Monday, June 21, 2010

More on Sofo and the Clippers

Sources close to the situation confirm that Greek center Sofoklis Schortsanitis will be visiting with the Clippers in Los Angeles in what can best be characterized as a meet-and-greet.

The trip is primarily an opportunity to introduce Schortsanitis, whose NBA rights belong to the Clippers, to Los Angeles and the organization’s principals. Several contractual and financial issues to consider:

Schortsanitis is under contract with Olympiacos through the end of the month.

The Clippers will not extend Schortsanitis a contract before they negotiate with the bigger names in free agency beginning July 1. Any monetary commitment the Clippers make to Schortsanitis would count against the team’s cap space. The Clippers worked diligently last spring to create that space. They won’t compromise it by signing Schortsanitis before making offers to other marquee free agents.

If the Clippers don’t land a max player and/or opt to use their cap space to sign Schortsanitis, things become a bit more complicated. There’s no exception for second round draft picks (The Clippers drafted Schortsanitis with the 34th overall pick in the second round of the 2003 draft.). If the Clips have cap space, then they won’t have a mid-level exception or a bi-annual exception. That would leave only a minimum salary contract, and Schortsanitis is believed to want more than that.

The likelihood that Schortsanitis be in a Clippers’ uniform for Summer League depends on a number of variables ranging from how much Schortsanitis likes the idea to where the Clippers stand as players in free agency on the eve of Summer League.

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