The Clippers’ meeting with Kevin Durant on Friday will be led by coach Doc Rivers and owner Steve Ballmer, but sources indicate that Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul could also attend to pitch the Oklahoma City Thunder free agent on being part of a “Big Four.”
Though Durant is meeting with Thunder officials in Oklahoma City Thursday afternoon, sources tell ESPN’s Marc Stein that Oklahoma City is also seeking a second meeting with Durant and his representatives this holiday weekend in the Hamptons.
The Thunder’s hope, sources told Stein, is getting one last chance to pitch him after the Warriors, Clippers, Spurs, Celtics and Heat make their scheduled presentations.
Durant’s first meeting Friday morning in The Hamptons on Long Island will be with the Golden State Warriors before meeting with the Clippers later in the day. On Saturday, he will meet with the San Antonio Spurs and later the Boston Celtics. He will conclude his weekend meetings Sunday with the Miami Heat.
It’s been assumed that the Clippers would have to trade one of the three players in order to make room to sign Durant under the salary cap. However sources have told ESPN that part of the Clippers’ plan is to pitch Durant on playing alongside Paul, Griffin and Jordan.
The Clippers would have to renounce their rights to their free agents — Austin, Rivers, Jeff Green and Jamal Crawford — find a trade for JJ Redick, and Durant would have to be willing to accept slightly less than a maximum salary this year.
To demonstrate their commitment to keeping Griffin, Jordan and Paul, as Doc Rivers said publicly after the season, sources said the Clippers invited all three players to attend their meeting with Durant.
While team sources could not immediately confirm that all three players would be able attend, inviting all three is an important affirmation of Rivers’ previous statements about keeping the team’s core together.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard contributed to this report.