While the Clippers have not made an official announcement, the NBA official player transactions page has the Clippers signing James Harden, Derrick Jones Jr., and James Harden today.

NBA player contracts are never made public, but we can assume the deals were very similar if not identical to those initially reported. Harden will be on a 2/70 with a player option, Jones on a 3/30, and Batum on a 2/9.6.

The reason this is meaningful is that the Clippers officially signing these players means they are hard capped at the 1st apron using the non-taxpayer mid-level contract, and now have very little trade maneuverability. The order of operations in NBA transactions is very important, so if the Clippers were making a big trade – for Brandon Ingram, Zach LaVine, or John Collins as examples – they’d want to do those first and then finalize their free agent signings. The Clippers outright signing these players already would indicate a big move is not coming.

What’s left? The Clippers already officially signed Mo Bamba and Cam Christie, so the two signings that have not been made official yet are Kris Dunn and Kevin Porter Jr. The reason for the Dunn holdup is unclear, as there hasn’t really been any reporting on why it hasn’t gotten done. Maybe the Jazz are haggling over returns, maybe the Clippers want to make it a bigger deal with someone like Collins involved, or maybe the Jazz have other big moves to make elsewhere and want to hold off on the Dunn sign and trade until those moves are complete.

The Porter Jr. deal not being done is a bit odder, as that deal was reported to be a minimum and minimums could have been made official all the way back at the start of free agency on June 30. There was a trade kicker and player option initially reported, so maybe those are being negotiated, or maybe something else is at work there. But there hasn’t been any indication either that deal or the Dunn deal is falling through.

There also has been zero reporting about a PJ Tucker trade, so the likeliest outcome at this point is that Russ is moved in the Kris Dunn sign and trade, and PJ’s contract is stretched. Law Murray’s article on the Clippers’ youngsters today also said Bones Hyland is “questionable at best” to be on the Clippers’ roster next year, so maybe he gets moved as part of the Dunn deal or in another minor transaction.

For now, we have to just keep waiting for the final few pieces to fall into place.

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