If they’re willing to move one of their big three — the only way to clear enough cap space to offer Durant a max salary — suggesting the idea to Durant will be awkward. And not just because Doc Rivers indicated the Clippers would keep their core together.
To demonstrate their commitment to keeping Griffin, Jordan and Paul, as Doc Rivers said publicly after the season, sources said the Clippers invited all three players to attend their meeting with Durant.
Paul’s potential absence wouldn’t do much. Griffin would almost certainly be the player traded. Paul is a bigger part of the Clippers’ appeal.
But this makes it easier for Rivers in the likely event Durant signs elsewhere. The Clippers will still have their big three, and the trio can feel united (especially important with Paul and Griffin headed toward 2017 free agency).
This also helps leave the door open for Durant signing with the Clippers if he hits free agency in 2017.