Terms of any proposal were not known, but the Clippers have enough salary-cap space to accept Randolph's contract without having to give the Knicks equal salaries in return. The Clippers, seeking to replace the departed Elton Brand, were trying to take Randolph off the Knicks' hands while offering little more than cap relief to New York, the sources said. Randolph will make $14.7 million next season, and he has three years and $48 million left on his contract.
While the Knicks are known to be interested in clearing cap space by 2010 to make a run at LeBron James or other potential free agents, the sources said New York wanted more than simple cap relief in exchange for Randolph. The Knicks appear to believe that Randolph will provide a highly productive season under new coach Mike D'Antoni, which could raise his value much higher than it is today. That's why the Knicks were not interested in nearly giving away Randolph's contract, according to the sources.
Other options for the Clippers would include pursuing Hawks power forward Josh Smith or Bobcats power forward Emeka Okafor, but because both are restricted free agents, their respective teams can match any offer.