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Clippers Off-Season 2016: Free Agency Primer and Open Thread

It's time.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

At 9:00pm pacific time, and midnight eastern time, the 2016 NBA season will officially be over, and the new cap year will begin.  When that happens, chaos will ensue.

For now, all we can do is get ready and rumors of interest and meetings leak out ahead of the moratorium opening.  Once we pass that deadline, teams can actually meet and "negotiate" with players, and even though contracts cannot be signed until the moratorium is lifted on July 7th, we will start hearing of teams and players agreeing to deals within minutes of free agency opening.  My bet for first signing?  DeMar DeRozan returning to the Toronto Raptors on a maximum contract.

The Clippers will make their calls at 9:00, almost assuredly to some of their own free agents as well as a few mystery names.  Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Cole Aldrich are all sure to get calls from Doc Rivers, even if they don't get final offers until after Kevin Durant starts the dominoes with his decision. Even more minor targets could receive interest from Doc tonight, just like Wes did last summer before singing a minimum-salary deal.

Oh, yeah, the Clippers will meet with Kevin Durant on Friday, as one of the first teams to try and pitch him.  I highly doubt that they'll come away from that meeting with an immediate yes, but it's possible that they will have an indication of whether they've got a real shot or not.

The first few hours of free agency are always chaotic and exciting, and it's going to be a lot of fun.  Fasten your seatbelts, gang.