Hi all – I have been watching for a while and decided to make my first post.
Should the Warrior decline to match on Azebuki (which is likely considering the just signed Louis Williams to an offer sheet and still are yet to sign Ellis or Beidrins) I think the Clippers should seriously consider a trade with the Knicks for David Lee and Jerred Jefferies in exchange for Tim Thomas and Josh Powell (if needed). The Knicks are so desperate to get rid of Jefferies, they may even throw in a protected pick. I know many of the readers here hate Jefferies bloated contract, but we need to keep in mind that this guy is 6-11 and can play SF – just not as a starter (not yet at least). I see only pro’s for this deal that I will list below:
1. Tim Thomas is lazy on defense and immediately becomes the weakest link in the defensive chain. He cannot match up with any SF in the league and hurts the team 99% of the time he is on the court. Jefferies will be very versatile if allowed to play reasonable minutes in a team offense as opposed to the Knicks everybody for themselves offense. He will be a vast improvement over Thomas and will be a solid backup for Thornton. Plus did I mention he is 6-11 and can dribble as a point forward?
2. Powell is solid but no comparison for David Lee (who is the real reason for this trade). Along with Fazekas and Jordan as PF/C backups, Lee will be able to log reasonable minutes and cover for either Kaman or Camby when injured. I don’t need to really discuss the reasons we need Lee, as this has been covered plenty in past posts in this forum.
3. Jefferies contract is bloated but so is the contract we gave Tim Thomas. We do lose $7M off our cap in 2010 but we still have $20M from Mobley and Camby to shop with. Let’s go for Nowitski or Bosh with this cash.
Azibuke is the catalyst for this deal. I would only do it if he joins. The truth is that GSW fans love this kid – probably because he is really good. He has a quick and solid three point shot and I believe he should play starting SG with Mobley off the bench. I would play Gordon as the backup PG because he is quick and strong. If we can teach him to be a PG (and he believes he can do it) then this would allow him to become elite instead of just another undersized SG. Let Baron teach him and watch him grow. He is a real talent and we need to nurture this. If he sucks this year, we still have Brevan.
That leaves the team as follows:
PG = Davis, Gordon, Knight
SG = Azibuke, Mobely, Taylor
SF = Thornton, Jefferies, Williams
PF = Kaman, Fazekas, Powell (maybe)
C = Camby, Jordan
This is a pretty good team – especially on the defensive end. Baron will be the team leader and primary scorer with Camby his deputy. We will have new veteran leadership and established go-to guys. Defense is the key to a running game and Davis is the master of this style. He likes Azibuke and that is why I would promote him to starter. Mobley off the bench will also help us be productive and controlled when starters rest. Along with Gordon, Jordan, Jefferies and Fazekas, we now have a pretty deep bench. Either way, I see more optimism this year than any year since the Clips moved to LA. Let’s hope GSW plays along, then let’s make this trade and look to a bright future (do I dare to hope…?).
More Jerred Jefferies here: