Chris Paul wasn’t actually at the Clippers meeting with Kevin Durant
In order to help the Clippers convince marquee free agent Kevin Durant of a westward relocation, star point guard Chris Paul would have had to travel a long way. Paul reportedly considered leaving a family trip in Spain to try and convince the elite small forward of a Southern California dream team, but he ultimately did not make the trip.
Chris Paul had planned to join Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan at the KD meeting but couldn't make it back in time from vacation in Spain.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 2, 2016
The Clippers’ pitch was simple: if Durant comes to Southern California he would join a franchise hungry for playoff success now rather than later. Durant was also sold on the possibility of joining a ‘Big 4′, slotting as a primary scoring small forward to complete a star-studded roster ready for a deep playoff run.
For Los Angeles, this meeting not only hopes to attract Durant during this offseason, but instead also will attempt to put the thought of the Clippers’ into the 7-time all-star’s subconscious. With many around the league expecting Durant to sign a one-year deal with his incumbent franchise the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant will most likely be due for another stint in free agency next offseason, where he would be more open to leaving the his Oklahoma home.
During this upcoming free agency, the Clippers will also focus on resigning the defending NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford who has already stated his preference to stay in southern California should the Durant free agency not go as planned. However, NBA experts expect Crawford to seriously consider other options, meaning that Los Angeles will need to denote resources into ensuring Crawford’s talents for next season.
Furthermore, in order for the Clippers to afford Durant this upcoming season, they would have to renounce the rights of their free agents – Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford, and Jeff Green – as well as convince Durant to take slightly less than a max-contract. With the pitch already weak enough on its own, the lack of an offered max-contract makes Los Angeles even more of a long-shot during this 2016 free agency. Despite this, Durant was reportedly “blown away” by the four-hour meeting with the Clippers.
Despite Paul’s absence at the meeting, he reportedly reached out to Durant beforehand, showing just how important this meeting is to the Clippers’ front office and their players. Despite owning a well-rounded and star-studded lineup, the Clippers have not reached the Western Conference Finals during Paul’s 4-year tenure with the organization, something they are very eager to change. Even though Durant remains a long-shot, the addition of the 4-time NBA scoring champion would most definitely elevate this organization into heights not yet achieved in its history.
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