Yaroslav Korolev is headed to the Clippers.
Their No. 1 draft pick has been freed from his contract with a Russian club, paving the way for the teenager to join the Clippers for the start of training camp, sources familiar with the situation said Monday.
Joe Safety, Clipper vice president of communications, would not confirm that Korolev’s status had been resolved but said the team now hoped the 18-year-old, 6-foot-9 forward could join them for the 2005-06 season. “We have determined that his development would be best served by being in the NBA environment sooner rather than later, so it’s possible that we’ll have his situation taken care of sometime this week,” Safety said. “Then he can be in Los Angeles preparing for training camp soon after that.”
Agent Marc Fleisher late last week negotiated a buyout of Korolev’s contract with CSKA Moscow, and the Clippers are expected to sign Korolev soon. Training camp begins Oct. 3 in Santa Barbara.
-- Jason Reid