The Clippers extended Steve Novak a qualifying offer Tuesday, which makes him a restricted free agent. The Clippers will have the opportunity to match any contract offer made to Novak by another team. Novak’s number is $1,030,189. Given the reasonable price tag and the fact that there are only a handful of players in the league with true shooting percentages greater than 60%, it’s very likely Novak will get a bite from a team in need of some perimeter shooting.
Would the Clippers would match a significant offer for Novak’s services? That probably depends on what they get back/have to swallow in any deal they make with one of the frontcourt guys. According to sources, negotiations with Memphis could pick up again soon. The Grizzlies still need a scoring big man, and they’re now carrying Quentin Richardson’s $9.35M contract, along with the other superfluous pieces on their roster (Greg Buckner and Marko Jaric, both expiring in 2011). In most cases, a team can’t trade a guy for two months after they acquire him in a deal, but since Memphis is under the cap, they’re exempt from this rule in Richardson’s case.
Brian Skinner declined his $1.3M player option. It’s a gamble for the 33-year-old Skinner, until you realize that the minimum salary for a player with ten years of service or greater is $1,306,455. It’s unlikely that Skinner opted out without some confidence that there’s a deal out there for him somewhere — and there probably is, accompanied by more minutes than he’d get in the crowded Clippers’ frontcourt.
Rounding out the transactions of the day, the Clippers will have to endure Ricky Davis for another season. He picked up his $2.48M player option. The Clips declined their team option on Alex Acker. And Fred Jones is now officially off-contract. Jones put up a 10.41 PER last season, which isn’t all that horrendous for a versatile backup making league minimum. The Clippers have a $2M bi-annual exception, but it’s unlikely they’ll use it to fill out the back end of their roster — which would include Jones — until after Summer League, a possible trade, and when the market settles down.