Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is going to bring his championship experience to the Orlando Magic, a team that made a big jump this past season and now is trying to become an even stronger contender in the Eastern Conference.

Caldwell-Pope — a two-time champion guard — was finalizing a three-year, $66 million deal with the Magic as free agency was beginning on Sunday night, a person with knowledge of the decision said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the deal cannot be finalized until the league’s offseason moratorium is lifted on July 6.

It’s a big get for the rising Magic, who won 47 games — their most in 13 years — and got back to the playoffs this past season. Caldwell-Pope was part of title-winning teams with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 and the Denver Nuggets in 2023. He averaged 10.1 points for the Nuggets this past season while shooting nearly 41% from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, James Harden is staying with the Los Angeles Clippers on a two-year contract that includes a player option, a person with knowledge of that decision said.

Harden’s deal — which could be worth up to $70 million if he opts into 2025-26 — was agreed upon in principle before free agency technically started, said the person who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because neither Harden nor the Clippers had announced the agreement.

Changes to league rules this year allowed for such agreements to be in place before the 6 p.m. Eastern time start to free agency on Sunday; teams, in most cases, were allowed to speak to their own free agents or extension-eligible players once the NBA Finals were completed.

Harden, a 10-time NBA All-Star, averaged 16.6 points and 8.5 assists last season for the Clippers, who will move into their new Intuit Dome home when this coming season starts. Harden’s status was one of the big questions facing the Clippers this summer; the other surrounds nine-time All-Star Paul George, who did not take his $48.8 million option for this season and is now a free agent — with Philadelphia perhaps the frontrunner to land him if he indeed does leave the Clippers.

In other moves Sunday:

— Kevin Love was completing a new two-year contract with the Miami Heat worth about $8 million, a person with knowledge of that deal told AP, the move coming one day after he did not opt into what would have been a $4 million contract for this coming season with the club. Love had said repeatedly last season that he has no intentions of leaving Miami.

— Andre Drummond reportedly agreed to a two-year contract to join the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that he appeared in 49 games for during the 2021-22 season. Drummond spent the last two seasons in Chicago — he averaged 8.4 points and 9.0 rebounds this past season in only 17 minutes per game — and would be valuable insurance alongside Joel Embiid in the 76ers’ big-man rotation. “I’m in the mood for a Philly cheesesteak,” Drummond posted on social media.

— Obi Toppin is being rewarded nicely for his strong first season with Indiana. A person with knowledge of the agreement said he and the Pacers were finalizing a four-year deal worth nearly $60 million. Toppin averaged a career-best 10.3 points last season, his first with Indiana after three years in New York.

— Guard Chris Paul was waived by the Golden State Warriors, who would have had to pay him $30 million for the coming season otherwise. The 39-year-old Paul averaged 9.2 points and 6.8 assists in 58 games with the Warriors last season. He’ll be looking to join a third team in a span of 14 months after spending 2022-23 with Phoenix and last season in Golden State.

— Promising wing Max Christie is returning to the Los Angeles Lakers with a four-year, $32 million contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told AP. The 21-year-old Christie averaged 3.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists during his first two NBA seasons.

— The NBA set the salary cap at at $140.588 million for the 2024-25 season, down slightly — about $400,000 or so — from what teams had been told to expect. The tax level was set at $170.814 million, the first apron level will be $178.132 million, the second apron level will be $188.931 million, the non-taxpayer mid-level is $12.822 million, the taxpayer mid-level is $5.168 million, and the room mid-level is $7.983 million.


AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham in Los Angeles contributed.



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