July 1, 2016
One person familiar with the meeting said it “went very well,” with the 2014 NBA most valuable player appearing engaged with a presentation that focused on how the veteran small forward would help build a championship-caliber roster.
There was some thought that Durant would let the Clippers know by Saturday whether they were still in the running for his services to help with the balance of their free agent planning. The team lost small forward Jeff Green on Friday when he agreed to a one-year, $15-million contract with the Orlando Magic.
Durant already met with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors before his visit with the Clippers and was scheduled to meet with the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and the Thunder a second time before reaching his decision next week.
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, Coach Doc Rivers and front-office executives Lawrence Frank and Dave Wohl attended the meeting along with star players Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Point guard Chris Paul could not make the meeting because of a scheduling conflict with his vacation in Spain but had spoken with Durant about his hopes of becoming teammates.
TMZ Sports showed on its website photos of Ballmer, Rivers and Jordan arriving in the Hamptons in the midst of a rainstorm while clutching Starbucks cups.
Jordan and Durant are longtime friends, having vacationed together in Europe last summer and worked out in recent weeks. They will also play together for Team USA in the Rio de Janeiro Olymipcs in August.
It was not immediately known how Durant felt about the prospect of a “Big Four” lineup that would pair him with the Clippers’ current trio of stars, creating a top-heavy roster also laden with far lesser players because of salary-cap constraints.
Other alternatives would be getting Durant to play with Paul and Jordan by facilitating a sign-and-trade agreement with the Thunder involving Griffin or acquiring Durant outright and trading one of their current stars to a team with cap space to provide enough resources to fill out the roster with higher-quality players.
Times staff writer Broderick Turner contributed to this report.