Basketball / Sports

Clippers pursuing Collison, interested in Ariza, Hawes

LOS ANGELES -- As the second day of NBA free agency moved along Tuesday, the Los Angeles Clippers had not made any moves yet to improve their team.

The Clippers had called point guard Darren Collison on Monday night, when NBA teams were first allowed to talk to free agents, but no deal has been reached, and there were no conversations with his representatives Tuesday, according to NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Collison is an unrestricted free agent, having opted out of a contract that would have paid him $1.9 million next season.

The Clippers can either offer Collison the mid-level exception, which starts at $5.305 million, or offer him a 20 percent pay raise from last year's salary, which would be about $2.3 million next season. Collison is looking for more than that.

The Clippers also were interested in small forward Trevor Ariza, but a report out of Washington had the free agent leaning toward returning to the Wizards.

There were reports that Clippers coach and President Doc Rivers planned to meet Tuesday night with free-agent center Spencer Hawes, seen as a potential backup to center DeAndre Jordan and power forward Blake Griffin.

But Hawes made $6.5 million last season and NBA executives say he is looking for a raise.

The Clippers don't have a lot of money to spend on free agents, but there are ways they can acquire one or more.

They have the mid-level exception. They have the bi-annual exception, a maximum two-year deal worth about $4.2 million. They can use the veteran minimum, which could be as much as $1.4 million for a player with 10 years of NBA experience.

And the Clippers could acquire a free agent by doing a sign and trade.

NBA teams are allowed only to negotiate with free agents now, but can officially sign them when the league's moratorium is lifted on July 10.

Crawford A Keeper

Guard Jamal Crawford's $5.450 million contract for the 2014-15 season became fully guaranteed on Monday.

The Clippers had always planned on keeping Crawford, who won the NBA's sixth-man-of-the-year award by averaging 18.6 points per game, third best on the team.

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