LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Clippers center James Edwards made himself an unrestricted free agent yesterday by exercising a buyout clause in his contract.
While Edwards' agent, Reggie Turner, told the club his client would pay $250,000 to get out of the deal, he added he would give the Clippers the first chance to work out a new package.
Turner said he plans to talk exclusively to the Clippers for the next week. Edwards is seeking a two-year deal worth $3 million.
Last week, the Clippers picked up the option year (at $1.1 million) on Edwards' contract. The move yesterday did not surprise the team.
Turner said he talked to two Eastern Conference teams yesterday that are interested in Edwards, 36, who has played 15 NBA seasons.
Turner said the teams feel they can contend for the NBA title next season. Turner added there were at least three interested Western Conference clubs that he did not get a chance to talk to yesterday.
Turner said Edwards wants to remain with the Clippers.
"I told them I viewed this as an opening of a door to the Clippers to try to agree to a two-year deal," Turner said, "as opposed to the closing of the door on his Clipper career."
Edwards was traded to the Clippers from the Detroit Pistons last summer. He averaged 9.7 points in 72 games and proved to be a valuable reserve.