FanPost

Fixing our Clipps

Roster:

1- Elton Brand (16.4M)
2- Chris Kaman (9.5M)
3- Cuttino Mobley (9M)
4- Ron Artest (8.5M)
5- Kenny Thomas (7.9M)
6- Shaun Livingston (6M)
7- Nicolas Batum (2.8M)
8- JJ Redick (2.1M)
9- Brevin Knight (2M)
10- Quinton Ross (2M)
11- Al Thornton (1.8M)
12- Dan Dickau (800K)
13- Josh Powell (500K)
14- Paul Davis (500K)
15- Open

Depth Chart:

PG - Livingston/Knight/Dickau
SG - Mobley/Ross/Redick
SF - Artest/Thornton/Batum
PF - Brand/Thomas/Powell
C - Kaman/Davis/Powell

Total Payroll = $69.8M

Transactions:

1.  Three team trade #1

-Clippers get JJ Redick and Pat Garrity
-Magic get Sam Cassell and Mickael Pietrus
-Warriors get Carlos Arroyo

-Why for the Clippers:  In a lost season, the Clippers receive a young shooter in Redick and an expiring contract in Garrity.
-Why for the Magic:  They get a leader in Cassell and a defending scorer in Pietrus for a playoff run.
-Why for the Warriors:  They get good point guard depth for a player that isn't in their plans now or in the future.

2.  Three team trade #2

-Clippers get Ron Artest and Kenny Thomas
-Heat get Mike Bibby and Tim Thomas
-Kings get Corey Maggette, Ricky Davis, Jason Williams, Aaron Williams, and 2nd round picks from the Clippers and the Heat

-Why for the Clippers:  They get a very talented (yet troubled) player in Artest and they exchange "bad" contracts in the Thomas' with Kenny being more fitting to play the much needed PF position than Tim.
-Why for the Heat:  They get their much needed PG star in Bibby and Tim Thomas that should fit in their system.
-Why for the Kings:  They get all expiring contracts and two 2nd round picks.

3.  Extend Brand.

Hopefully bringing in his buddy Artest along with Kenny Thomas will show the team is still serious about winning.  In addition, he's unlikely to get a better contract from any other team.

4.  Resign Livingston

Sign Shaun to a three year deal staring at $6M with a player option in the second year.  This gives Shaun the choice to opt out if he proves to be worth more and it also shows him the Clippers commitment to him.

  1.  Resign Ross to a three year contract starting at $2M.
  2.  Draft Nicolas Batum
O.J. Mayo would be my #1 option, but is unlikely to drop to the Clippers.  The Nicolas Batum choice was simply derived from online prospect profiles and mock drafts.  So, although I've never really seen the kid play, I like what I've read.  Other options include Chase Budinger, Danilo Gallinari, and Eric Gordon (also unlikely to drop).

Conclusion:

I really believe Artest to be a difference maker if he stays sane and healthy.  This may be a huge 'if', but I feel it's worth the risk.  I've always liked Maggette, but his flaws are pretty glaring and I don't envision him improving in those areas.  He's a good player, but not the most dependable player.  It's just time for Corey and the Clippers to part ways.  I also see Kenny Thomas and JJ Redick as really good role players.  Hopefully the Clipps luck out a bit in the draft and with Livingston's health and get back on track.

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