On Tuesday afternoon, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported that highly coveted free agent DeMar DeRozan is scheduled to meet with the LA Clippers. While the possibility of a sign and trade still exists, it comes with too many complications that would likely disinterest the Clippers.
With Nicolas Batum taking a discounted contract with the Clippers, the team still has the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.9M to spend on a player like DeRozan. It is likely that DeMar would be able to get more money elsewhere, but his desire to return home to Los Angeles while competing for a championship could be a contributing factor in his free agency decision.
In the three seasons DeRozan played with the Spurs, he averaged 21.6 PPG, 6.2 APG, and 5.3 RPG on just over 50% from the field. Adding a player of his caliber to this Clippers roster would allow the team to remain competitive during the period of time Kawhi Leonard will miss while recovering from ACL surgery.
By avoiding a sign and trade, the Clippers would add DeRozan to a roster that is loaded with shooters, allowing him to operate as an additional playmaker. DeRozan recently stated that he would be willing to take a discount in order to compete for a championship, but he also mentioned that there is a balance that must be managed.
It is unclear whether DeRozan would be willing to take the $5.9M MLE that the Clippers are able to offer, but it is now confirmed that he will indeed be meeting with the team at some point today.