Enhancing Clipper Nation
This is my version of fixing Clipper Nation. First off, I would like to thank Clipper Steve for clipsnation.com. I know you take a lot of time out of your schedule almost daily updating the site. I consider myself the biggest clipper fan that I know personally, but if Clipper Steve and I ever met there FINALLY might be some competition. Much respect! Now let's get down to business.....
I really don't like the way a lot of the clipper fixes are going. I think everyone is concentrating on a Maggette trade, or rid of. I don't think there is anyone in the NBA, for the price, that can do what Maggette does. I know Clipper Steve doesn't enjoy Maggette's playing style all the time, or as I can see, most the clipsnationeer's don't either. Hey, but this is my take on the Clippers. We all know that Maggette is going to opt out at the end of the season which could complicate a GM's direction of the team. We also know that Maggette IS underpaid so he will probably get a reasonable offer from someone in search for a good scorer and good rebounder (from a SF perspective). NBA teams can only offer him a five year deal and the Clippers can offer him a six year deal. I think six years is a long and strenuous contract for us to take on. I believe that NBA teams will offer him somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 year $55 million, which we will match. I believe the maximum amount anyone will and can offer him will be a 5 year $60 million deal, which we will match. The $60 million dollar deal is really high but I still believe he is worth that amount. Worst comes to worst (for him) he doesn't get any offers and we keep him for the last year of his contract and we offer him the same amounts later (the cheaper the better). Some might be wondering where I'm going with this. Well, we would have a healthy Livingston, Brand, Kaman, Maggette, and a shooting guard to battle other elite teams in the West. Obviously we need a good/great shooting guard at the 2. That is the real problem we have as a team (besides all the injuries that have happened but in which look very promising for next year). The clippers need a shooting guard and I believe the answer is Joe Johnson. His contract is pretty big but here is what I have planned out. Mobley/Cassel to Atlanta for Joe Johnson. That deal would work financially $8.4 mil + $6.15 = $14.55 mil which is a good fit to his $13.5 mil salary. The way I look at it, they pay an extra mil this year to make a deep playoff run with Sam leading the way. This deal sells CHANCE something that they don't have at a seventh seed right now vs. Detroit. The sooner this deal happens the faster they go up in standings in the East. They might be looking at a 3, 4, or 5 seed with this deal. They have a young talented squad that needs a leader. Defensively they don't loose at all at the shooting guard position or the pg because they really don't have a good starting defensive point guard anyway. I think Atlanta might not jump at this deal but if we throw in our first round draft pick for 08/09, this deal really starts to look better. I believe the mobley/cassel/1st round pick for Johnson would work for both sides. If they still don't bite we have our second round pick also. So, mobley/cassel/1st round pick/2nd round pick WORKS. Financially the 08/09 year looks like this, we take Johnson's $14.23 mil contract and they have Mobley's $9.1 mil, plus approximately $2.0 mil for the 1st rounder, plus $.7 mil for 2nd rounder which totals approximately $12 mil plus that extra $1 mil from the previous year that they paid which brings us to a total of $13 mil which is relatively close to $14.23 mil. They could and probably will offer Cassel the minimum to play one more year which will make up for the rest. Rumor has it that Atlanta did offer Cassel about a $14.5 mil 2 year deal before he took the $12 mil from the clips. So I know they like what Cassel brings. The 09/10 year looks like moblye's/$9.8, 1strounder/$2.2, 2ndrounder/$.9 for Johnson's/$14.9.
The totals look like this-
Clippers take contract worth:
07/08 -$13.49 mil
08/09- $14.23 mil
Total = $42.7
Atlanta take contracts worth:
Total = $41.75
This trade works out almost perfectly for both teams financially and for both clubs future. With some very good contract manipulations this is what we would be looking like in 08/09.
2 players @-$.68
Total = $72 million dollars
This is slightly over the cap but I think this team is very capable of winning a championship with line ups like these:
In conclusion, I think putting all the drama aside, we do have a solid core. The 2 is our weakness and has been since our deep playoff run. Actually, I would even go as far as to say Mobley's inconsistency was the main reason we lost the Phoenix series in 05/06. He has solid D but has been incredibly inconsistent since he arrived in L.A. There is many reasons why we didn't make the playoffs last year. I believe Mobley's 3-point shot was great last year but there was nothing else from his offensive game. This trade would shake up the west, but more importantly it would shake up the Pacific Division.