed to have interest in former Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin.
The Clippers also expressed interest in Corey Brewer, but a source close to the veteran forward said the team’s primary financial tool in free agency barring Jordan signing elsewhere—the mini-midlevel exception of up to $3.37 million per year for as many as three years—would not be enough to entice him.
Free agent guard Austin Rivers, who had a handful of breakthrough performances with the Clippers in the playoffs, caused a brief stir when he tweeted that he had “to do what I got to do. No hard feelings” before quickly removing the post. A league source said there were no developments regarding Rivers signing with a team.
As expected, the Clippers fully guaranteed Jamal Crawford’s $5.6-million contract for next season, though the team could still trade the star sixth man in its attempts to fill holes at starting small forward and backup point guard, power forward and center.